Tom, I agree it is very sad for family members to find out years later that all of these fancy ribbons and medals that wives and children so proudly told their friends that their husband or father earned turn out to be a lie beyond comprehension. What are people thinking when they try to pull these stunts? Aren’t they aware there are official records of these awards being presented? The M.O.H. Ceremony as of late has been an Oval Office event and is usually photographed for the world to see. How does anyone think they can explain not having that photo?
I have a feeling Surkey or his multi will take umbrage again with me quoting wiki, but here I go.
The first two recipients after the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam in 1973 were Delta Force snipers Sergeant First Class Randy Shughart and Master Sergeant Gary Gordon, who defended downed Black Hawk helicopter pilot Chief Warrant Officer Michael Durant and his crew during the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. Both men lost their lives in doing so, resulting in posthumous awards.
From the end of the Vietnam War until 2010, NO living person has received the Medal of Honor for actions in an ongoing conflict. This decreased incidence in bestowing the Medal of Honor to the living has resulted in a considerable decline in the list of living holders of the medal, with fewer than 100 recipients still alive in 2010. The Army Times published an article analyzing the lack of non-posthumous awards in its March 30, 2009 issue, some time before issuance of the September 2010 award to Salvatore Giunta. It was suggested that, because of the intense partisan politics in Washington, D.C. over the recent wars, the Bush Administration subjected potential Medal of Honor recipients to intense background checks so as to avoid scrutiny of both the administration and the recipient by political opponents.
Four servicemen were awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in the Iraq War: Army Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith, Army Private First Class Ross A. McGinnis, Marine Corps Corporal Jason Dunham, and Navy SEAL Master-at-Arms Second Class Michael A. Monsoor. In April 2003, Smith organized the defense of a prisoner of war (POW) holding area that was attacked by a company-sized Iraqi force. He personally manned a machine gun under heavy fire until being killed. The remaining three medals were awarded for falling on a grenade, with Dunham throwing himself on a grenade to save his fellow Marines during an April 2004 mission, McGinnis covering a grenade which was tossed into his vehicle while on a mounted patrol in December 2006, and Monsoor jumping on a grenade which was thrown in the midst of his SEAL sniper team in September 2006.
Six medals have been awarded for action in Afghanistan. The recipients were Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, Army Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti, Army Staff Sergeant Robert James Miller, Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, Army Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry, and Marine Corps Corporal Dakota Meyer. Murphy received the award for exposing himself to hostile fire in order to make a call for help after his SEAL team was attacked in June 2005. Monti’s award was for braving intense fire in an attempt to rescue a wounded soldier in a June 2006 engagement. Miller’s medal was for his actions during a January 2008 attack by a numerically superior force. Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta became the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the war in Vietnam for his actions during an October 25, 2007 firefight in Afghanistan’s Korangal Valley. Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry became the second living recipient from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars when he received the medal for picking up a live grenade on May 26, 2008. On September 15, 2011, Marine Corporal Dakota Meyer received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the 2009 Battle of Ganjgal, becoming the first living U.S. Marine in 41 years to be so honored.
Since 1979, 50 belated awards of the medal have been made to recognize actions from the Civil War to Vietnam. The most recent of these occurred on May 16, 2012, when President Barack Obama presented the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army Sergeant Leslie H. Sabo, Jr. for conspicuous gallantry on May 10, 1970, near Se San, Cambodia, during the Vietnam War. Prior to that, the medal was presented on May 2, 2011, to two Army soldiers killed in the Korean War, Private First Class Henry Svehla and Private First Class Anthony T. Kahoʻohanohano.
Now We Come To The Era Where M.O.H. Where Awarded But Later rescinded.
27th Maine and other revoked awardings
Monument to the Medal of Honor at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas
During the Civil War, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton promised a Medal of Honor to every man in the 27th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment who extended his enlistment beyond the agreed-upon date. The Battle of Gettysburg was imminent, and 311 men of the regiment volunteered to serve until the battle was resolved. The remaining men returned to Maine, but with the Union victory at Gettysburg the 311 volunteers soon followed. The volunteers arrived back in Maine in time to be discharged with the men who had earlier returned. Since there seemed to be no official list of the 311 volunteers, the War Department exacerbated the situation by forwarding 864 medals to the commanding officer of the regiment. The commanding officer only issued medals to the volunteers who stayed behind and retained the others on the grounds that, if he returned the remainder to the War Department, the War Department would try to reissue the medals.
In 1916, a board of five generals on the retired list convened under act of law to review every Army Medal of Honor awarded. The board was to report on any Medals of Honor awarded or issued for any cause other than distinguished service. The commission, led by Nelson A. Miles, identified 911 awards for causes other than distinguished service. This included the 864 medals awarded to members of the 27th Maine, 29 who served as Abraham Lincoln’s funeral guard, six civilians, including Dr. Mary Edwards Walker and Buffalo Bill Cody, and 12 others. Dr. Walker’s medal was restored by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. Cody and four other civilian scouts who rendered distinguished service in action, and who were therefore considered by the board to have fully earned their medals, had theirs restored in 1989. The report was endorsed by the Judge Advocate General, who also advised that the War Department should not seek the return of the revoked medals from the recipients identified by the board. In the case of recipients who continued to wear the medal, the War Department was advised to take no action to enforce the statute.