The Medal of Honor

Officially called the Congressional Medal of Honor, it is the nation's highest military award for “uncommon valor” by men and women in the armed forces. It is given for actions that are above and beyond the call of duty in combat against an armed enemy. The first medal was awarded on March 25, 1863. More than 3,450 men have been awarded the medal, as well as one woman, Dr. Mary Walker, a surgeon in the Civil War. Recipients of the medal are awarded $400 per month for life, a right to burial at Arlington National Cemetery, admission for them or their children to a service academy (if they qualify and quotas permit), and free travel on government aircraft. In May 2011, there were 110 Medal of Honor recipients living.

Medal of Honor Recipients

  Total1 Army Navy Marines Coast Guard Air Force Civilian
Civil War 1,522 1,196 305 17 4
Noncombat, 1865–1870 13 1 12
Indian Wars (1861–1898) 426 422 4
Korea (1871) 15 9 6
Noncombat, 1871–1899 106 104 2
Spanish-American War 110 31 64 15
Samoa 4 1 3
Philippines 80 69 5 6
China 59 4 22 33
Noncombat, 1901–1910 49 1 46 2
Philippines (1911) 6 1 5
Mexican Campaign (1914) 56 1 46 9
Haiti (1915) 6 6
Noncombat, 1915–1916 8 8
Dominican Republic 3 3
World War I 124 95 21 8
Haiti (1919–1920) 2 2
Nicaragua (1927–1933) 2 2
Noncombat, 1920–1940 17 1 15 1
World War II 464 324 57 82 1
Korean War 136 87 7 42
Vietnam War 247 160 16 57 14
Somalia (1993) 2 2
War on Terror (Iraq, Afghanistan) 8 5 2 1
Unknown Soldiers 9 9
Total 3,466 2,404 745 297 1 14 8
1. These totals reflect the total number of Medals of Honor awarded through May 2, 2011. Nineteen men received a second award, and 5 of these double awardees received both the Army and Navy Medals of Honor for the same action.
Sources: The Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Web: www.cmohs.org and Home of Heroes. Web: www.homeofheroes.com/moh/history/history_statistics.html .

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Active Duty Servicewomen by Branch of Service and Rank, 2001 Military Personnel Service Academies

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