Military Medal Hierarchy

The military medals are considered as one of the highest honors that can be bestowed by a nation. These medals are awarded for the self-sacrifice, and for showcasing the acts of bravery. Like other nations United States of America, also offers these prized possessions – the military recognitions, medals or awards by recognizing the excellence shown by military members & for motivating them for high level performances.

These awards also foster the accomplishment of missions. Following is the hierarchy of medals as per US armed forces. The Military ranks of these medals are structured in a hierarchical arrangement, widely known as military medal hierarchy.

US Military Medal Hierarchy
US Military Medal Hierarchy

On the top of the hierarchy lies the Medal of Honor which is the highest military award awarded by the US government. This award is bestowed by the president of the country in the name of congress on the receiver of the award. Such awards symbolize the military excellences & extraordinary acts of bravery shown by the receivers.

As per the nature of the criteria of this award, this award is often given posthumously. All the professionals serving any branch of armed forces possess the eligibility of receiving this award and this award is presented in three versions – for army, for royal airforce, and for navy or coast guards.

The next award that lies on the second position in this military medal hierarchy is Distinguished Service Award. This is awarded only to the members of the US army for showcasing the risk of their life in an actual combat or for outlining extreme gallantry.

Although this award is only presented to the members of army, but a similar award is also presented to the members and the members of navy by the name of Air Force Cross and Navy Cross respectively for the recognition of their achievements in their respective fields.

These awards are offered to the military professionals, who in any capacity in the armed forces have distinguished themselves by showcasing the extraordinary heroism, and who could not justify the eligibility criteria of the Medal of Honor. This act of heroism must be extremely notable in order to receive this award and must have involved the risk to life in such an extraordinary manner that it sets the individual quite apart from his counterparts.

The next award in the hierarchy is Presidential Unit Citation which used to be originally known as Distinguished Unit Citation. This award is presented to the members of armed forces who showcased extraordinary heroism against any armed enemy. The army men who do not qualify for the above mentioned awards but their acts of bravery are notable, are presented with this award.

These are the three top most awards in the military medal hierarchy but the hierarchy does not end with these awards only. There are other certain recognitions and titles that are offered to the members of army, navy and air force but the major awards are the ones mentioned above. These awards not only motivate the people who qualify for them but also the members who did not receive them with the charm of receiving these recognitions.