NOTE:  Home of Heroes does not have access to individual military personnel records and is unable to research stolen valor.  Agencies that need to verify valor award recipients should contact the appropriate Military Service. The Military Services provide priority support to law enforcement agencies to assist them in determining whether or not someone is a valor award recipient.  Employers, state or federal organizations can verify valor award recipients by requesting copies of the service member's discharge paperwork.  For further instructions, please visit https://valor.defense.gov/Contact-Us/

The Stolen Valor Act of 2013

The First Act

The successful passage in 2006 of the Stolen Valor Act was a long-needed step in protecting the integrity of our military awards, prohibiting and providing penalties for impersonating a decorated hero. That problem is severe and the Stolen Valor Act has already proven to be a highly effective tool to uncover fraud and phonies, but far worse is the fact that the real heroes, men and women who really did earn high awards like the silver star or highly-respected awards like the purple heart, have been forgotten.

The Supreme Court Ruling

However, the statute was struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States in United States v. Alvarez, where the Court ruled the arrest and prosecution of a citizen for wearing unearned military awards, who did so without criminal intent, violates his constitutional right to freedom of speech.

The Second Act

A revised version of the statute, the Stolen Valor Act of 2013, specifically amends federal criminal code relating to fraudulent claims about military service to subject to a fine, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both for an individual who, with intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit, fraudulently holds himself or herself out to be a recipient of:

  • Medal of Honor
  • Distinguished Service Cross
  • Navy Cross
  • Air Force Cross
  • Silver Star
  • Bronze Star
  • Purple Heart
  • Combat Action Ribbon
  • Combat Infantryman’s Badge
  • Combat Action Badge
  • Combat Medical Badge
  • Combat Action Medal
  • Any replacement or duplicate medal for such medal as authorized by law

How To Obtain Records

Records prior to WWI are in Washington, D.C.  Instructions for obtaining those records can be found at: www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/standard-form-180.

National Personnel Records Center

1 Archives Drive

St. Louis, Missouri 63138

www.archives.gov/personnel-records-center/military-personnel