Medal of Honor

Congress authorized the “Medal of Honor,” America’s highest individual award for acts of valor, during the Civil War. Criteria for being awarded the Medal of Honor, and its physical appearance, have evolved since it became a permanent authorized military decoration in 1863. During the Civil War, over 1,500 people received the Medal of Honor for a variety of reasons. Since the Civil War, slightly over 2,000 have received the award. Two-hundred sixty-one Medals of Honor have been awarded to servicemen for valor during the Vietnam War. Requirements to be nominated for the Medal of Honor, during the Vietnam War, included conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. These seven Medal of Honor recipients all have ties to Nebraska.