Heat Advisory

The Arlington area is under a heat advisory. Click "read more" for safety guidance and a map of water fountain locations. 

Published on: Sunday, June 16, 2024 read more ...

Medal of Honor (MoH) Recipients at Arlington National Cemetery

Grave marker for Army Colonel John Joseph Tominac, Medal of Honor recipient, World War II

More than 400 Medal of Honor recipients are represented at Arlington National Cemetery, ranging from the Civil War to current conflicts.

There are three different types of Medal of Honor today: the original star shape established in 1861, which the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have retained; a wreath version designed in 1904 for the Army; and an altered wreath version for the Air Force, adopted in 1965. All three types are worn suspended below a neck ribbon.

On December 9, 1861, Iowa Senator James W. Grimes introduced a bill designed to "promote the efficiency of the Navy" by authorizing the production and distribution of "medals of honor." On December 21, 1861, the bill passed, authorizing 200 such medals to be produced "which shall be bestowed upon such petty officers, seamen, landsmen and marines as shall distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action and other seaman-like qualities during the present war" [the Civil War]. President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill, inaugurating the Navy Medal of Honor. 

Two months later, on February 17, 1862, Massachusetts Senator Henry Wilson introduced a similar bill to authorize the president "to distribute medals to privates in the Army of the United States who shall distinguish themselves in battle." The bill passed both houses of Congress, President Lincoln signed it, and on July 12, 1862, the Army Medal of Honor was established.

On August 10, 1956, legislation authorized the United States Air Force (established as a separate service branch in 1947) to create its own Medal of Honor. In 1965, the Air Force introduced its distinctive medal, which is similar to the Army's wreath design but larger and featuring the head of the Statue of Liberty. 

Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for Medal of Honor recipients from the following conflicts*:

*As an Army command, ANC uses the U.S. military's official names for these campaigns, as displayed on the Army or other service branch banners. 

Learn more: 

Walking tours: Medal of Honor