Talk:Medal of Honor/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1 Archive 2

See also Talk:Congressional Medal of Honor. - Hephaestos 13:03 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Congressional Medal of Honor or Medal of Honor

popularly referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor

Is "Congressional Medal of Honor" too wrong to use here? It is the most common term for the Medal of Honor. --mav

what I'd like to know is...what does the Congress have to do with this medal? Vera Cruz

That's what I thought. Never mind then. --mav
"Congressional Medal of Honor" is better. That's what it's known as around the world. Oterwise it would need to be "Medal of Honor (United States)" or something else ugly like that. I almost didn't look at the article because I thought it would be about the movie. Tannin
There was a movie by this name? I thought it was Men of Honor. --mav
And a computer game. (I think) Tannin

I think we should at least wait until we have a medal of honor from another country before worrying about it-and if we get that and it has to be Medal of Honor (Ethiopia) then what is wrong with Medal of Honor (United States)?Vera Cruz

"Medal of honor" could easily be mistaken for the generic term, or the game or the movie. WTF - it's not that important. Tannin

It is most definitely Congressional Medal of Honor, so named because the medal was authorized by Congress. -- Zoe

This should be moved back to Congressional Medal of Honor. Pizza Puzzle 13:40 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

No it should stay at this its proper title. Rmhermen 14:04 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

There are non-Usian medals of honor. Pizza Puzzle

Two years ago we started asking people to add any non-US medals of honor - no one ever found any. Please give us some examples. Rmhermen 15:00 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)
People started calling it "Congressional" because Congress has to approve the awards specially, unlike others which need only be approved by SecDef or lower. Let's leave it at its most correct name until somebody can come up with others - after all we put the city in France at just Paris because 99.9% of refs are going to be to the French one. (Just started Googling, I see an obscure IEEE Medal of Honor, time for the disambig page!) Stan 16:17 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Stan, do you have a ref for that? The Congressional Medal of Honor Society web site says (at "9 JUL 1918"; shouting sic in orig)
The Medal of Honor was born in 1862, but it was the act of 9 July 1918 that defined the future of the award, while further eliminated the Certificate of Merit while establishing the new "Pyramid of Honor" providing for lesser awards (The Distinguished Service Cross, The Distinguished Service Medal, and the Silver Star). A key difference between the levels of awards was spelled out, "That the President is authorized to present, in the name of the Congress, a medal of honor only to each person who, while an officer or enlisted man of the Army, shall hereafter, in action involving actual conflict with an enemy, distinguish himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty." The lesser awards were authorized for presentation by the President, "BUT NOT IN THE NAME OF CONGRESS."
IMO, that doesn't rule absolutely out your version, so i'd like to know before replacing the language that inlcudes "erroneous" with
While legally its name is simply "Medal of Honor", it is usually referred to as "the Congressional Medal of Honor", emphasizing its role as not only the highest US military honor, but also the only one awarded in the name of Congress.
Note that wording suggests by example the markup for WP usage; hope that's not excessively clever.
--Jerzy 19:11, 2004 Jan 5 (UTC)
Interesting - I read the "act of congress" bit somewhere many many years ago, and assumed it was true, but the online sources don't seem to support that, and I think I trust them better than my memory. :-) Any act of Congress would have to appear in the Congressional Record I think, so absence of MoH actions would be a big hint. Stan 20:36, 5 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Is the following accurate for this & US medals in general?: "by the President, in the role of Commander in Chief, based on recommendations passed up though the chain of command" --Jerzy 19:11, 2004 Jan 5 (UTC)


I am an employee at the National Personnel Records Center and can state that every offical instruction we have, from the military service departments, refers to this decoration as the "Medal of Honor". Also, citations from actual service records (of which I have seen several), simply state that the award is for the "Medal of Honor". I have never seen the word "Congressional" used.

Followup to previous note: Would recommend taking the word Congressional out of the description. The Institute of Heraldry offically lists the decoration simply as "Medal of Honor". Here is the link. I dont know if it will work on all computers, as it is a government website.

