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Medal of Honor awarded to US President only once in history

The Medal of Honor, the United States of America’s highest and most prestigious personal military decoration has been awarded to Theodore Roosevelt. The only U.S. President with this award in history. The Medal of Honor may be awarded to recognize U.S. military service members who have distinguished themselves by acts of valor in combat.

US President Theodore Roosevelt and Medal of Honor

Only one US President has been awarded the Medal of Honor in history. It was President Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States of America, who was awarded the highest military decoration for his gallantry in charging up San Juan Hill during the Spanish American War. It was long after his death. He posthumously was awarded the Medal of Honor on January 16, 2001.

Theodore Roosevelt in military uniform (Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

He served in New York Army National Guard and he rose up to the rank of the Colonel. He served in two terms; from 1882 to 1886 and once again in 1898. In his second time with the beginning of the Spanish–American War in late April 1898, Roosevelt resigned from his post as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Along with Army Colonel Leonard Wood, he formed the First US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. The press named this regiment as Rough Riders.

Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders played a key role in the outcome of the Spanish–American War by assisting the American forces in forming a constricting ring around the city of Santiago de Cuba.

The regiment was one of many temporary units active only for the duration of the war.

About the Medal of Honor

The medal is normally awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the U.S. Congress. Because the medal is presented “in the name of Congress”, it is often referred erroneously as the “Congressional Medal of Honor”. However, the official name of the current award is “Medal of Honor”. The medal is presented for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.

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