Since the Medal of Honor was created in 1861 there have been 3,469 awarded. Approximately half were awarded during the Civil War alone.
The Medal of Honor is the highest US Military honor awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. It is awarded by the President on behalf of the Congress and represents the gratitude of the American people.
There are two methods of being nominated for the Award. The most common is for the service member to be nominated and approved by the chain of command for his organization, the other is to be nominated by Congress and approved by a special Act of Congress.
The presentation is usually made at a formal ceremony, by the President, at the White House. Medals awarded posthumously are presented to the primary next of kin. Since 1941 more than half of the Medals have been awarded posthumously.
There are three versions of the Medal, Army, Navy, and Air Force. Marine and Coast Guard members receive the Navy version.
The Medal and any associated ribbon or badge is protected by law from any unauthorized adornment, sale or manufacture to maintain the high level of prestige associated with the award.
The criteria for the nomination has evolved over time. In the 1800s there was no other authorized military decoration so the Medal was awarded for any act outside regular battlefield involvement. In the early 1900s, the Navy issued two versions of the Medal, one for combat and one for non-combat acts of bravery. During World War I the Army would tighten it’s nominations to acts of valor under combat conditions while the Navy would keep it’s peacetime, Tiffany Cross, conditions until 1963. In July of 1963 Public Law 88-77 standardized the criteria to combat acts only.
The first Army Medals of Honor were presented in March 1863 to the “Andrews Raiders”, six men who hijacked a Confederate railroad train, by Sec. of War Stanton.
The first Navy Medals of Honor were presented April 1863, to 41 sailors for their actions during the battles for St. Philip and Fort Jackson, by Sec. of War Stanton.
The first Marine awarded the Navy Medal of Honor was John F. Mackie, July 1863, for his actions on the USS Galena.
The only Coast Guardsmen to receive the Navy Medal of Honor was Douglas Munro, May 1943, for evacuating 500 Marines under fire on Guadalcanal. The Medal was presented posthumously.
The only woman awarded the Army Medal of Honor was Mary Edwards Walker, 1865, a civilian Union Army surgeon for her action at the First Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Atlanta.
WAR on TERROR RECIPIENTS
While it is unfortunate that conditions still exist for the performance of such acts of valor to be recognized, we proudly salute the following individuals.
( * denotes Medal awarded posthumously)
*Corporal Jason L. Dunham
Date of Issue: 01/11/2007 Organization: U.S. Marine Corps, Company K, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines
*Private First Class Ross A. McGinnis
Date of Issue: 06/05/2008 Organization: U.S. Army, Company C, 1st Battalion, 1st Infantry Division Date Entered Service: June 14, 2004
*Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor
Date of Issue: 04/08/2008 Organization: U.S. Navy, SEAL Team 3
*Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith
Date of Issue: 04/05/2005 Organization: U.S. Army
Lance Corporal William Kyle Carpenter
Date of Issue: 06/19/2014 Organization: U.S. Marine Corps
Specialist Ty M. Carter
Date of Issue: 08/26/2013 Organization: U.S. Army, Battle Company, B Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment
Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta
Date of Issue: 11/16/2010 Organization: U.S. Army, Battle Company, 2nd Battalion, 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade
Sergeant Dakota Meyer
Date of Issue: 09/15/2011 Organization: U.S. Marine Corps.
*Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller
Date of Issue: 10/06/2010 Organization: U.S. Army, Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3312
*Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti
Date of Issue: 09/17/2009 Organization: U.S. Army, Headquarters Company, 10th Mountain Division
*Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy
Date of Issue: 10/22/2007 Organization: U.S. Navy, ALFA Platoon, SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1
Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts
Date of Issue: 07/21/2014 Organization: U.S. Army, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade
Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry
Date of Issue: 07/12/2011 Organization: U.S. Army, Company D, 2d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha
Date of Issue: 02/11/2013 Organization: U.S. Army, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
Captain William D. Swenson
Date of Issue: 10/15/2013 Organization: U.S. Army, Task Force Phoenix, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division
Sergeant Kyle J. White
Date of Issue: 05/13/2014 Organization: U.S. Army, Company C, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade
BREAKDOWN of AWARDS
Conflict Dates Medal Count
|Samoan Civil War||1886–1894||4|
|Occupation of Veracruz||1914||56|
|United States occupation of Haiti||1915–1934||8|
|Dominican Republic Occupation||1916–1924||3|
|World War I||1914–1918||124|
|Occupation of Nicaragua||1912–1933||2|
|World War II||1939–1945||464|
|USS Liberty incident||1967||1|
|Battle of Mogadishu||1993||2|
|BaldwinFrank Baldwin||Army||First Lieutenant, Captain||American Civil War, Indian Wars|
|ButlerSmedley Butler||Marine Corps||Major||Veracruz, Haiti|
|CooperJohn Cooper||Navy||Coxswain||American Civil War|
|CukelaLouis Cukela||Marine Corps||Sergeant||World War I||Awarded both Navy and Army versions for the same action.|
|Custer Thomas Custer||Army||Second Lieutenant||American Civil War||Battle of Namozine Church on 3 April and Battle of Sayler’s Creek on 6 April 1865.|
|DalyDaniel Daly||Marine Corps||Private, Gunnery Sergeant||Boxer Rebellion, Haiti|||
|HoganHenry Hogan||Army||First Sergeant||Indian Wars|
|Jason Ernest A. Janson||Marine Corps||Gunnery Sergeant||World War I||Both awarded for the same action. Received the Army MOH under the name Charles F. Hoffman.|
|KellyJohn J. Kelly||Marine Corps||Private||World War I||Both awarded for the same action.|
|KingJohn King||Navy||Water tender||Peacetime||1901 and 1909|
|KocakMatej Kocak||Marine Corps||Sergeant||World War I||Both awarded for the same action.|
|LaffertyJohn Lafferty||Navy||Fireman, First Class Fireman||American Civil War, peacetime|
|McCloyJohn C. McCloy||Navy||Coxswain, Chief Boatswain||Boxer Rebellion, Veracruz|
|MullenPatrick Mullen||Navy||Boatswain’s Mate||American Civil War|
|PruittJohn H. Pruitt||Marine Corps||Corporal||World War I||Both awarded for the same action.|
|Sweeney Robert Sweeney||Navy||Ordinary Seaman||Peacetime||1881 and 1883|
|WeisbogelAlbert Weisbogel||Navy||Captain of the Mizzen Top||Peacetime||1874 and 1876|
|Williams Louis Williams||Navy||Captain of the Hold||Peacetime||1883 and 1884. Also known as Ludwig Andreas Olsen.|
|Wilson William Wilson||Army||Sergeant||Indian Wars|
|By branch of service|
|Service||Army||Navy||Marines||Air Force||Coast Guard|