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  • Purple Heart

    Details of the Purple Heart service medal of the United States military.

    Picture of the Purple Heart medal

    Picture of the Purple Heart ribbon

    Date Authorized: February 22nd, 1932

    Ribbon Colors: purple; white

    Description (Ribbon):

    All purple design with thin white bands at the extreme edges.

    Description (Medal):

    Elongated heart-shaped medal; heart is purple in color and bordered by thick gold trim; at the center of the heart is the profile of General George Washington looking left; the Washington Coat of Arms is above the profile and consists of a white shield with three red stars and two horizontal bands; the shield sites between two sprays of green leaves; REVERSE: All-gold coloring; the center area is raised and features the words "For Military Merit" on three lines of text, all centered at the top portion of the heart; the Washington Coat of Arms is repeated on the reverse.

    Award Criteria:

    Awarded to personnel in service with the US Armed Services in the name of the President of the United States, having been wounded or killed or having died from wounds suffered in combat against a hostile enemy of the United States after April 5th, 1917; extended to peacekeeping actions after March 28th, 1973; also awarded to those having been captured or taken prisoner as a Prisoner of War by an enemy of the United States; also awarded for wounds received that required the treatment of a medical officer.