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mlwilli (#47169052)
 member for 4 years, 11 months, 4 days
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Messages left for mlwilli (1)[Leave Message]
C & N Rasmussen
RE: Metal (?) of Honor
Dear mlwilli:
First, I want to suggest to you that you should know what you are talking about, BEFORE you fire off a pissy message that is filled with factual errors. Most of what you said about the Medal of Honor is COMPLETELY incorrect.

The Congressional Medal of Honor award IS the Military's highest award for valor. It is NOT awarded by the Secretary of Defense, but rather by the President himself on behalf of Congress (which established the award in the first place, unlike all other military awards).

The Secretary of Defense has NEVER awarded a single Medal of Honor. The Secretary may (and should) give recommendations, but the President ALWAYS makes the final decision, and throughout U.S. history (since the Civil War) you can find numerous instances when the President has disregarded the Secretary's recommendations and either NOT awarded the Medal of Honor or upgraded a Distinguished Service or Navy Cross to the Medal of Honor. Like I said, it's the PRESIDENT'S call, NOT the Secretary's call.

Here's the actual original wording of the 1861 law establishing the first Medal of Honor (for the Navy), found in 10 US Code Sec. 6241:

"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 naval service, 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."

Within months, the law was expanded to include the Army, and after WWII the law was again expanded to include the Air Force.

As to the 'proper' name, the MEDAL itself is called the Medal of Honor, and those who receive it are usually referred to as "Medal of Honor recipients". However, the AWARD is called the Congressional Medal of Honor (since it was established by Congress). The actual citations awarded to recipients along with their medals refer to it as The Congressional Medal of Honor. If you don't understand the distinction, here's a simpler analogy.

An actor can be nominated and receive an Academy Award, and if he/she wins they will receive an Oscar. In this case, the Oscar is the trophy, and the Academy Award is the award. So someone who wins an Academy Award receives an Oscar as the trophy. In the same sense, someone who is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor receives a Medal of Honor as the medal. As Jack Nicholson said in "A Few Good Men", ARE WE CLEAR??

Here's another FACT. Recipients of the Medal of Honor immediately become members of The Congressional Medal of Honor Society (NOT the Medal of Honor Society!!). Their website is:

Medal of Honor recipients are also supported by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. Here's THEIR website:

However, with all this said, there is another fact that needs to be stated. The name is INTERCHANGEABLE!!!! The government, the media, and the public all use both of the terms "Congressional Medal of Honor" and "Medal of Honor" to describe the SAME medal/award. In other words, BOTH terms are officially accepted and can be used to correctly describe the award. However, the Congressional Medal of Honor is the more formal and most proper official use of the the term.

Bottom line is, there is no reason for you to get yourself all worked up over THIS!! If you would had done a little research before contacting me, you would have found the errors in your beliefs.

I hope this clears it up for you . . .

C & N Rasmussen
Added by C & N Rasmussen on Dec 19, 2012 2:32 AM

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