Soldier Medal

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Instituted: 1926

Description: On a 1 3/8 inch wide Bronze octagon an eagle displayed, standing on a fasces, between two groups of stars of six and seven, above the group of six a spray of leaves. On the reverse is a shield paly of 13 pieces, on the chief the letters "US", supported by sprays of laurel and oak, around the upper edge the inscription "SOLDIER'S MEDAL" and across the face the words "FOR VALOR." In the base is a panel for the name of the recipient to be engraved. The medal is suspended from the ribbon by a rectangular-shaped metal loop with corners rounded.

Criteria: The Soldier's Medal is awarded to any person of the Armed Forces of the United States, or of a friendly foreign nation who while serving in any capacity with the Army of the United States, distinguished him/herself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy. The same degree of heroism is required as for   the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. The performance must have involved personal hazard or danger and the voluntary risk of life under conditions not involving conflict with an armed enemy. Awards will not be made solely on the basis of having saved a life.

Background: A need to recognize acts of heroism in 1922 resulted in the War Department issuing War Department orders for acts of bravery during peacetime. This led to an Act of Congress (Public Law 446-69th Congress, 2 July 1926 which established the Soldier's Medal for acts of heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy. The Secretary of War directed that the Quartermaster General prepare and submit appropriate designs of the Soldier's Medal per letter signed by The Adjutant General dated 11 August 1926.

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