Desmond Doss’ actions at Okinawa and beyond earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor – but what exactly does that mean?
By Adele Nash.
The Medal of Honor is the highest military honour given out by the United States of America. It is awarded for personal acts of valour above and beyond the call of duty, and is presented by the President of the United States in the name of the US Congress. Because of this, the medal is often referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor, but its official name is simply “Medal of Honor.”
Military personnel are the only ones eligible for the Medal of Honor, of which there are three versions — one for the Army, Navy and Air Force. Its history dates back to 1861, with a Navy medal called the “Medal of Valor.” The Army followed this in 1862 with the “Medal of Honor.” There have been more than 3500 Medals of Honor awarded since it was created, and March 25 was designated as “National Medal of Honor Day” in 1990 by the US Congress.
You can learn more about this prestigious military award at Wikipedia.