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Recipients of the Medal of Honor receive two medals, one for display and one for wear. It is illegal to obtain, wear or display the Medal of Honor if you are not the recipient. It is the most protected medal in history of the United States. Medals of America does not sell or possess any form of the medal. If you need help getting your medals or meda;ls of family members, please call us and we will be able to give you the information to start the process. For more information on the medal please see Military Medals of the United States by Colonel Frank Foster and Lonnie Borts. Also check out our blog post-http://blog.medalsofamerica.com/army-medal-of-honor/

The Medal of Honor

In a country whose Government is based on a totally democratic society, it is fitting that the first medal to reward meritorious acts on the field of battle should be for private soldiers and seamen (although extended in later years to officers).

The Congressional Medal of Honor (referred to universally as the Medal of Honor in all statutes, awards manuals and uniform regulations) was born in conflict, steeped in controversy during its early years and finally emerged, along with Britain’s Victoria Cross, as one of the world’s premier awards for bravery.

The medal is actually a statistical oddity, proving the unlikely equation that “Three equals One”. Although there are three separate medals representing America’s highest reward for braver, there is now only a single set of directives governing the award of this, the most coveted of all U.S. decorations.

Many Americans today are confused by the term: “Congressional Medal of Honor” when, in fact, the proper term is “Medal of Honor”. Part of this confusion stems from a law that was passed on July 1918 authorizing the President to present the medal” ... in the name of Congress”. The fact that all Medals of Honor recipients belong to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, an official organization chartered by Congress, does not help the situation. However, suffice it to state that the medal is referred to universally as the “Medal of Honor” in all statues, awards manuals, uniform regulations and official documents.

Army Medals of Honor

   
Medal of Honor 1862 - Medal of Honor 1896 Medal of Honor
Army Medal of Honor
(1862-1896)
Army Medal of Honor
(1896-1904)
Army Medal of Honor
(1904-1944)
 
Medal of Honor Rosette Ribbon Medal
Medal of Honor (Army)
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of one’s own life, above and beyond the call of duty, in action involving actual conflict with an opposing armed force.

The Army Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1862 but, owing to extensive copying by veterans groups, was redesigned in 1904 and patented by the War Department to ensure the design exclusivity.

The present medal, a five pointed golden star, lays over a green enamelled laurel wreath. The center of the star depicts Minerva, Goddess of righteous war and wisdom, encircled by the words:

“United States of America”. The back of the medal is inscribed, “The Congress to”, with a place for the recipient’s name. The medal hangs from a bar inscribed: “Valor”, which is held by an American Eagle with laurel leaves (denoting peace) in its right talon and arrows (war) in its left. The eagle is fastened by a hook to a light blue silk pad on which are embroidered 13 stars.

Navy Medals of Honor

   
Navy Medal of Honor 1861 Navy Medal of Honor 1913 Navy Medal of Honor 1917 Brevet Medal
Navy Medal of Honor
(1861)
Navy Medal of Honor
(1913-1917)
Navy Medal of Honor
(1917-1942)
Brevet Medal
(1921)
Navy Medal of Honor Ribbon Rosette
Navy Medal of Honor
The 1861 Navy Medal of Honor was redesigned by Tiffany & Co. in 1917 but returned to the basic 1861 design in 1942 and a neck ribbon was added. The design is a five point bronze star with a central circular plaque depicting Minerva repulsing Discord.

The reverse is engraved, “Personal Valor”, with room for the recipient’s name, rank, ship or unit and date. The medal hangs from the flukes of an anchor which is attached to the neck ribbon.

Air Force Medal of Honor

Air Force Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor (Air Force)
Congress authorized the Air Force Medal of Honor in 1960, 13 years after the establishment of the Air Force as an independent Service (prior to 1960, airmen received the Army medal). The medal design is fashioned after the Army version and is a five pointed star with a green enamelled laurel wreath. The center depicts the head of the Statue of Liberty surrounded by 34 stars. The star hangs from a representation of the Air Force coat of arms and is suspended from a bar inscribed “VALOR”.



For more information on the medal please see Military Medals of the United States by Colonel Frank Foster and Lonnie Borts. Also check out our blog post-http://blog.medalsofamerica.com/army-medal-of-honor/

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