The Navy's Medal of Honor





Other References

The full text of all citations of the Medal of Honor are available on the Army's Center of Military History. The Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery homepage offers the citations of all Hospital Corps and Medical personnel awarded the Medal of Honor.



The Navy's Medal of Honor

The Navy and Marine Corps' Medal of Honor is our country's oldest continuously awarded decoration, even though its appearance and award criteria has changed since it was created for enlisted men by Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles on 16 December 1861. Legislation in 1915 made naval officers eligible for the award.
Although originally awarded for both combat and non-combat heroism, the Medal of Honor today is presented for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty.
The design of our highest military decoration is rooted in the War Between the States. Crafted by the artist Christian Schuller, the central motif is an allegory in which Columbia, in the form of the goddess Minerva uses the shield of the republic to put down the figure of discord, plainly a reference to the unfolding split in our nation. The design is encircled by 38 stars, representing the states of the Union at the time of the outbreak of the Civil War.



Navy and Marine Corps Recipients

Civil War 1861-65
Interim 1866-71
Korea 1871
Interim 1871-98
Spanish-American
Philippine Insurrection
Boxer Rebellion
Interim 1901-1910
Philippine Outlaws 1911
Haiti 1915
Mexico (Vera Cruz)
Dominican Campaign 1916
World War I
Interim 1915-1916
2nd Haiti Camp. 1919-20
2nd Nicaraguan Camp.
Interim 1920-1940
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Global War on Terrorism



Medals of Honor Held by NHHC

The Curator Branch of NHHC holds several Medals of Honor in its collections. Download a list of these medals here or visit the Curator page for information on artifact documentation, preservation, and loans.





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