Purple Heart Medal Miniature

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Service: All Services

Instituted: 1932 and is retroactive to April 1917

Criteria: Awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or to any civilian national of the United States, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Forces, since April 1917 has been wounded, killed, or who has died or may die of wounds received from an opposing enemy force while in armed combat or as a result of an act of international terrorism or being a Prisoner of War

Devices: Army/Air Force: Bronze, Silver Oak Leaf Clusters; Navy/Marine Corps/Coast Guard: Gold, Silver Star

The Purple Heart is America’s oldest military decoration. It was originally established on August 7, 1782 by General George Washington who designed the original award called the “Badge of Military Merit.” The Badge of Military Merit was awarded for singularly meritorious action to a deserving hero of the Revolutionary War.

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