A theory about the Congressional name: Charles Lindbergh seems to be one of the few, perhaps only, awardee who received it through a special Congressional resolution, presumably because he was not in action against a foreign power. Of course, his award might also be the most publicized. Perhaps this led to the widespread notion that it takes an act of Congress for it to be awarded. Ydorb 20:59, Jul 12, 2004 (UTC)
"Congressional" is a mistake. It's awarded "in Congress"; the correct name is MoH. And Lindy isn't the only non-wartime award; more awards were actually given for non-war conditions (another common misconception--which I used to share...).
On a separate point, during WW2, 7 black GIs were valorous enough to earn the Medal, but were denied in racist conditions. This was corrected 13 Jan 1997 with 6 posthumous awards (Maj Charles Thomas, 1st Lt John Fox, S/Sgt Edward Carter & Ruben Ravers, PFC Willy James, Jr, & Pvt George Watson) & 1 survivor award (2d Lt Vernon Baker). Trekphiler 13:20, 18 December 2005 (UTC)
I think we can hopefully agree that the OFFICIAL title of the medal is "Medal of Honor" (NOT "Honour" - that would be the [British] English spelling of the word). That is as per Title 10, United States Code, Section 3741 (10 USC 3741) as established by Joint Resolution of Congress on 12JUL1862 (and amended by acts on 9JUL1918 and 25JUL1963). Also, the Medal of Honor (abbreviated MoH) is "usually presented to living awardees by the President of the United States at the White House. Posthumous presentation to the next of kin is normally made in Washington, DC, by the President or his personal representative." The Medal of Honor "is awarded in the name of the Congress of the United States" and for this reason, it is sometimes called the "Congressional Medal of Honor". This comes directly from the US Army Center of Military History. It isn't only given out in wartime (as is stated a common misperception) - it is awarded with the key words of "gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of... life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party." So please, let's STOP arguing or debating about something that is clear, in black and white. Thank you. Rarelibra 23:29, 2 January 2006
Another possible source of the confusion surrounding the name is that in adopting special legislation awarding the Medal of Honor to the unknown fallen soldiers of our allies after World War One, Congress itself referred to it as the "Congressional Medal of Honor". see

It is, as noted, the "Medal of Honor." However, I take exception to the negative wording an anonoymous user keeps adding to the article's very first sentence:

The Medal of Honor, sometimes incorrectly referred to as...

That's really no way to begin an article. Simply deleting the word "incorrectly" works well, though. If someone wants to add a later paragraph explaining the popular misconception (as per above), that would be great, but I really don' think it's appropriate to rub it into reader's noses in the very first sentence. It starts the whole article off with an unwarrented negative tone. Rklawton 22:12, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Follow-up: I see that someone has already done a nice job of it as per my ideas (I should have read the rest of the article first). At any rate, I would like to encourage editors to look out for the redundant and negative wording in the first sentence at the start of the article should the anonymous editor change it back. Rklawton 22:19, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Hmm. Check out the re-typed citation for Pappy Boyington. It reads "Congressional Medal of Honor." That's interesting. Is the article wrong, has the citation since changed, or is that how all citations read? Rklawton 03:45, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

I'll start a list of articles with the same issue:

Here's a great example of a WWII MoH citation. Note that this is an image of the original citation, so it really couldn't be an error: Charles Andrew MacGillivary. Note that it does not read "Congressional Medal of Honor" (as stated in the four examples above). It reads:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to...

However, I'd like to know exactly what the original citations read for the four examples provided. I suspect the reproduced citations are in error, but I'd like to be certain first.

Also, there's a bunch of articles that use the incorrect version of the medal's name. Should we go forth and politely correct these? I've corrected a few to see if it generates any buzz. Rklawton 04:15, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

  • It seems that there are "misprints" and "typos" in many documents available on the internet. From what I have found, the text after the word "CITATION" is consistent. But, the preface, seems to have some discrepancies. I agree the "correct" name should be used, but before making wholesale changes, you might want to see what is published for the particular recipient. The text of the citations may vary. Much of the confusion arises from the connection with Congress. The "Congressional Medal of Honor Society" (website), whose members are Medal of Honor recipients, is probably one of the best places to get information. The members would know exactly how the citations read. —ERcheck (talk) @ 04:38, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
    • Note, in the case of John Basilone and Joe Foss, the references in their articles for their Medal of Honor citation are to a USMC website. Those pages do use the terminology "CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR". That may be the way their citations actually read, or a transcription error. —ERcheck (talk) @ 04:45, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

That's the part I'm curious about. Is this how their citations read, or is it a transcription error? Rklawton 15:16, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Children of Medal of Honor winners

I believe that one perk for Medal of Honor winners is that their children get automatically admitted to the Military Academies if they so desire. If no one objects, I will place that note into the article before it shows up in Selected Anniversaries. Ancheta Wis 01:23, 5 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Admission to the service academies requires two parts, being qualified and being nominated. Nomination can come through several routes, one of which is being a child of a Medal of Honor winner. See [1]. Ydorb 19:22, Jul 12, 2004 (UTC)
That is true, it's a nomination source, not automatic admission. Rlevse 15:05, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Children (or spouse) of MoH recipients (not "winners", this ain't a gameshow folks) get a full ride to college (same with Purple Heart & Silver Star). Rklawton 15:06, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Saluting MOH recipients

I understand that MOH recipients are not required to initiate salutes to senior military members unless they are also MOH recipients. They will, of course, return any salute rendered to them. Is this true? If so I think it should be included in the "Perks" section. (21 DEC 2005)

