Guidelines for Awarding and Wearing the Medal of Honor

On July 25,1963 Congress established a set of guidelines under which the Medal of Honor could be awarded which include: 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 armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

Originally, the Medal of Honor was only presented to the enlisted, but on March 3, 1863 this was extended to officers as well. It is illegal to sell, wear, or manufacture any decorations or medals authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States.

Title 18 United States Code. Sec. 1001, entitled “Statements or entries generally,” June 25, 1948, ch. 45, 62 Stat. 749 provides that: In General. – Whoever knowingly wears, manufactures, or sells any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States, or any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, or the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration or medal, or any colorable imitation thereof, except when authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title (18 United State Code) or imprisoned not more than six months or both. Source: Congressional Medal of Honor Society:

Tomorrow, The Latest Medal of Honor Award. Rita Bay

1 Comment

Filed under Event of the Week

One response to “Guidelines for Awarding and Wearing the Medal of Honor

  1. When I was a relatively new 2nd Lt. I was walking slightly ahead of a group of fellow young officers on the way to the base headquarters building. A Staff Sergeant was walking toward us and normally would salute the group of commissioned officers first and then we would return his salute; however, I notice the light blue ribbon with tiny stars that he wore above his many other ribbons and I rendered him a smart salute first. When the other young officers caught up with me, they asked why I’d saluted the Sergeant first and I asked them why they didn’t do the same, he was wearing the ribbon that goes with the Medal of Honor and even a Four Star General should salute a military member of any rank wearing that medal or it’s ribbon first. They had no clue and probably had never heard of that provision nor recognized the ribbon the Sergeant was wearing. I believe the Sergeant had been awarded the medal for his heroic actions in World War Two. It was an honor to render a salute to such a hero!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s