The Medal of Honor is the United States of America's highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. The medal is awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the U.S. Congress to U.S. military personnel only. There are three versions of the medal, one for the Army, one for the Navy, and one for the Air Force.〔(【引用サイトリンク】 title=Congressional Medal of Honor Society )〕 Personnel of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard receive the Navy version.
The Medal of Honor was created as a Navy version in 1861 named the "Medal of Valor",〔U.S. Department of Defense, a Brief History--The Medal of Honor () Retrieved August 13, 2015〕 and an Army version of the medal named the "Medal of Honor" was established in 1862 to give recognition to men who distinguished themselves "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity" in combat with an enemy of the United States. Because the medal is presented "in the name of Congress", it is often referred to as the "Congressional Medal of Honor". However, the official name is the "Medal of Honor", which began with the U.S. Army's version.〔〔DoD Award Manual, Nov. 23, 2010, 1348. 33, P. 31, 8. c. (1) (a)
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society is so designated because that was the name it was given in an act of Congress that was signed into law by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower on August 5, 1958, as Title 36, Chapter 33 of the U.S. Code (see ). The law authorizing the society has since been transferred to Title 36, Chapter 405 of the U.S. Code. ()〕 Within United States Code the medal is referred to as the "Medal of Honor",〔
〕 and less frequently as "Congressional Medal of Honor".〔
The Medal of Honor is usually presented by the president in a formal ceremony at the White House, intended to represent the gratitude of the American people, with posthumous presentations made to the primary next of kin.〔SECNAVINST 1650.1H, P. 2-20, 224. 2., Aug 22, 2006〕 According to the Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States, there have been 3,512 Medals of Honor awarded to the nation's soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and coast guardsmen since the decoration's creation, with just less than half of them awarded for actions during the four years of the American Civil War.
In 1990, Congress designated March 25 annually as "National Medal of Honor Day".〔Public Law 101-564, Nov. 15, 1990〕 Due to its prestige and status, the Medal of Honor is afforded special protection under U.S. law against any unauthorized adornment, sale, or manufacture, which includes any associated ribbon or badge.
1780: The Fidelity Medallion was a small medal worn on a chain around the neck, similar to a religious medal, that was awarded only to three militiamen from New York state, for the capture of John André, a British officer and spy connected directly to General Benedict Arnold (American and British general-1780) during the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783). The capture saved the fort of West Point from the British Army.
1782: Badge of Military Merit: The first formal system for rewarding acts of individual gallantry by American soldiers was established by George Washington when he issued a field order on August 7, 1782, for a Badge of Military Merit to recognize those members of the Continental Army who performed "any singular meritorious action". This decoration is America's first combat decoration and was preceded only by the Fidelity Medallion, the Congressional medal for Henry Lee awarded in September 1779 in recognition of his attack on the British at Paulus Hook, the Congressional medal for General Horatio Gates awarded in November 1777 in recognition of his victory over the British at Saratoga, and the Congressional medal for George Washington awarded in March 1776.〔〔Dept. of the Army Public Information Division, ''The Medal of Honor of the United States Army '' (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1948), 10-11.〕 Although the Badge of Military Merit fell into disuse after the American Revolutionary War, the concept of a military award for individual gallantry by members of the U.S. Armed Forces had been established.
1847: Certificate of Merit: After the outbreak of the Mexican-American War (1846–1848) a Certificate of Merit (Meritorious Service Citation Certificate) was established by Act of Congress on March 3, 1847 "to any private soldier who had distinguished himself by gallantry performed in the presence of the enemy". 539 Certificates were approved for this period. The certificate was discontinued and reintroduced in 1876 effective from June 22, 1874 to February 10, 1892 when it was awarded for extraordinary gallantry by private soldiers in the presence of the enemy. From February 11, 1892 through July 9, 1918 (Certificate of Merit disestablished) it could be awarded to members of the Army for distinguished service in combat or noncombat; from January 11, 1905 through July 9, 1918 the certificate was granted medal status as the Certificate of Merit Medal
(first awarded to a soldier who was awarded the Certificate of Merit for combat action on August 13, 1898). This medal was later replaced by the Army Distinguished Service Medal which was established on January 2, 1918 (the Navy Distinguished Service Medal was established in 1919). Those Army members who held the Distinguished Service Medal in place of the Certificate of Merit could apply for the Army Distinguished Service Cross (established 1918) effective March 5, 1934.
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』
■ウィキペディアで「Medal of Honor」の詳細全文を読む