This is most certainly UNTRUE. When a recipient of the MoH is wearing the medal correctly in dress uniform, it is appropriate that members of the Armed Forces render a salute in honor to the recipient. It does not, in any way, supercede military regulation regarding the proper rendering of a salute for officers and warrant officers of the United States and its allies/friendly forces. But recipients must still render a salute to officers and warrant officers senior to his/her present rank. Rarelibra 23:34 2Jan2006
This is how I've seen this: If the recipient is wearing his MOH OR the senior knows he's a MOH recipient, he's supposed to salute the recipient. Rlevse 15:10, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
This is mentioned in the "Authorities and Privileges" section. It currently reads, By tradition, all other soldiers, sailors, and airmen, even higher-ranking officers, initiate the salute. Is this incorrect? Ydorb 18:42, 8 February 2006 (UTC)
According to official regulatory sources, the Medal of Honor confers privileges both by tradition and by law. By law, their name is entered on the Medal of Honor Roll (and receive a pension of $1,027 per month - which is also subject to COLA), they receive a supplemental uniform allowance, special entitlements to air transportation (MAC flights), special ID cards - as well as commissary and exchange privileges, children are eligible for admisison to the US military academies without regard to quota requirements, they get a 10% increase in retired pay under US Code title 10 section 3991 (subject to a 75% limit on total retired pay), and they receive a Medal of Honor flag as well.
However, according to Army Field Manual FM 22-5 (Drill and Ceremonies), "It is a widely-believed myth that in the United States military all personnel are required to initiate a salute to a Medal of Honor recipient, regardless of rank. NOTHING in United States military regulations relates specifically to the Medal of Honor except for its order of precedence on the uniform. Custom, however, does dictate that a general should salute a private if the private has the Medal of Honor." This means that the salute is initiated by the higher-ranking official IF and ONLY IF that individual is WEARING the medal on an official uniform. Rules of protocol still dictate for lower-ranking individuals to initiate a salute in normal, everyday situations - regardless of awards or merit. Does this not clarify things entirely?! Rarelibra 12:14 27FEB06 (UTC)

Army Medal of Honor, Navy Medal of Honor, etc

I believe the authorization for the award by joint resolution of Congress, July 12, 1862 was only for the Army Medal of Honor. The Navy Medal of Honor originated some years later. This should probably be clarified by someone. I'll do it when I get around to it. Ydorb 19:22, Jul 12, 2004 (UTC)

I'm also going to be doing a massive change in the pictures on this artcile to show all three versions of the Medal of Honor as well as pictures of the original medals which look quite different from the ones we have today. User:Husnock 12 Jul 2004

Congrats to us all!

Just wanted to give a big congratulations to the people who have adding to and editing this article the past couple of days. It is really starting to look sharp User:Husnock 14 Jul 04

Husnock, great new images! But, you should label the image page with the appropriate copyright notices (See Wikipedia:Image copyright tags), otherwise the image could get deleted in the future by some copyright paranoid people. Meelar/Rmherman, thanks for catching and fixing my Byrd error. Ydorb 20:50, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)
Will do from now on. Ive never had an image deleted on me. Most of the pictures I use, for my medals and badge page, are on the database at the National Personnel Records Center and are free to the public. I guess that would be Public Domain? User:Husnock 14 Jul 2004
You can do that with the {{PD}} tag or with the specific U.S. government tag {{{{PD-USGov}} Rmhermen 22:08, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)

MOH and Iraq


Altrough hundred of thousands of troops have been engaged in Iraq for more than a year, I don't see any Medal of Honor for the Iraq War. Is this article unupdated ?

Thank you

No, there just have been no Medals of Honor awarded since Somalia. Not in the Gulf War, Kosovo, Afghanistan, or Iraq. I find it odd myself.

Rmhermen 00:46, Jul 23, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks. And did any silver star or bronze star has been awarded since Vietnam ? (I'm sorry, I'm not an English speaker)

Silver and bronze stars are lesser medals. They have been awarded frequently, even some in Iraq this last year. Rmhermen 01:13, Jul 23, 2004 (UTC)

I found here ( ) that a soldier (from 3rd infantry division) is on the way to be awarded the MoH for its job in Iraq. The soldier name is Paul R. Smith, he was killed in action on april 4, 2004. Other source :

I started an article for him in anticipation of this, see Paul Ray Smith. Ydorb 00:11, Feb 24, 2005 (UTC)

Peer Review

I submitted this to WP:PR. This is the first step to featured article status. There was one comment:

How many women? Blacks? Hispanics? Breakdown by branch of service? Also, where is the Unknown soldier's medal kept?

I cannot figure out where the Unknown soldier's medal is kept. Please help. I also don't know if there are racial breakdown statistics. I will write something about the racial discrimination in MOH awards and reviews that have been done to rectify it, unless someone beats me to it. Ydorb 18:55, Oct 8, 2004 (UTC)

I do not know where the Unknown Soldier's Medal is kept either, however, the Congressonal Medal of Honor Society has a list about how many Blacks, Hispanics, services, etc. Zscout370 01:26, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The Unknown Soldier's Medals of Honor are kept with the interment flags of all Unknowns at the Tomb of the Unknowns on view in the Memorial Display Room. Rarelibra 23:45 2JAN2006

Medal of Honor flag

Future MOH winners will also recieve a MOH flag. There is an open competition for the design of the MOH flag. The competition ends October 22, 2004. See the Federal Register: September 7, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 172)] [Page 54134-54135] Ydorb 18:55, Oct 8, 2004 (UTC)

As of 2005 the Medal of Honor flag was presented to the family of Sgt. Paul Smith. In summer 2006 many previous next of kin are receiving the flag. I know the widow of a WW II Marine Corps recipient who is attending a ceremony in DC this month. Future recipients (there are no "winners") or their families--if a posthumous award--will receive the flag at time of the medal presentation. B Tillman Aug. 2 '06.

