Recommendation Process

Receiving the Medal of Honor is the highest honor bestowed by the American Military and personally presented by the President of the United States. Because of the need for accuracy the recommendation process can take in excess of 18 months with intense scrutiny every step of the way. The following charts demonstrate this process.

Recommendation Process Chart Click Chart to Enlarge

The following organizations and individuals play key roles in the Army Medal of Honor recommendation process:

CHAIN OF COMMAND

Submits award recommendation that meets the two year submission time limit to Department of the Army Human Resources Command

MEMBER OF CONGRESS

Submits award recommendation that is outside the two year limit for submission to Department of the Army Human Resources Command or the Secretary of the Army who forwards request to Human Resources Command.

DEPT. OF THE ARMY HUMAN RESOURCES COMMAND

Army Decoration Board - Merit Review, can disprove based on criteria (Cdr, HRC can overrule)

Senior Army Decorations Board - Recommends approval, disapproval, or downgrade.

MANPOWER AND RESERVE AFFAIRS

Concurs or nonconcurs with Board recommendation

CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE ARMY

Concurs or nonconcurs with Board recommendation

SECRETARY OF THE ARMY

Recommends approval or can disapprove. Also forwards packet to Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff for comment.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Recommends approval or can disapprove.

PRESIDENT

Approves or disapproves.

Benefits

Recipients of the Medal of Honor are afforded the following benefits for their extraordinary heroism:

  • A monthly $1,259 pension from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
  • A 10-percent increase in retired pay, not to exceed the 75 percent maximum, for enlisted recipients who retire with 20 or more years of Military Service.
  • A special Medal of Honor travel and identification card signed by the Secretary of the Army. This entitles recipients who are not on active duty and not military retirees to utilize space-available military air transportation.
  • Uniform privileges which allow recipients to wear their uniforms at any time or place they choose, unlike other military personnel or retirees.
  • An issued Department of Defense identification card for recipients and their eligible dependents who are not on active duty and military retirees. The card authorizes military commissary, Post Exchange, and theater privileges. All of the services, consistent with Department of Defense policy, authorize use of morale, welfare, and recreation activities, including honorary club membership without dues.
  • Children of Medal of Honor recipients are not subject to quotas if they are qualified and desire to attend the U.S. military academies.
  • Invitations to attend Presidential inaugurations and accompanying festivities. Military recipients and those who are civil servants have traditionally been authorized administrative absence instead of chargeable leave to attend.
  • A special engraved headstone for deceased recipients of the Medal of Honor (provided by VA).
  • Accorded on base billeting commensurate with the prestige associated with the Medal of Honor.