The men and woman who have received the Medal of Honor are individuals who have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. They were nominated for this award based upon their actions of extreme bravery and courage as well as personal acts of valor in the most dire of situations. The award is bestowed upon each individual by the President of the United States in the name of Congress; to date, 3,480 Medals of Honor have been awarded to 3,461 individuals, including 19 double recipients.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society (“The Society”) is perhaps the “most exclusive organization” in the United States. Its membership includes 3,460 men and one woman; these individuals hailed from all walks of life, representing 150 years of armed service. Above all, the recipients share a commitment to the United States of America and carry the distinct honor of wearing the Medal of Honor.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society founded the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation (“Foundation”), which promotes awareness of America’s highest military award for valor in combat.
Both the Foundation and the Society are committed to reach out to the citizens of America, particularly its youth, to promote an awareness of what the Medal of Honor represents and how ordinary Americans, through courage, sacrifice, selfless service and patriotism, committed themselves to their country and their comrades in arms despite horrific odds and unparalleled danger.
First introduced in a Senate bill in 1861 by Iowa Senator James W. Grimes, the Congressional Medal of Honor was designed to “promote the efficiency of the Navy” by authorizing the production and distribution of “medals of honor.” After Congress passed the measure on December 21st of that year, President Lincoln signed the bill into law and the (Navy) Medal of Honor was created.
Two months later another bill was passed providing for Medal of Honor eligibility to those serving in the Army and when the Air Force was created in 1950 those members were immediately eligible, as well. To date, 3,461 medals have been awarded to eligible recipients, 78 of whom are still living.
To visit the Society website, please click here
To visit the Foundation website, please click here