The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration in the United States of America. It was first awarded during the American Civil War and the latest action for which it has been awarded was Somalia. It has often been given posthumously. It was originally given only to enlisted men although Army officers first received them in 1891 and Naval officers in 1915. It is often erroneously called the "Congressional" Medal of Honor.
Many Medals of Honor awarded in the 19th century were associated with saving the flag, not just for patriotic reasons, but because the flag was a primary means of battlefield communication.
During and after the 20th century, the medal has been awarded for extreme bravery above and beyond the call of duty, where a person consistently and persistently has put his comrades safety foremost to the utter disregard of his own life.
The medal consists of a gold star surrounded by a wreath, topped by an eagle on a bar inscribed with the word "Valor." The medal is attached to a thick blue ribbon, which is then worn around the neck.
The Medal of Honor also confers a special rank on its recipients. The highest ranking officer in the US military is required to initiate the salute, no matter how low the rank of the recipient, many of them enlisted personnel.
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3 Recipients of the Medal of Honor Include
4 External Link