Congressional Medal of Honor Society
Statistics & FAQs
Number of Medals of Honor Awarded
True or False: Most Medals of Honor are awarded posthumously.
False: Overall, only 18.5% of Medals of Honor have been awarded posthumously.
True or False: You have to be a U.S. citizen to receive the Medal of Honor.
False: You do not have to be a citizen, but you do have to serve in the U.S. military. In addition, there have been at least 764 foreign-born Recipients, and not all of them chose to become citizens. Ireland and Germany are the most common non-U.S. birth locations.
What is the name of the Medal? Is the "Medal of Honor" or the "Congressional Medal of Honor"?
The name of the Medal is simply “Medal of Honor” — the word “Congressional” is sometimes mistakenly used because the Medal was created by Congress; however, the Medal is purely a military award. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society was chartered by Congress, which is why the word Congressional precedes the Society’s name.
Why are they called Recipients and not Winners?
The living Recipients do not view the Medal of Honor as something that was won, like one might win a race. They view the Medal as something that was bestowed upon them to carry as a symbol of the sacrifices of all who have served. In the past, “Winner” might have been used, but out of respect for those who currently wear the Medal, please use the term “Recipient.”
How is a Recipient accredited to a specific state?
A Recipient is accredited to the state from which they entered the military service.
Which U.S. states have the most Recipients accredited to them?
New York: 674
Do Medal of Honor Recipients receive special benefits from the government?
Yes. The Recipients receive a special monthly pension, travel on military aircraft on space-available basis, access to base commissaries, guaranteed burial at Arlington National Cemetery, and admittance for their children to the military service academies. Some states offer special license plates and tax benefits.
Is it illegal to buy or sell the Medal of Honor?
Yes, the Stolen Valor Act of 2013 (Public Law 113-12 § 3) makes it illegal to buy or sell the Medal of Honor, its ribbon or its rosette, including replicas or reproductions. The Law also applies to historical versions and designs of the Medal.
Can someone receive more than one Medal of Honor?
Yes. Historically, there have been 19 servicemen who have received two Medals of Honor.
How many Medals of Honor have been awarded for each military service branch?
Marine Corps: 300
Air Force: 19
Coast Guard: 1