The following is a list of frequently asked questions, and their answers, which were received by the National Medal of Valor Office about the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor (MOV) and its nominations. The National Medal of Valor Office advises recommending officials to review the information below before completing a nomination form.
The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor is the highest national award for valor presented to a public safety officer. The Medal is awarded by the President or Vice President of the United States to public safety officers who are cited by the U.S. Attorney General following the recommendations by the Medal of Valor Review Board. In order to be nominated, public safety officers must have exhibited exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind, and unusual swiftness of action, regardless of their own personal safety, in an attempt to save or protect human life. Their actions must be considered to be above and beyond the call of duty.
The online system will typically open each year on May 31 at 8:00 a.m. eastern time (ET) and closes each year on July 31 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The opening date may open one to two days early if May 31 falls on a weekend.
Yes, recommending officials may nominate more than one public safety officer; however, a separate nomination form must be submitted for each individual nominee. If you intend to nominate a team that consists of public safety officers from different agencies (e.g., a multiagency task force) who were involved in a single event or incident, the nomination for each public safety officer must come from his or her agency head.
Please note that when considering the nomination of a team (defined as two or more public safety officers responding to a single incident), there is no guarantee that all members will receive recognition.
There is no limit to the number of incidents for which a public safety officer may be nominated. However, because the Medal of Valor is awarded for a single act that is above and beyond the call of duty, the recommending official must submit a separate nomination for each meritorious act.
The National Medal of Valor Office recommends that you review the online Template for the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Nomination, to review those sections which are required and those that are optional. Nominations not containing required information may be withheld from consideration. Recommending officials should also keep the following points in mind when preparing nomination(s):
- The "Nomination Information" section requires the public safety officer's identifying information. The nominator/recommending official should include the nominee's home mailing address, email address, and telephone number.
- The "Nominator Information" section requires information about the appointing authority/chief executive and agency under which the nominee serves as a sworn public safety officer. Each nomination must be submitted at the direction of the public safety agency's head. The National Medal of Valor Office cannot accept nominations from individuals or other personnel who are not acting with the expressed authority of the chief executive/agency head of the nominating public safety agency.
- Examples of eligible public safety agencies include federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, fire, corrections, and emergency medical services.
Though supplemental information may be separately submitted for consideration by the MOV Review Board (see the "How can additional information about the nominee and/or incident be provided?" answer), each nomination's "Summary of Valorous Conduct" is critical to the Board's decision when reviewing the act of valor. Each summary should provide a clear description of the act of valor performed. For summaries that detail an incident that involved multiple nominees, it is essential to describe the collective and individual actions of each nominee, and to explain why these actions are seen as representing acts that are above and beyond the call of duty.
The MOV Review Board will consider the individual actions of each nominee, regardless whether or not the nominee is part of a group. The Board is allowed to recommend a limited number of recipients each year to receive the MOV, so it is within the Board's discretion when considering group nominations to recommend some, all, or none of the nominees to receive the MOV.
Yes, the Board will accept posthumous nominations and may award a medal posthumously. Recommending officials should make it clear within the nomination form that it is for a posthumous award, and describe whether the public safety officer's death occurred in connection with his or her act of valor.
The National Medal of Valor Office will update its website as information becomes available and interested parties may email questions to [email protected].
See the Medal of Valor homepage.