The highest and most prestigious military decoration

Awarded by the President, in the name of Congress, the Medal of Honor commemorates those who have shaped our nation’s history and continue to inspire its future with their acts of valor, humanity, patriotism, and sacrifice. Of the 40 million Americans who have served in the Armed Forces since the Civil War, only 3,517 have earned the Medal of Honor

BESTOWED With Distinction

The only military decoration worn around the neck, the Medal of Honor has evolved since its founding in 1861. Today there are three variants, one for each military department. 

Department of Army Medal

Department of
the AIR Force


the NAVY


the ARMY

Note: The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Marine Corps are eligible to receive the Department of Navy recognition.


Recipients must distinguish themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity, risking a loss of life above and beyond the call of duty.

The act of valor must occur during one of three circumstances:

While engaged in action against an enemy of the United States
While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing force.
While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

PUBLIC LAW 88-77, JULY 25, 1963

Search for a
Medal of Honor Recipient

Our interactive database contains every Medal of Honor recipient since the award was first presented in 1863.
Use the search bar to filter and sort the database by the first name, last name, service branch, and conflict.


living Recipients

About the Medal of Honor

3,517 Recipients


Double Recipients


U.S. Army


U.S. Navy


U.S. Air Force


U.S. Marine Corps


U.S. Coast Guard

As of 11.2023

We do not go to war for gain or for territory; we go to war for principles, and we produce young men like these. I think I told every one of them that

I would rather have that medal than be president of the united states.


Read their stories

SHARE their legacy

Paul Smith

Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with an

Read Story >

Alwyn Cashe

…With flames enveloping the armored vehicle, Cashe, covered in fuel, went into the hull of the Bradley, and pulled out the driver, who was on fire. With other soldiers still inside the burning vehicle, Cashe rushed back to the wreck…

Read Story >

Robert Sweeney

…Just two years later, in 1883, Sweeney was again awarded the Medal of Honor, this time while serving on board the U.S.S. Jamestown at the Navy Yard New York, for rescuing a fellow shipmate who had fallen overboard…

Read Story >


The National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation is on a mission to inspire America through the influential stories, values, and valor of Medal of Honor recipients.


Arlington, Texas


Arlington, Texas


Washington, D.C.


Washington, D.C.

Griffin Institute

Global Reach

Griffin Institute

Global Reach

frequently asked questions

When can I visit the Museum in Arlington, Texas?

The National Medal of Honor Museum is projected to be open to the public in March of 2025. We invite you to follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!

How many living recipients are there today?

As of January 2024, there are 63 living recipients. Did you know you can write them each a letter during our annual Mail Call? 

Why are they called Recipients and not Winners?

While many awards are given to the winners of an event or competition, the Medal of Honor is a recognition bestowed to those who have sacrificed and served above and beyond the call of duty. The Medal of Honor is earned, not won—and recipients often bear a heavy burden as it symbolizes all who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice. 

Will the Museum share the stories of all recipients?

Yes! While the Exhibit Galleries will feature and rotate specific stories of each hero, guests will be able to find information on all 3,517 Medal of Honor recipients. Read some of their stories right here on our website.

Who is the youngest living recipient?

William “Kyle” Carpenter is the youngest Medal of Honor recipient, receiving the Medal at 24 years of age. Read his story here.

Are most Medals of Honor awarded posthumously?

While many have made the ultimate sacrifice and later been awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroism and life given, posthumous awards make up less than 20% of bestowed Medals.