Purple Heart

The Purple Heart (PH) is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving, on or after 5 April 1917, with the U.S. military. With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U.S. military members. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York.

Purple Heart
TypeMilitary medal (Decoration)
Awarded for"Being wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces"
DescriptionObverse profile of George Washington
Presented byUnited States Department of the Army[1]
United States Department of the Navy[2]
United States Department of the Air Force[3]
United States Department of Homeland Security[4]
EligibilityMilitary personnel
StatusCurrently awarded
First awarded22 February 1932
TotalApproximately 1,910,162 (as of 5 June 2010)[5]
Total awarded posthumouslyApproximately 430,000
Total recipientsover 2,000,000 (including eligible casualties in World War I who may not have been awarded the Purple Heart)
Service ribbon
Next (higher)Bronze Star Medal[6]
Next (lower)Defense Department: Defense Meritorious Service Medal[6]

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