Smith's family was the first to be presented this flag, but we will add that note in soon. Thanks! User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:10, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
It's already in the article: "The first Medal of Honor recipient to receive the official flag was Paul R. Smith...." Rlevse 02:14, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Seven Medals of Honor stolen from Yorktown museum

Have the seven Medals of Honor reported stolen on 30 June 2004 from the Yorktown aircraft carrier's Medal of Honor museum at Patriots Point been found?

I saw a report that the medals were stolen sometime between 7:30 pm Sunday 27 June 2004 and 7:30 am Monday 28 June 2004. The museum door was not secured and it was unclear why the door was left unlocked.

The report said the cover of the display case in the museum was a tacked-down glass lid. Whoever stole the medals managed to jar the lid, breaking off a triangular piece of glass. After that, the thief could reach inside easily and steal the medals.

--Anthonys 05:55, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Marine Corps Medal of Honor

I feel it neccesary to clarify a reversion in that we should keep the info about the Marines recieving the Navy medal in this article. As a military historian, I have run across several instances where a website, publication, or some person has referred to the Marine Corps Medal of Honor. There is [no] such animal, but a great number of people believe that there is. This article should make that clear.

The recent reversion also was necessary in that, by remvoing the header title, it tied the USCG MOH data right into a section dealing with fradulent MOH display and criminal charges. it should be separated to avoid confusion.

Hope it doesnt start an edit war, but the USMC data should stay -Husnock 22 Nov 04

There is no "Marine Corps Medal of Honor" - it is a component of the United States Navy and is, thus, awarded the "Medal of Honor - Navy". Members of the US Coast Guard, while actually a component of the Department of Transportation (or Department of Homeland Security), are also awarded the "Medal of Honor - Navy". Rarelibra 23:45 2JAN2006
The U.S. Marine Corps reports to the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), head of the Department of the Navy. However, they are not part of the U.S. Navy, but rather a distinct branch of the military. It is true that they are awarded the Navy varient of the MoH, but to refer to the USMC as a "component of the Navy" is incorrect. 18:34, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
The confusion is understandable, but thanks for the correction. Rklawton 19:28, 12 June 2006 (UTC)


This should be moved to Wikiquote. I'll do so once I figure out how. Ydorb 02:05, Nov 24, 2004 (UTC)

"The Medal of Honor is a small, five-pointed star that hangs from a blue ribbon, but it comes at such a terrible price that it is an unquestioned tribute to the bravery of anyone who wears it." Robert Rawlings, The Pueblo Chieftain. Pueblo, Colorado is the site of a National Medal of Honor Memorial. Until recently, Pueblo was unique as the residence of four recipients of the medal.

Vietnam unknown soldier

I removed this becuase the medal was revoked when the identity of the unknown soldier was confirmed. Husnock, I'll leave this alone until tomorrow to avoid edit conflicts. The Featured Article Nomination has raised some good issues that we should address. Please do as much as you can. Ydorb 01:07, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)

Where is your source for the Unknown Medal for Vietnam being 'revoked'? The only thing that happened, basing on the exhuming of the remains of the Vietnam Unknown, was that the crypt containing the remains now remains vacant. It says nothing about revoking the medal. Rarelibra 23:45 2JAN2006

MOH Imposters

I feel this article should not serve as a list of Medal of Honor imposters. There are several websites that already do that (putting the links in might be a good idea) 1. I say that since naming people could draw fire as we might not know all the facts and it is also might even be against Wiki policy. Also, if such a list were to be placed on Wilk, it would have to be complete and updated regularly or someone could say it was unfair in that it did not list all those who were MOH imposters.

All in all, this article is about the Medal of Honor and putting up a negative list of people sounds like a very bad idea. Lets stay away from that. Husnock 24 Nov 04

Pension benefit update

I updated this prior to creating an account, I apologize. The pension amount was taken from the VA's current Special Benefits Allowances page. Since the prior amount was way off I decided to update. I hope I did it right. Out180 05:41, 25 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Disambig Possibilities

Since there are a large number of people who want the computer game disambig notice in the article, I thought I would put on the table the question of possibly making the whole article into a disambig. It could say something like “A Medal of Honor is a high decoration which may be bestowed for extraordinary feats, extreme bravery…” etc, etc. Looking at the article we have at least five different meanings, those being the main medal, the computer game, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, and the Cardenas Medal of Honor. Not saying I am going to go out and make the disambig page, just thought I would bring it up. Husnock 29Nov04

The Congressional Gold Medal of Honor is completely different from the Medal of Honor. Rarelibra 23:45 2JAN2006

