14 U.S. Code § 491 - Medal of honor

The President may award, and present in the name of Congress, a medal of honor of appropriate design, with ribbons and appurtenances, to a person who, while a member of the Coast Guard, distinguishes himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty—
(1) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
(2) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force;
(3) while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

Source

(Aug. 4, 1949, ch. 393, 63 Stat. 535; Pub. L. 88–77, § 4,July 25, 1963, 77 Stat. 95.)
Historical and Revision Notes

This section is new insofar as application to Coast Guard personnel in time of peace is concerned. Such awards can be made to members of the Coast Guard when the Coast Guard is operating with the Navy.
The language is parallel to that found in title 34, U.S.C., 1946 ed., § 354, providing for awards to personnel of the Navy. 81st Congress, House Report No. 557.
Amendments

1963—Pub. L. 88–77enlarged the authority to award the medal of honor, which was limited to those cases in which persons, while in the service of the Coast Guard, distinguished themselves in action involving actual conflict with an enemy, or in the line of his profession, and without detriment to the mission of his command or to the command to which attached, to permit its award for distinguished service by members of the Coast Guard while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States, while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party, and substituted the requirement that it be of appropriate design, with ribbons and appurtenances, for the requirement that the design be the same as that of the Navy medal of honor.

 

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