6 Facts To Know About American Military Honors

Recently, Netflix put all seasons of the TV quiz show, Jeopardy, in their streaming service.

Since I'm Jeopardy fan, I put on season 1, episode 1. I was interested to see if the questions asked all those years ago were more difficult than those asked today.

I thought they would be more difficult because, to me, it seems the educational systems nearly forty years ago were better than what we have today.

I was wrong. The questions were simplistic and so easy. I was stunned when none of the 3 contestants knew the answer to "the highest honor bestowed upon a member of the American military."

1. What is the highest honor awarded for bravery to a member of the military?

The Congressional Medal of Honor. There are 3 versions: Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines. Most often, it's given posthumously.

There are 71 living recipients of this award for bravery above and beyond.

Just last week, President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to David Bellavia, the first living Iraq War recipient.

2. What are the top military medals awarded?
  • The Purple Heart is probably best known and is awarded to soldiers who are wounded during battle.
  • For the United States Army, the Distinguished Service Cross is awarded for extreme acts of heroism for soldiers who act valiantly but don’t quite earn a Medal of Honor.
  • The Navy Cross is the honor most likely to have been awarded to servicemen present during the Pearl Harbor attack and is identical to the Distinguished Service Cross and carries the same eligibility criteria.
  • Like the Navy Cross, the Air Force Distinguished Service Cross has the same requirements
  • The Silver Star, the third-highest honor awarded to military personnel, is presented to a member of the United States military who exhibits a level of bravery not meeting the criteria for a Medal of Honor or Service Cross.
3. Who can be buried with full military honors?

Those who are eligible for military funerals and full honors in the United States include: Active duty or Selected Reserve in the U. S. Armed Forces. Former active duty or Selected Reserve who departed under conditions other than dishonorable in the U. S. Armed Forces.

4. What is a 21-gun salute?

At most military funerals, many mistake a 21-gun salute for the 3 volleys fired from their rifles by an honor guard team. The origin of this is from traditional battle ceasefires where each side would clear the dead. The firing of three volleys indicate the dead were cleared and properly cared for.

5. Who receives a flag at a military funeral?

A U.S. flag is provided, at no cost, to drape over the casket or to accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the military. The flag is given to the next-of-kin after its use during the funeral service.

6. Who should salute during a military funeral?

Only those who are in the military or are are veterans of the military salute. Civilians do not, but it is proper to place your hat or your hand over your heart during those times.

To view these medals and learn more about them, visit Military Awards for Valor.

Takeaway Truth

We owe our freedom to those who protect us and our freedom.