Fixing duplicated recipient lists

While adding the category for "Military Decorations" (because I was there and I was shocked that the MOH wasn't called out there as well as in "Awards and decorations of the U.S. military" and I think it does deserve special treatment, as do those who have earned it) I discovered that there are both a category page and a list page on wikipedia for recipients. I'm going to merge them as a category so the individuals' articles can be categorized thusly, and make the list name a redirect to the category so it can be used in "See also" sections (the MOH page itself had been given a category link, which is wrong, because the MOH is not a recipient of itself). It's going to take a bit of time as I'm doing this in bits between tasks at work, and because wikipedia is rather unstable today anyway, so please nobody go all Audie Murphy and revert the list/category links here for a while. Blair P. Houghton 20:21, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

No, please don't do this. Lists serve there own purpose allowing extra detail, organization and unwritten articles that cannot be added to a mere category. And the Medal of Honor should certainly be included as the head of the category. People can still be added to a category even if they are on a list; there is no conflict. Rmhermen 21:28, Jan 14, 2005 (UTC)
I see the point of having addional notes in the list, but the list is an incomplete set of the category entries, so it's not really a "list of (all) MOH recipients," which is kind of implied by its existence. And the information in the list is available at the recipient's page. Maybe it should be moved to "list of well-known MOH recipients" or "list of notable MOH recipients", though I can hardly think of a qualifier that is sufficient to distinguish those in the list from those in the category, because MOH recipients are ipso facto well-known and notable. Having two entities with semantically interchangeable identifiers that serve different purposes just seems untidy and confusing. And there are ways to make the MOH article link to the MOH-recipients category without putting the MOH itself in that category; that's just categorically wrong. Ahem.... So I'd vote we move the existing "list of" to a more descriptive name, and make "List of MOH Recipients" redirect to the category. I haven't touched it yet (work got hairy), so I'm open to suggestions. Blair P. Houghton 21:54, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Alrighty then. The only change to this page proper is that I've removed the category link to the recipients-category page; the medal isn't a recipient. The link to the list-of-recipients page remains. I changed the list-of-recipients page to say a little better that it's a subset and where to find the more extensive set at the recipients-category page. I canged the category page to xref to the list page so people know it's there, too. I think the topology and semantics are cleaner this way. The whole exercise does point up a problem with Wikipedia categories, though: you can't embed one as a link in the text without doing something ugly like making it an external link (e.g., Category:Medal of Honor recipients) complete with the crufty little external-link iconoid. At least, not any way I could find (I bet a little html in the link spec would let me make that icon 0x0 in size...). Blair P. Houghton 23:58, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Aha! Finally found the wiki markup language reference page (it's not obvious from the help structure of wikipedia, or I'm not seeing the wood moths for the trees). The clue is the leading colon on the link spec. Category:Medal of Honor recipients - neat, sweet, petite. Blair P. Houghton 00:06, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Just for the record, I've been working to keep the category and the list in sync. --Carnildo 03:20, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)


I made a minor edit, but forgot to list what it was. For the record, I changed "Unknowns" (which links to a disambig about unknown quantities in math, but has nothing about Unknown Soldiers to "Unknown Soldier") --Jpbrenna 02:57, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Stanton or Stimson?

The second paragraph of "Evolution of awarding criteria" says, "During the Civil War, Secretary of War Stanton was in a bind for troops. He promised a Medal of Honor to every man in the 27th Regiment, Maine Infantry who extended his enlistment beyond the agreed upon date. Many stayed an extra four days and then were discharged. Due to confusion, Stimson awarded a Medal of Honor to every man in the regiment, in all 864 different members."

Which is it, Stanton or Stimson? Fixed - Stanton. Stimson wasn't born until two years after the war. Rmhermen 01:46, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)

MoH Rosette

Moh rosette.gif

Here is an image I uploaded of the rosette. Enjoy. Zscout370 02:24, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Repeating Text

I notice there is some repeated and out of date text. The out to date text refers to the fact that the last action to have soliders awarded the MoH was in in Somalia, but we list on our page a solider will be awarded one (posthumously) in the next few weeks. Zscout370 04:38, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • I cleaned up some of the repeated text in the 'appearances' section which also appeared in the section above it. -Zonath 07:03, Apr 2, 2005 (UTC)

Lack of clarity: Medals rescinded

"The commission, led by Nelson Miles, recommended that the Army rescind 911 medals."

