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Medal of Honor Frequently Asked Questions

1. Has a woman ever received Medal of Honor?
2. Who was the only Coast Guard Congressional MOH recipient?
3. How many Air Force Congressional MOH recipients are there?
4. How many double recipients are there?
5. Is it required to be a U.S. citizen in order to be awarded the MOH?
6. Who was the first recipient?
7. Who was the first African-American recipient?
8. Is the Medal of Honor only awarded to enlisted personnel?
9. Is it illegal to sell the Medal of Honor?
10. What are the guidelines for which the medal could be awarded?
11. What was the last action in which the MOH was awarded?
12. How many minority recipients of the MOH have been awarded (African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American and Native-American)?

1. Yes, Dr. Mary Walker was the only woman awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor at Bull Run on July 21,1861

2. Douglas Munro was the only Coast Guard recipient. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, on September 27, 1942.

3. Since the formation of a separate Air Force in 1947 there have been seventeen recipients. Prior to 1963 members of the Army Air Corps and the Air Force were awarded the Army Medal. In 1963 the Air Force acquired its own MOH design.

4. There are nineteen double recipients.

5. It is not required to be a U.S. citizen, but you must be in the U.S. military in order to qualify for the Medal of Honor.

6. The earliest actions for which the Medal was awarded took place before the Civil War had even begun, February 13-14, 1861 in what is now Arizona. Bernard J.D. Irwin was an Assistant Surgeon in the Army when he voluntarily led a command of troops to relieve a surrounded detachment of the 7th Infantry. Irwin’s Medal was not awarded until January 24,1894, over 30 years after he had performed his deed. But on March 25, 1863 Pvt. Jacob Parrott was the first of a group of 6 men awarded the Medal for their actions in "The Great Locomotive Chase" in April 1862. They were the first ever to wear the Medal of Honor.

7. William Carney was the first African-American recipient. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on July 18,1863 at Fort Wagner, SC.

8. Originally the Medal of Honor was only presented to the enlisted, but on March 3, 1863 this was extended to officers as well.

9. It is illegal to sell, wear, or manufacture any decorations or medals authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States. In General. - Whoever knowingly wears, manufactures, or sells any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States, or any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, or the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration or medal, or any colorable imitation thereof, except when authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title (18 United State Code) or imprisoned not more than six months or both.(Title 18 United States Code. Sec. 1001, entitled "Statements or entries generally," June 25, 1948, ch. 45, 62 Stat. 749. )

10. On July 25,1963 Congress established a set of guidelines under which the Medal of Honor could be awarded:
a.) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
b.) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or,
c.) while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

11. The last action in which the Medal of Honor was awarded was Mogadishu, Somalia on October 3, 1993. The Medals were awarded posthumously to the families of Gary I. Gordon and Randall D. Shugart. They were members of "The Delta Force" aka Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta.

12. There have been 87 African-American MOH Recipients.
There have been 41 Hispanic-American MOH Recipients
There have been 31 Asian-American MOH Recipients.
There have been 22 Native-American MOH Recipients.

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