The Medal of Honor confers special privileges on its recipients, both by tradition and by law. By tradition, all other soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen — even higher-ranking officers up to the president of the United States — who are not also recipients of the Medal of Honor initiate the salute. In the event of an officer encountering an enlisted member of the military who has been awarded the Medal of Honor, officers by tradition salute not the person, but the medal itself, thus attempting to time their salute to coincide with the enlisted member’s.

By law, recipients have several benefits:

-- Each Medal of Honor recipient may have his or her name entered on the Medal of Honor Roll. Each person whose name is placed on the Medal of Honor Roll is certified to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as being entitled to receive the special pension of $1,027 per month. As of Dec. 1, 2004, the pension is subject to cost-of-living increases.

--Enlisted recipients of the Medal of Honor are entitled to a supplemental uniform allowance.

-- Recipients receive special entitlements to air transportation under the provisions of Department of Defense regulations.

-- Special identification cards and commissary and exchange privileges are provided for Medal of Honor recipients and their eligible dependents.

-- Children of recipients are eligible for admission to the U.S. military academies without regard to the normal quota requirements.

-- Recipients receive a 10 percent increase in retired pay.

-- Those awarded the medal after Oct. 23, 2002, also receive a Medal of Honor flag. The law also specified that all living Medal of Honor recipients would receive the flag along with all future recipients.

-- As with all medals, retired personnel may wear the Medal of Honor on “appropriate” civilian clothing. Regulations also specify that recipients of the Medal of Honor are allowed to wear the uniform “at their pleasure” with standard restrictions on political, commercial or extremist purposes; other former members of the armed forces may do so only at certain ceremonial occasions.


Source: New World Encyclopedia


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