Every day in this country, ordinary Americans become extraordinary. It can happen in a single instance
of bravery, or through a lifetime of service to others. These acts of courage and self-sacrifice symbolize
the American spirit, and are recognized every year on National Medal of Honor Day by our nation’s
Each year, after a nationwide search, three United States citizens are chosen to receive Citizen Service
Before Self Honors. The honorees receive this award from a group of Americans whose actions have defined
the word courage — the fewer than 80 living members of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. These
brave men have received the Medal of Honor for their acts of valor performed during wartime.
To be considered for this rare civilian honor, nominees must have made a difference in the lives of others
through a singular act of extraordinary heroism, or through their continued commitment to putting others
first. The Citizen Service Before Self Honors section of the Medal of Honor Character Development Program
invites us to examine Citizen Honorees and the values they stand for and asks us to look for the heroes
in our own community.