Medal of Honor Recipients

Our Military's first medal was the Badge for Military Merit, established by General George Washington during the American Revolution and presented only three times. During the American Civil War, the Medal of Honor was established and presented nearly 3,000 times before World War I. Other than the now obsolete Certificate of Merit and Marine Corps Brevet Medal, it was the only award available in the U.S. Military, and in the Navy and Marine Corps, it could only be presented to enlisted sailors and Marines.

At the time of the Civil War, the Medal of Honor was the only award available for recognizing a significant act of heroism while serving the United States military. In some cases, it was awarded frivolously. The Civil War ended in 1865. In 1917, a review was made of Medal of Honor awards with the revocation of 911 deemed to have been awarded without proper merit.

At the same time, to recognize deeds of lesser heroism than what was required for the Medal of Honor, as well as to recognize distinguished service and/or achievement that was laudable but not necessarily heroic, a series of "lesser awards" in descending orders of precedence was established in the Military Pyramid of Honor.  For more information see Medals and Awards.

Want more? Click here for more Interesting Facts about the United States Medal of Honor.


Recipients by Branch of Service

1 - US Coast Guard
5 - Foreign
8 - Civilian
17 - US Air Force
297 - US Marine Corps
746 - US Navy
2,404 - US Army

Recipients by Conflict

19 - Global War on Terror
261 - Vietnam War
146 - Korean War
473- World War II
132 - World War I
1,523 - Civil War
965 - Campaigns, Conflicts and Peace Time

Global War on Terror

Vietnam War

Korean War

World War II

World War I

Civil War

Campaigns, Conflicts and Peace Time