Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President in the name of Congress to members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through"conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United states." Due to the nature of its criteria, it is often awarded posthumously (more than half have been since 1941).
Members of all branches of the armed force are eligible to receive the medal and there are three versions (one for the Arm, one for the Air Force, an one for the Navy , marine Corps and Coast Guard). The Medal of Honor is bestowed upon an individual by the passing of a Joint Resolution in Congress; and is then personally presented to the recipient or, in the cast of posthumous awards, to next of kin, by the President of the United States, on behalf of Congress. representing and recognizing the gratitude of honored status, the medal is afforded special protection under U.S.Law.