Here’s every Medal of Honor recipient Obama honored


By Julie Provost

The Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for military valor, is bestowed by the President in the name of Congress to individual service members or veterans for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. There are three versions of the award: The U.S. Army Medal of Honor, the U.S. Air Force Medal of Honor, and the U.S. Navy Medal of Honor (which includes the Coast Guard and the Marine Corps).

The first medal of honor was given on July 12, 1862, and the medal has been presented 3,515 times since then. In recent memory, George H.W. Bush honored six recipients, Bill Clinton honored 32, and George W. Bush honored three. President Obama bestowed 52 Medals of Honor during his time in office.

Here are the Obama-era Medal of Honor recipients with their unit designations, date their Medal of Honor was bestowed for, and the corresponding war or conflict:

Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Edward C. Byers Jr.: He was attached to a Joint Task Force in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. December 8, 2012, Afghanistan

Edward C. Byers Jr. received the Medal of Honor for his actions during a hostage rescue operation. (Photo: U.S. Navy, Oscar Sosa)

Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha: He served with the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, U.S. Army in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan. October 3, 2009, Afghanistan

Sergeant Dakota L. Meyer: He served with the Embedded Training Team 2-8, Regional Corps Advisory Command 3-7, U.S. Marine Corps at Kunar Province, Afghanistan. September 8, 2009, Afghanistan

Dakota Meyer was the first living Marine Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam War. (Photo: DVIDS)

Specialist-Four Class Leslie H. Sabo, Jr.: Sabo received the award on May 16th, 2012 after his original nomination was lost in 1970. It was discovered in 1999 by a researcher at the National Archives. It was then requested that the President award the Medal of Honor posthumously. He served with the Company B, 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army in Se San, Cambodia. May 10, 1970, Vietnam

Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti: He served in Headquarters Company, 10th Mountain Division, U.S. Army in the Nuristan Province, Afghanistan. June 21, 2006, Afghanistan

(Photo: U.S. Army Photo by Leroy Council)

Captain (Chaplain) Emil Joseph Kapaun: He served with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Army in Unsan, Korea. November 1-2, 1950, Korea

Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller: He served in the Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3312, Special Operations Task Force 33, U.S. Army and served in Gowardesh Valley, Konar Province, Afghanistan. January 25, 2008, Afghanistan

Father Emil Kapaun, credited with saving the lives of hundreds of soldiers, died in a POW camp of pneumonia and dysentery. (Photo: U.S. Army)

Specialist Ty M. Carter: He served with the B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, U.S. Army at the Outpost Keating, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan. October 3, 2009, Afghanistan

Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta: He served in Battle Company, Company B, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army in Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. October 25, 2007, Afghanistan

Private First Class Anthony T. Kaho’ohanohano: He served in Company H, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, U.S. Army and in Chupa-ri, Korea. September 1, 1951, Korea

Audience members applaud Ty Carter, a Medal of Honor recipient. (Photo: U.S. Army photo, Sgt. Laura Buchta/Released)

Captain William D. Swenson: He served with 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, U.S. Army in Ganjgal, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. September 8, 2009, Afghanistan

Sergeant First Class Jose Rodela served in the Operational Detachment Alpha 3312, U.S. Army at Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam. September 1, 1969, Vietnam

Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts received the award on July 21st, 2014. He served with Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, U.S. Army in Wanat Village, Kunar Province, Afghanistan, July 13, 2008. Afghanistan

Gold medal families stand at the request of President Barack Obama during a Medal of Honor ceremony for former Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts. (Photo: DoD News, EJ Hersom)

Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry: He served in the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, U.S. Army in Paktya Province, Afghanistan. May 26, 2008, Afghanistan

Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins: He served with Detachment A-102, 5th Special Forces Group, 1st Special Forces in Camp A Shau, Republic of Vietnam. March 9-12, 1966, Vietnam

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins salutes after receiving the Medal of Honor. (Photo: DoD News, EJ Hersom)

Specialist 4 Donald P. Sloat: He served with Company D, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division, U.S. Army at Hawk Hill Firebase, Republic of Vietnam. January 17, 1970, Vietnam

First Lieutenant Alonzo H. Cushing: He served in the U.S. Army, Battery A, 4th United States Artillery Brigade, 2d Corps, Army of the Potomac at  Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 3, 1863. His award was given after Congress waived the time limitations for awarding the Medal of Honor in the  FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act.  The Civil War

Helen Loring Ensign, a descendant of Alonzo H. Cushing, is present to receive the Medal of Honor on the Civil War veteran’s behalf. (Photo: U.S. Army, Staff Sgt. Laura Buchta)

Sergeant Kyle J. White received the award on May 13th, 2014. He served with Company C, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, U.S. Army in Aranas, Afghanistan. November 9, 2007, Afghanistan

Sergeant William Shemin: He served in Company G, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, American Expeditionary Forces on the Vesle River, near Bazoches, France. August 7-9, 1918, World War I

President Barack Obama presents William Shemin’s daughters with their father’s Medal of Honor. (Photo: DVIDS)