While implied latter it is not explicitly stated whether the medal where rescinded or not. Rrreese 22:18, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • If they were, then I heard somewhere President Bill Clinton restored them. I need to find some data to back it up. Zscout370 22:45, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Very disappointing

I lost a little bit of respect for Wikipedia when the news that Paul Smith got the MOH, in a national ceremony at the White House, was dismissed without comment on the "In the News" suggestions. I could see why some might think its only news in America, but how interesting that when the Victoria Cross was last awarded, up there it was on the News page. I wonder if our admins are mostly from Canada and England...In any event, nothing more to say about it and the decesion is respected. Dont mean to sound bitter, just voicing an opinion. -Husnock 17:48, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • I think that Wikinews picked the MoH story up, but the main page was overshadowed with the loss of the Pope, the Kyrgz Revolution, Prince Renier's health. However, I think they chose us as the Featured Article for that one day due to the MoH being awarded to Paul Smith. Zscout370 17:51, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Bad arithmetic somehow

Quoting the article: "3,460 medals have been awarded to 3,409 different people. Nineteen men received a second award". That only adds to 3428 medals: there is a discrepancy. I myself wouldn't know where to begin solving it, unfortunately. Bill 11:18, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

There are also the nine medals awarded to various Unknown Soldiers, which gives 3437 medals, but yes, there are a few unaccounted for. --Carnildo 18:03, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
The statistics are from the US Army Center for Military History [3], if anyone wants to try to clarify. Ydorb 18:06, May 31, 2005 (UTC)
I see that MOH stats page [4] contradicts itself, saying both that " The total number of Medal of Honor recipients is 3,408" and then two lines later, "Total number of Medal of Honor recipients: 3,440" Ydorb 18:10, May 31, 2005 (UTC)
Probably the first number is the number of people who got it, and the second number is how many were awarded. Zscout370 (Sound Off) 18:59, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

All discrepancies have been cleaned up and updated.--Buckboard 07:23, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Featured Picture Candidate

Hey yall: I posted the Medal of Honor flag image at WP:FPC. The actual page is at Wikipedia:Featured_picture_candidates/Image:Medal_of_Honor_flag.png. Let's see how this works out. Zscout370 (Sound Off) 01:06, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Please expand the lead, one sentence is not enough, especially for a FA. Basically, this article has no lead and thus is in FARC danger.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:39, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Ok, I expanded it a bit. I know it is still pretty short, but at least it got the ball rolling. Zscout370 (Sound Off) 23:45, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Tnx - it is much better now. One more technical note - external links should be removed from main body, preferably moved to notes/references and linked with Wikipedia:Footnotes. Btw, you may want to take a look at Wikipedia:Peer review/Virtuti Militari/archive1 - it's an article quite similar to MoH. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:34, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Canadians MOH

I saw the recent additions about Canadians getting the Medal of the Honor. It would probbaly be a good idea to clearly state that the Canadians were serving in the U.S. armed forces and wer not members of the Canadian military that earned the U.S. Medal of Honor as a foriegn decoration. The Medal of Honor has rarely been awarded to personnel of foreign militaries. -Husnock 7 July 2005 16:39 (UTC)

I was primarialy looking for a source about the Canadian MoH awardees, but I was provided one by the person who added the statement. Zscout370 (Sound Off) 7 July 2005 17:34 (UTC)

Medal Creep?

Don't know if it's worth including, but I wonder if some "undeserving" awards should be. Early in WW2, some officers (notoriously MacArthur, but also some Navy sub COs) got the Medal (or Navy Cross) just for surviving, without apparent (to me, at least) conspicuous heroism. Others, who deserved it (Mush Morton, notably) didn't get it. Comment? Trekphiler 13:55, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Coast Guard medals

I've noticed that the article text says that the Coast Guard medal has never been awarded, but the stats say that one Coast Guard medal has been awarded. An inconsistency? Algebra 04:35, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

One Coast Guardsman, Douglas A. Munro, has been awarded the Navy version of the MoH.
—wwoods 05:58, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

Tiffany Cross

I have noticed that a lot of online sources refer to the "Tiffany Cross" as a non-combat or peacetime award, but actually it was the version that was instituted for World War I combat acts. In fact, it has the inscription "1917-1918" on the obverse. The Naval Historical Center website has photos of both versions, including a star-shaped medal that was awarded during WW1 but for a non-combat act. J.T. Broderick 02:27, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Mary Walker

I see PHdrillsergeant removed "only" and changed it to "first" in reference to Mary Walker's MOH, and stated that she was not the only recipient. As far as I know, she is the only woman to have received the MOH. Where are you getting information that there have been others? I can find no references showing another recipient, other than the move Courage Under Fire, which is a work of fiction. Nobunaga24 01:27, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

She is both the first and the only. Only, of course, is more specific. No other woman has received the MoH. On the other hand, several women have received the space MoH, but that's an entirely different award. Rklawton 15:20, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Medal of Honor, name of

This whole "incorrect" business is troublesome. It sounds like a drill instructor instructing a recruit. It is true that the medal is designated "Medal of Honor." It is also true that it is referred to by many as the "Congressional Medal of Honor." The Army recognizes this in its description of the award (see reference in article). I strongly agree with the edit that corrected the name in bold. But I disagree with this "incorrectly" business. The fact the name is stated clearly in the title and the start of the article should indicate that that is what it is called and that any other name is not the correct name. Stating that other names are incorrect is actually redundant. However, it is important to point out that the medal is known by another name (or names). I changed the wording away from using "incorrect" to a version that paraphrases rather closely the Army's own wording. I think the Army's explanation is much more sensitively worded. Rklawton 16:16, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Congress can't award the Medal of Honor?

