Medal of Honor and Criteria

Public Law 88-77, July 25, 1963: The requirements for the Medal of Honor were standardized among all the services, requiring that a recipient had “distinguished himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.” Thus, the act removed the loophole allowing non-combat awards to Navy personnel. The act also clarified that the act of valor must occur during one of three circumstances:

Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor

  1. While engaged in action against an enemy of the United States

  2. While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force.

  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.

Dept. of Defense Awards Manual 1348.33, V1, Oct. 12, 2011 (Nov. 23, 2010). p. 31–32, 8. Medal of Honor (1) (a) 1., 2., 3. (k), p. 10, Title 10 US Code sections 3741, 6241, and 8741 (Titles 14 & 38 not referenced by DoD)