Home / National News / Pentagon to Review Medals Awarded to Soldiers Iraq, Afghan for Possible Upgrade to Medal of Honor

 

(WASHINGTON) — The Pentagon is going to review about 1,000 medals awarded for valor in Iraq and Afghanistan to determine whether they merit being upgraded to the Medal of Honor.

A Department of Defense official confirmed to ABC News that Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered the military services to review 1,100 Distinguished Service Crosses, Navy Crosses, Air Force Crosses and Silver Star medals awarded in the two wars to see if the recipient might deserve a Medal of Honor for their bravery. So far, just 17 Medals of Honor have been awarded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There is no indication, the official said, that service members who received the crosses or silver stars were inappropriately recognized. Carter’s decision was made as a “cautionary measure.”

Last year, former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered a formal review of the procedures for awarding all military awards. That review recommended no changes for eligibility criteria for the Medal of Honor or Purple Heart.

The reviews ordered by Carter are expected to be completed by each of the military services by Sept. 30, 2017.

Any decision to upgrade an award would be forwarded by the Service Secretary to the Defense Secretary, who would pass that decision along to the White House for consideration. Any Medal of Honor upgrades more than five years past will require Congressional action for the medal to be awarded.

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