The Medal of Honor, Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation: What’s the Difference?

While the Medal of Honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation are intertwined, they are not the same. We want to ensure that citizens like you understand the full picture and know where each organization fits in.

What is the Medal of Honor?

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration for bravery that can be bestowed upon America’s armed forces for exceptional acts of valor and for gallantry in combat at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Since its establishment in 1861, the Medal of Honor has been awarded to 3,506 service members, 19 of them being double Recipients.  Although awarded by Congress, its official name is the “Medal of Honor,” not the “Congressional Medal of Honor”. 

What is the Congressional Medal of Honor Society?

In 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower signed legislation sent by Congress chartering the Congressional Medal of Honor Society (CMOHS) to create a bond of brotherhood and comradeship among all living Recipients of the Medal of Honor. It is perceived as the most exclusive organization in our country and is incredibly unique. Membership into the Society cannot be bought through money or status. Some of the primary purposes of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society include:

  • Maintaining the memory of and respect for those who had died receiving the Medal of Honor, as well as those living Recipients who had since died.
  • Protecting and preserving the dignity and honor of the Medal of Honor at all times and on all occasions.
  • Providing assistance and aid to Medal of Honor Recipients, their spouses or widows, and their children.
  • Fostering patriotism and inspiring our youth to become worthy citizens of our country.

What is the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation?

Created in 1999 by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation (CMOHF) is designed to financially support Recipients’ efforts to further American values through education and outreach. Specifically, the Foundation was tasked with the following three objectives:

  • To support the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
  • To perpetuate the legacy of the Medal through education, outreach, and recognition.
  • To promote the six values embodied in the Medal: courage, sacrifice, commitment, integrity, citizenship, and patriotism. 


The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation is
fully funded by generous supporter contributions.

We hope you now have a better understanding of how these entities work together and how they are different from one another and the Medal itself. The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation prides itself on preserving the legacy of the Medal of Honor’s core values and our nation’s heroes. You can join us in our ongoing mission by making a charitable donation through our online form.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the sole mission to support the work of the Society. You can also keep up with our upcoming events, special announcements, and partner/Recipient highlights by joining our monthly newsletter.

One Response

  • I am simply in awe of all these recipients. How difficult is it to get one to visit a school? I can’t think of a better example for my students.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *