At any rate, since I just discovered this fact, I’ll pass along some more facts to you:
- The Congressional Medal of Honor was created on July 12th, 1862 during the Civil War. It is the highest award possible for military service in the Armed Forces of the United States.
- Nominations for the award are made either through the military chain of command, or by petitioning the Servicemember’s Congressman.
- The Medal has evolved in terms of awards. Overall, there have been 3458 persons awarded the Medal (some twice). Over time, the importance of this award has grown, and fully 627 recipients were presented this award posthumously.
- Since the Civil War, there have been somewhere around 40 million Americans who have answered the call to duty to defend our nation. The going rate on awardees to servicemembers is .008645%.
- Since World War II, 530 of 861 recipients (61.55%) have been posthumous awards.
- Although not required, military custom dictates that a Medal of Honor recipient is saluted by all ranks of all services regardless of the rank or status of the bearer of the Medal.
- There are only 81 living recipients of this award.
The interesting thing about these men is that not one of them – those that survived their experiences – considers himself a hero. I’ve had the privilege of meeting two of them, and they are normal guys who do normal things. To see them on the street, you would never know what role they had in preserving your freedom, and they would never bring it up.
Keep these rare assets of ours in mind today. They deserve your thought in spite of their humility.
Web site for the CMOHS: http://www.cmohs.org/
Army web site: http://www.history.army.mil/moh.html
Justification for the award: “Conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against any enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or 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.”