This article contains two condradictory statements reguarding the power to award the Medal of Honor. On the one hand, under the heading "Awarding the Medal," the following statement is made:

"There are two distinct means of being approved for the Medal of Honor. The first and most common is nomination by a service member in the chain of command followed by approval at each level of command. The other method is nomination by a member of Congress (generally at the request of a constituent) and approval by a special act of Congress."

Then, below that, the following statement is made:

"The Medal of Honor can be awarded only through the military chain of command through the President, as Commander in Chief. Congress may not award the Medal of Honor without the prior recommendation of the President of the United States."

The latter statement contradicts the former, which means that at least one of the two must be incorrect and should be changed or deleted.

The President's authority to award the Medal of Honor comes from 10 U.S.C. §§ 3741 (Army), 6241 (Navy/Marines), and 8741 (Air Force). All three of these statutes read as follows (the only difference between them being the names of the service refered to):

The President may award, and present in the name of Congress, a medal of honor of appropriate design, with ribbons and appurtenances, to a person who, while a member of the [Army / naval service / Air Force], distinguishes himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty— (1) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; (2) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or (3) 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.

The above seems to authorize the president to excersize discretion in terms of who to award the Medal of Honor to. Thus, the scenario of the President recommending a recipent to Congress seems unlikely, since under the above statute (which has been in force since 1921), the President can award the Medal of Honor without Congressional approval.

As to whether Congress can award a medal of honor via a special act of congress, it seems that the only thing that could limit Congress's authority to do that would be the U.S. Constitution. Certainly, a pretty strong argument could be made that awarding medals to individual service members is "necessary and proper" (U.S. Const Art I § 8 cl. 18) to carry into effect Congress's power to "Raise and Support Armys" (U.S. Const Art I § 8 cl. 12) and "provide and maintain a Navy" (U.S. Const Art I § 8 cl. 13). Then again, another argument could be made that if Congress were to take it upon itself to award individual medals over the President's objection, it might interfere with the President's powers as Commander-in-Chief (U.S. Const Art II § 2 Cl 1). Is anyone aware of whether this issue has been litigated?

In any event, in a particular section of U.S. Army's website, I found a list of Medals of Honor that were awarded persuant to special acts of Congress. So, it would seem that Congress has awarded individual medals. Whether that is a proper exercise of Congressional power is another issue entirely.

Comments? --Wsmith76 22:05, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Let's not forget that the President is at the top of the chain of command. If the recommendation goes through the chain of command, then it must therefore go through him/her. Rklawton 22:15, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that would necessarily stop Congress from awarding the Medal of Honor to someone on its own initiative (i.e. without a Presidential reccomendation). Congress is not part of the "chain of command," and if it has the power to award Medals of Honor by special legislation, then it would not be required wait for a reccomendation to come up the "chain of command" before doing do.--Wsmith76 16:22, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
On that Army page, the only named recipient is Billy Mitchell, and Congress actually seems to have awarded him the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor,[5] which is a different thing. Obviously there is no chain of command to recommend any of the Unknown Soldiers.
—wwoods 22:09, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
The Congressional Gold Medal (not necessarily military) a different award from the Medal of Honor (military decoration). —ERcheck (talk) @ 03:54, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Should this still be featured?

I have two problems with the current state of the article:

  • It has become aimless and unfocused; much of the writing is redundant. I've attempted to restructure the article to group together related new sections (since being Featured), but the content still has to be addressed.
  • Entire sections do not cite sources, unless one extrapolates from the external links at the end, which aren't listed as references. Where citations do exist, they appear in inconsistent formats.

Are these problems easily fixable, or should the article just be demoted? Melchoir 10:50, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

I think the article is still in very good shape. With regard to the reference issue, this could be fixed without problem if the references and info is easily accessible. As for your first point, about lost focus, you probably need to elaborate more on specific problems. I don't think an FARC vote is required just yet, and maybe just work to solve what I hope are minor problems in an otherwise very informative article. Harro5 11:18, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
To start with, "Appearance" is a string of stub paragraphs. Actually, the final paragraph of the introduction itself is a single sentence! "Appearance" and "Awarding the medal" are both redundant with their first subsections. The authority bit of "Authority and privileges" belongs in "History", which, come to think of it, I'll rename "Origin", since that's all it is. "Awarding the medal" and "Recipients" repeat the same statistics several times. The layout of "Recipients" is just broken. And... I don't know, reading through the article gives the impression that it was assembled by mob. Paragraph breaks occur at random, and in places most of the paragraphs start with "The", making the article more a listing of discrete facts than a work of brilliant prose. Melchoir 11:59, 15 May 2006 (UTC)


Does anyone have details of the number of other non-Americans who received the award ? -- Beardo 20:54, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Bulk upload?

