The Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor

The President, in the name of Congress, has awarded more than 3,400 Medals of Honor to our nation's bravest Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen since the award was created in 1861.

Nineteen of these heroes received a second award, fourteen received two separate Medals for two separate actions and five received both the Navy and the Army Medals of Honor for the same action.

The award is often bestowed posthumously to fallen heroes in recognition for their extraordinary acts of valor. A total of six such heroes have received the MOH while serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. On November 16, 2010 Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta became the first living Medal of Honor recipient in 40 years.

Medal of Honor recipients are given the following special privileges and special benefits:

  • Special Medal of Honor pension of $1,299.61 per month above and beyond any military pensions or other benefits for which they may be eligible. The MOH pension is subject to cost-of-living increases.
  • Special entitlements to Space A air transportation.
  • Enlisted recipients are entitled to a supplemental uniform allowance.
  • Commissary and exchange privileges (includes eligible dependents).
  • Admission to the United States military academies for qualified children of recipients -- without nomination and quota requirements.
  • 10 percent increase in retired pay.
  • Medal of Honor Flag.
  • Allowed to wear the uniform at anytime as long as the standard restrictions are observed.
  • Many states offer Medal of Honor automobile license plates.
  • Interment at Arlington National Cemetery if not otherwise eligible.

Learn more about the Medal of Honor at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society website.

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