The Medal

The highest decoration in the nation


“I would much rather have that Medal around my neck than to be President of the United States. It is the greatest honor that can come to a man.”
— Harry S. Truman

The Medal

The highest decoration in the nation


“I would much rather have that Medal around my neck than to be President of the United States. It is the greatest honor that can come to a man.” — Harry S. Truman

It is known as the Pyramid of Honor: the hierarchy of military awards for gallantry, valor and heroism. The Purple Heart forms the base but at the very top is the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest medal for valor in combat. It is unique in every way; the only military medal that is worn around the neck. Its recipients are the only individuals whom the President and military of all ranks salute as a matter of custom.

The Medal of Honor is awarded by the President, in the name of Congress, to a member of the armed forces who is prominently distinguished by gallantry and intrepidity, risking loss of life above and beyond the call of duty.

3,515

Medals of honor Presented to Date

2,449

Medals Awarded to US Army Soldiers

748

Medals Awarded to Members of US Navy

299

Medals Awarded to US Marines

18

Medals Awarded to Members of US Air Force

1

Medal Awarded to US Coast Guard