The Congressional Medal of Honor is the highest award for an individual serving in the United States Armed Services. This award is awarded for valor in action against an enemy force. Over 3,400 medals have been awarded to date.
The medal itself is the only United States Military Award that is worn around the neck rather than pinned to the uniform. They first were made by the Philadelphia Mint at the request of Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles. It is illegal to sell, wear, or manufacture copies of the Medal of Honor.
There are three types of Congressional Medals of Honor, each with a slightly different look and history.
James W. Grimes introduced a bill
for the Medal
of Honor on December 9, 1861. The awards “which shall be bestowed upon such petty officers, seamen
as shall distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action and other seamanlike qualities during the present war
(Civil War)." This was the start
of the Navy Medal of Honor
Henry Wilson on February 17, 1862 introduced a bill
for medal of honor of the army
The Air Force branch
of the Armed Services
didn’t get authorized a medal
of honor until 1956. The Air Force Medal of Honor is 50% larger
than the others.