I note that all the citation listings for the recipients are available online from the Army's website. Since this is an US Govt site, it should be free to use. Has anyone given thought to downloading the lot, wrapping a template around them, and inserting them in Wikipedia? Pros/cons? --Alvestrand 19:33, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Wouldn't give a very good-looking result. Most of the MoH citations are just bare-bones information -- not really enough to make for biographical articles, and not formatted consistently enough to stick in List of Medal of Honor recipients. --Carnildo 21:34, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Don't consider appearances. They can be fixed by software or human editing. I think the first question at hand is where should we put this information? There's just under 3,000 records. Should we create a generic MoH bio template and stuff the data in there (for those who don't already have articles)? I'm favoring this approach. If that's all the data we have for them, then we can tag it as a bio-stub. Some will remain stubs, but most will not. Rklawton 21:40, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Some of it's rather spectacularly bad. Picking a random Civil War MoH entry:
Rank and organization: Wagoner, Company G, 8th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Chiricahva Mountains, Ariz., 20 October 1863. Entered service at:------. Birth: Dover, Del. Date of issue: 14 February 1870. Citation: Gallantry in action.
--Carnildo 22:22, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

That's a very good example of probably a thousand or so of the entries. The medal has undergone one revision (and thousands of awards were withdrawn), but clearly the standards differ from today's. Have any military historians drawn a line that we might adopt? Rklawton 02:58, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

The standard clearly changed with the beginning of World War II. Many, but not all, pre-WWII MOHs would not hold up today. Ydorb 03:11, 7 June 2006 (UTC)


in the beginning of the article it says the award has been given 3460 times. later in the article it says 3459 times. somebody should clear this up.

The number changes frequently, especially since the statutory requirements of 3-5 years after the act are so easily avoided by waivers. The process is hopelessly political.

There doesn't appear to be any such law. In fact, the last one awarded was presented on the 2nd anniversary of the action. The [page on the process] mention a 2 year maximum limit for the military to start action after which it has to be started by a Congressman but no mention of a 3-5 wait before awarding a medal. Also the awards are rare and the total does not change particularly frequently. Rmhermen 01:12, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

The numbers have been reconciled and footnoted. 3442 recipients+19 double awards=3,461. Includes the latest recipient Ted Rubin.--Buckboard 07:25, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

"Medal of Honor Run"

The Military Channel/Discovery documentary Delta Company: A New Era in Baghdad mentions this bit of slang in reference to a Mine clearing charge which failed to detonate, necessitating a suicide run to properly fuze the device under fire. Where would be an appropriate place to mention this? —Nahum Reduta 11:36, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

A thank you

To everyone who has answered the call to arms and worked on this article's featured article review. In my eyes it is already measureably better than before, particularly in sourcing and checking of sources. Still some items to go but thanks anyway, including to Melchoir for coordinating the effort and "seeing the big picture". --Buckboard 00:17, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, I was going to wait to celebrate, but... no no, thanks to you and especially to Rlevse for doing all the real work!
For the record, comments that might otherwise have appeared at this point of the talk page in the last few days can be found at Wikipedia:Featured article review/Medal of Honor. Melchoir 01:23, 25 July 2006 (UTC)
I'd say group hug, but I'm not a touchy-feely sort of guy-;) Rlevse 20:31, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
I add my thanks to those who works so diligently to improve the article and retain its FA status. Kudos!! — ERcheck (talk) 21:27, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Seconded! Kirill Lokshin 21:59, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Image category on the Commons

Do you think we could set one up for this article to move un-needed pictures there? User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 20:33, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Coast Guard MOH

In the second paragraph of the intro it says the Coast Guard medal has never been awarded. But in the breakdown by numbers awarded by service, it lists one medal awarded for the Coast Guard. Can someone explain? KnightLago 11:45, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

the CG's MOH DESIGN did not come about until the 1960s. In WWII a CG man was awarded the MOH, but as at that time the CG design did not exist, he was presented the Navy's design of the MOH. This is why the CG MEDAL/DESIGN has never been awarded (or even manufactured for that matter) but there is a CG man who has a MOH. Rlevse 12:58, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Just a suggestion -- never have gotten around to signing in and getting official, but want to pass this along.

In the category of "similar medals," I have run across a couple of very confusing examples of "Medals of Honor" being issued by various State Guard & Reserve entities -- a really bad idea, in my opinion, that can only add to the mess. When Glenn Ford recently died, there were a number of mass emails going around celebrating his civilian and military exploits, and sorting out his actual from mistaken military history was almost impossible. He never got a MoH though it was mentioned several places, and I believe the confusion came from either a Congressional medal of some sort, or a Reserve one.

I don't have a single example, unfortunately, but if anyone can verify my recollections, I suggest another addition to that paragraph stating that a number of police departments and individual State National Guard & Reserves have "Medals of Honor" with no relationship to the MoH.

(Retired MSG)

I know the NYPD has a Medal of Honor, so do OKC and St. Louis. What I suggest is creating Medal of Honor (disambiguation), where the US Medal, Game series and the other medals are listed at the page. Just a suggestion. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 20:42, 24 December 2006 (UTC)