With only 1% of the nation’s population serving in the military at this time, most people may only have a vague idea of the medals that are given to military personnel for acts of valor on the battlefield, or for distinguished service and courageous acts off of the field of battle. This video gives a good clear idea of each of those medals and their history.
The highest medal awarded for valor beyond the call of duty is, of course, the Medal of Honor. The heroic actions that are awarded the Medal of Honor are so uncommonly valorous, they stand on a level of selfless courage that is rarely matched.
You will get a sense of the magnitude of this award as you watch and listen to this video.
Over time, other medals recognizing courage on the battlefield have been designed and developed to recognize many other levels of heroism both in combat and for courageous acts off of the field of battle.
The second highest level of award are the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for Army personnel, the Navy Cross for Navy and Marine Corps personnel and the Air Force Cross, which was initiated in 1960.
The third highest level is the Silver Star, which can be awarded to military members from all of the services. The Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) is awarded to any service member whose actions were undertaken while flying in any form of aerial platforms.
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The Bronze Star, initiated in 1934, is the fourth highest level of valor award.
The Valor or “V” device is attached to the Silver Star, The DFC and the Bronze Star, when those awards are for valor in combat. Some of those medals can be awarded for valor actions undertaken in non-combat situations. These latter awards would not, then, have the “V” device attached.
The Veterans Site honors and recognizes all who have served in our military, both on and off the field of battle. We give thanks to all who have chosen to serve their country. Those who have fallen in service to the nation have our highest respect and are honored above all.
Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.