Date Authorized: August 7th, 1792 (as the Badge of Military Merit) by General George Washington
Ribbon Colors: green; gold; blue (67117); white (67101)
The service ribbon measures 1-3/8 inches wide and featured five white stars in the shape of an "M"; the stars are printed on the same blue ribbon as found on the medal neck ribbon.
5-pointed gold star tipped with trefoils; star is 1-1/2 inches wide and superimposed over green laurel wreath; Minerva (Roman goddess of warriors, wisdom, commerce, medicine, crafts, music and poetry) is found on the center of the star and arched over with engraving of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; each star ray has a green oak leaf; star and wreath connected at two points under a gold bar with the inscription of VALOR upon the bar; the recipient's name is engraved to the rear side of the bar with the text "THE CONGRESS TO
Five-pointed star tipped with trefoils; each trefoil fits a laurel of oak; Minerva is at the center of the medal holding a shield containing the United States Coat of Arms; she also holds a fasces in her left hand; snakes represent Discord, which Minerva repulses in the scene; the medal is suspended from the ribbon via an anchor.
Five-pointed star tipped with trefoils; the head of the Statue of Liberty is contained in a center circle; the star is connected at each ray by points along a green laurel; each trefoil is topped with a crown of laurel and oak; 34 stars encircle the head of the Statue of Liberty; above the medal is an emblem containing eight thunderbolts set up as pairs in a NW, NE, SW and SE direction; the thunderbolts are separated by a pair of wings set horizontally; the emblem is held under a horizontal bar with the word "VALOR" imprinted upon it and connects the medal in whole to the ribbon.
Awarded by the President of the United States in the name of Congress to a member of the Army whose actions go above and beyond the required call of duty, performing in action against an enemy of the United States of America, and consisting of irrefutable self-sacrifice and involving unquestionable risk of life.