Chief Master Sergeant Richard L. Etchberger: He served in the 1043rd Radar Evaluation Squadron, U.S. Air Force in Phou Pha Thi, Laos. March 11, 1968, Vietnam

Sergeant Henry Johnson: He served in Company C, 15th New York (Colored) Infantry Regiment that later became the 369th Infantry Regiment. He was at the western edge of the Argonne Forest in France’s Champagne region. 1918-1919,World War 1

Command Sgt. Maj. Louis Wilson of the New York Army National Guard accepts the Medal of Honor on behalf of World War I Pvt. Henry Johnson. (Photo: DVIDS)

Lance Corporal William Kyle Carpenter received the award on June 19th, 2014. He served with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st Marine Division (Forward), 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) in Marjah District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. November 21, 2010, Afghanistan

Captain Florent A. Groberg: He served in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division at the Kunar Province, Afghanistan. February 2012, Afghanistan

Florent Groberg was the commander of a personal security detail for the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, when he and another soldier,tackled a suicide bomber, saving many lives. (Photo: U.S. Army photo, Eboni L. Everson-Myart)

Lieutenant Colonel Charles S. Kettles: He served as Flight Commander, 176th Aviation Company (Airmobile) (Light), 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, Americal Division near Duc Pho, Republic of Vietnam. May 15. 1967, Vietnam

Charles Kettles is credited with saving the lives of 40 soldiers and four of his own crew members. (Photo: White House, Chuck Kennedy)

On March 18, 2014 Obama presented 24 Medals of Honor to those who served during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. They are:

Private First Class Salvador J. Lara served in the 180th Infantry, 45th Infantry Division, U.S. Army at Aprilia, Italy. May 27-28, 1944, WWII

First Lieutenant Donald K. Schwab served in Company E, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division, U.S. Army at  Lure, France. September 17, 1944, WWII

Private First Class William Leonard served in Company C, 30th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army at St. Die, France. November 7, 1944, WWII

Staff Sergeant Manuel V. Mendoza served in the 250th Infantry, 88th Infantry Division, U.S. Army at Mount Battaglia, Italy. October 4, 1944, WWII

Sergeant Alfred B. Nietzel served in Company H, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, U.S. Army at  Heistern, Germany. November 18, 1944, WWII

Corporal Joe R. Baldonado served in Company B, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army at Kangdong, Korea. November 25, 1950, Korea

Private Pedro Cano served in the 4th Infantry Division, U.S. Army at Schevenhütte, Germany. December 2-3, 1944, WWII

Private Joe Gandara served in Company D, 2d Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division, U.S. Army at Amfreville, France. June 9, 1944, WWII

Sergeant Victor H. Espinoza served in Company A, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division at Chorwon, Korea. August 1, 1952, Korea

During the Korean War, Espinoza “single-handedly silenced a machine-gun and its crew, discovered and destroyed a covert enemy tunnel, and wiped out two bunkers” while attempting to secure “Old Baldy.” His actions helped his unit while they were pinned down and inspired them to further action. (Photo: DVIDS)

Sergeant First Class Eduardo C. Gomez served in Company 1, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Army at Tabu-dong, Korea. September 3, 1950, Korea

Private Demensio Rivera served in Company G, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army at Changyongni, Korea. May 22-23, 1951, Korea

Private Miguel A. Vera served in Company F, 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, U.S. Army at Chorwon, Korea. September 21, 1952, Korea

Sergeant Jack Weinstein served in Company G, 21st Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army at Kumsong, Korea. October 19, 1951, Korea

Specialist Fourth Class Leonard L. Alvarado served in Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Army at Phuoc Long Province, Republic of Vietnam. August 12, 1969, Vietnam

Staff Sergeant Felix M. Conde-Falcon served in Company D, 1st Battalion, 505th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, U.S. Army at Ap Tan Hoa, Republic of Vietnam. April 4, 1969,Vietnam

Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz served in Company M, 3rd Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army at Yangpyong, Korea. March 6-7, 1951, Korea

Master Sergeant Juan E. Negron served in Company L, 65th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, U.S. Army at  Kalma-Eri, Korea. April 28, 1951, Korea

Iris Negron receives the Medal of Honor on behalf of her father, Juan Negron. (Photo: U.S. Army photo by Leroy Council)

Master Sergeant Mike C. Pena served in Company F, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Army at Waegwan, Korea. September 4, 1950, Korea

Specialist Ardie Ray Copas served in Company C, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 5th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army at Ph Romeas Hek, Cambodia. May 12, 1970, Vietnam

Specialist Jesus S. Duran served in Company E, 2d Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), U.S. Army at Ph Romeas Hek, Cambodia. May 12, 1970, Vietnam

Specialist Four Santiago J. Erevia served in Company C, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army at Tam Ky, Republic of Vietnam. May 21, 1969, Vietnam

Sergeant Candelario Garcia Jr. served in Company B, 1st Battalion, 2d Infantry, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, U.S. Army at Lai Khe, Republic of Vietnam. December 8, 1968, Vietnam

Staff Sergeant Melvin Morris served in 3rd Company, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, U.S. Army at  Chi Lang, Republic of Vietnam. September 17, 1969, Vietnam