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 President may award and present, in the name of Congress, the Medal of Valor to public safety officers who are cited by the Attorney General following the recommendations by the Medal of Valor Review Board. This award is for public safety officers who have exhibited extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty.
The online system typically opens each year on or about May 31 at 8:00 a.m. eastern time (ET) and closes on or about the following July 31 at 5 p.m. ET. The opening and closing dates will vary when they occur on a weekend.
Yes, recommending officials may nominate more than one public safety officer; however, a separate online nomination 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, then the nomination for each public safety officer must come from/be approved by the agency head for the public safety agency employing the nominee.
Please note that when considering the nomination of a team (defined as two or more public safety officers responding to a single event), there is no guarantee that all members will receive recognition.
There are no limits on the number of events that public safety officers may be nominated to receive the Medal of Valor. However, because each Medal of Valor is awarded for a specific event, then should the Recommending Official wish to nominate a public safety officer(s) for multiple separate events, there will need to be separate online nominations submitted for each intended nominee for each event.
The online Template for the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Nomination will show those sections that 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 submission of the nominee's complete home address, email, 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 by or with the approval of the agency head for the public safety agency that employs the nominee. Medal of Valor nominations cannot be accepted from individuals or other personnel who are not acting with the express authority of the chief executive/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 nomination's Summary must list the nominee by name and should provide a clear description of the act of valor performed. For nomination Summaries that detail an event involving multiple nominees, it is important to describe the individual and collective 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 and collective actions of each nominee, regardless of whether the nominee(s) is part of a group. The Board is allowed to recommend a limited number of candidates each year to receive the MOV, and 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 recommend fallen candidates to receive the Medal of Valor. Recommending officials should make it clear within the nomination that it is for a posthumous award, and they should describe the circumstances leading to the nominee's death.
See the Medal of Valor homepage.