Everything You Need to Know About Purple Heart Requirements

Elmira | 07 - 19 - 2021
Purple Heart

What is the Purple Heart award? The Purple Heart, originally known as the badge of Military Merit, is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States. After April 5, 1917, the medal was awarded to those who were killed or wounded while serving the nation.

What Qualifies Someone for a Purple Heart?

  • The person who served with an opposing armed force of a foreign country in which the United States Armed Forces have been engaged.
  • Any participation against an enemy of the United States of America
  • Any member serving with friendly foreign forces involved in an armed battle against opposing armed forces in which the US is not an enemy.
  • As a result of an act of any such opposing (or enemy)armed forces, or
  • As a result of an act of any opposing foreign force

These categories were included on April 25, 1962. During the Vietnam War, the US servicemen were sent as military advisors rather than fighters to South Vietnam. Many people were killed and wounded while serving in the battle of Vietnam. It happened because the US was not formally involved in the war until 1965.

What Are the Criteria for a Purple Heart?
  • A. Enemy-related injuries
  • B. Injury During a war
  • C. Member of the Armed Forces
  • D. All of the Above

In response, President John F. Kennedy instituted an executive order that any serviceman who was killed or wounded “while serving with friendly foreign forces” or “a result of action by a hostile foreign force” will be rewarded.

After March 28, 1973, the medal can be earned as a result of an international terrorist attack against the US or a foreign country friendly to the US.

The medal can be achieved as a result of military operation while serving outside of the country as part of peacekeeping.

The Purple Heart medal is awarded to non-combat wounds.

Current Purple Heart Requirements

According to the Army’s current rules and regulations, to earn the Purple Heart, a soldier must serve with Armed Forces and get injured by enemy action and a medical officer provides the documented treatment. It is generally a reward for bravery in battle.

Purple Heart Medal Recipients

Popular Purple Heart recipients include James Arness, Charles Bronson, James Garner, Rod Serlin, Kurt Vonnegut, Oliver Stone, Warren Spahn, Pat Tillman, Rocky Bleier, and even animals Sergeant Stubby the dog and Sergeant Reckless the horse.

Benefits of Purple Heart Recipients

  • The Purple Heart recipients receive priority service when they use Department of Veterans Affairs health care
  • They were awarded full post 9/11 GI Bill benefits during their active duty period.
  • To get the complete benefits of the 9/11 GI Bill, a veteran is at least expected to serve 36 months of active duty
  • The Purple Heart veterans are qualified to get space at Arlington National Cemetery for burial and inurnment.
  • Valid from January 1, 2020, Purple Heart veterans and their families can enjoy the Military Welfare and Recreation (MWR) retail and lodging amenities.

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