Medal of Honor

Topics: World War II, Medal, Royal Air Force Pages: 2 (681 words) Published: September 30, 2008
BACKGROUND PAPER ON SGT MAYNARD SMITH 1. When you hear about the Medal of Honor, do you know why it is given? Do you as a military member know what a member must go through to receive such an honor? Sadly, a lot of military members don’t realize what a prestigious award this is. My intention today is to share with you what the Medal of Honor is. Also, I am going to tell you about Sgt. Maynard Smith who received a Medal of Honor in World War II, due to his bravery and loyalty to his fellow crewmembers. 2. First, I will start by giving you some background information on the Medal of Honor. In our country’s early history there were special awards voted by Congress for special contributions with the first awarded to George Washington in 1776. However, many felt that whatever actions were performed in the service on one’s country to be a common duty. The Civil War changed many perceptions in that regard. Originally authorized by congress in 1861, it’s sometimes called the “Congressional Medal of Honor.” Although the proper name of the award is the Medal of Honor, it is due to the fact that it was established by an act of Congress that most erroneously refer to it as the “Congressional Medal of Honor.” In the 136 years that the Medal of Honor has been established a total of 3,428 medals have been awarded. Twenty of these medals have been awarded to a recipient twice. The Medal of Honor ( is awarded to military members, while on active duty, that have gone beyond the call of duty, and have had enough courage to risk their own lives. The Medal of Honor is a bronze, five star hanging from a bronze bar with the single word, “Valor”. All recommendations for this decoration must be proven incontestably for acts of bravery that are so outstanding that it is proven to be gallantry beyond the call of duty, self-sacrifice, risk of life, and will not leave any grounds for criticism or censure. Whatever deed was accomplished must also have incontestable...
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