Medal of Honor Means Benefits for Life

On July 12, 2011, President Obama will award Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry with the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry. SFC Petry is only the second living Medal of Honor recipient from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Having earned an MOH, He will be given privileges and benefits for the rest of his life.

Medal of Honor recipients receive the following privileges and special benefits:

  • A Special Medal of Honor pension of $1,194 per month above and beyond any military pensions or other benefits for which they may be eligible.
  • Special entitlements to Space “A” air transportation.
  • Enlisted recipients are entitled to a supplemental uniform allowance.
  • Commissary and exchange privileges (includes eligible dependents).
  • Admission to the United States military academies for qualified children of recipients – without nomination and quota requirements.
  • 10 percent increase in retired pay.
  • Medal of Honor Flag.
  • Allowed to wear the uniform at anytime as long as the standard restrictions are observed.
  • Many states offer Medal of Honor automobile license plates.
  • Interment at Arlington National Cemetery if not otherwise eligible.

Learn more about the Medal of Honor.

About the Author

Terry Howell
Before becoming the Managing Editor for, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.
  • JustJ

    Its good that medal of honor recipients get these things. I do feel bad for all the unknown Joes who give so much and get jack in return. I don’t think the military should have a hollywood style “scouted” medal system, where if the right person sees it you get such and such. … I don’t know… There has to be a better way in the 21st century.

  • Redleg 04

    Compared to the lifetime entitlements our elected officals receiv this is a pittance. Especially when this award is usually given posthumously.

    My highest regards to any servicemember who receives or is nominated for this recognition!

    • Military Mom

      It is more than a pittance! This is an absolute disgrace. Our military are trotted out to make the politicians look good. But on the other side, the life of the military family is lived on a shoe-string, just praying that the children have lives that come close to normal.

      The sacrifices are enormous, the rewards, sorely lacking.
      Military Mom

  • Toby

    you failed to mention that some U.S. Airlines allow you to fly free if you are traveling to attend some type convention you will be speaking at concerning your cmoh.

    • tdhowell


  • txagcol1

    actually, the amount of average retirement for a congressman is based on number of years and the amount they contributed to the csrs system. They can’t collect on their pensions until age 62. The average congressman’s pension as of 2009 was 35k. It is not the grand salary and pensions of popular myth.

    • Guest

      You are probably correct, but last I heard a congressman or Senator could get a Congressional pension after only eight (8) years in Congress. Try that in ANY other job!! Plus they get the cheapest and best medical insurance FOREVER!!

      • jason

        senator receives a pension after one term…reps get it after two…

  • Willie3

    For every one MOH awarded there are probably hundreds if not more cases were there were just no witnesses to verify the acts , or the acts took place on missions that “didn’t happen”. I believe that the American Fighting Man and Woman are some of the best and bravest examples in the entire world and I count my self privledged to be called a veteran .

  • Anthony J. Mitchell

    It left out a guaranteed seat at presidential inaugurations.

  • BILL


  • footballhistorian


    • baucb

      yes was kinda retarted coment, but have to some what agree, we do support our troops and always will, but they are being paid to live this life style, glad we have some that do this or we would be in a world of a mess. what about the NG and ARMY RESERVE, never see them get any thing, and they do and did the same as the army did, but hear nothing. oh well would be nice to support every one.

      • Eric

        The ARNG and Reserve do get the same high speed medals that Regular Army gets. They still have to be earned.

        • Grunt Captain

          Yes just need tons of evidence a spotless record and about five or six years of constant back and forth trying to get soldiers recognized for their actions. The simple witness statements are only about 10% of what is needed to get soldiers awards for heroism, the packets are huge and the boards who review then can deny them even if every leader in the chain of command up to theater commander (3 star) supports and reccomend approval, the gray area is in the military awards board at military awards they can deny without an explinatiom even with mountains of proof, so the action in question is not the only thing being reviewed, it involves other areas including their componant reserve or guard status and background as the military will not want someone getting the MOH or anything above a BSM that may have some issues in their past or present life, it really is more than just the actions on the battlefield this system has taken many troops who have distinguished themselves under fire and denied awards because of additional clerical or administrtative processes that had nothing to do with the combat valor.

      • Ralph

        The First MOH for this war was given to a National Guardsman. Check it out fool. Don’t just go crying when you know nothing of the subject.

  • baucb

    doing a great job, thank you

  • thurman

    I am happy to see that these guys get something for going above and beyond their duties. I don’t think its enough but I am glad that we honor them in some way. Besides most of these guys would tell you they didn’t do it for the medal or the other bennefits but for their battle buddies.

  • James Airey

    He is a good man…by his own words to say his loss was a good loss tells you what type of man he is…he deserves the medal and then some!!!!

  • CavScout62

    This is a good thing, anyone who recieves the CMH deserves these perks and so much more. I also believe that ALL who serve Honorably should be exempt from income taxes for life as we all wrote that check that says “Up to & including my life”.

    • Doubtom

      It is not the CMH!! It’s the MOH dammit! Can’t we ever get at least this much straight?
      They should get front of any line privileged anywhere, anytime. They should wear that medal every day and receive a salute from every public servant up to and including the president. The MOH recipient represents the very best of patriots and should be honored as such. He has no equal in patriotism or valor except for his fellow recipients.

  • billwells

    Any valor award given is well deserved. Paid to do the job. Get your CDU on and go and see if you are paid to do what needs to be done sometimes. All valor award are for duty above and beyond what you are paid to do. Remember RLTW!

  • anthony

    And the “Golden Key of City”And they should get a salute everyday as said before,its the thought that counts, wich reminds these men of what they are”our heros”

  • MR B

    Lot of truth about the huge packets required for an award. The NG & USAR understand the discrimination that goes on, too (even it the first MOH awarded, as mentioned above, went to a reservist). Packets for USAR or NG soldier easily get lost, no one cares and trying to recover or rebuild a packet is a waste of time because the chain of command changes so quickly. The appeals process is a joke, too. I speak from experience having been in OIF/OEF 1– waiting in Kuwait for the war to start and helping to bring the logisitcal support chain into Iraq right behing the combat arms.
    I would hope that the AC would, at least by now, appreciate the USAR or NG but in the opening rotation, in the support forces, they weren’t.

  • Sir George E. Granse

    Who ever earns one I am very happy for and shall always wish them the very best.

  • Geoff Roach

    only $1200 extra? what the heck? they deserve much more then that, I’d say an extra 10 grand a month AT LEAST, these recipients sacrificed so much, nearly dying, and we give them just enough to survive? Hell no they deserve way to much to be given crap.

    • Tom

      I agree, Geoff. They put their life on the line or sacrifice their life for the nation and yet, we are paying them these pee nuts. It is sad and we should do more. I wish the military recognizes it and pay them much more as they deserve it. They should be entitled to all benefits. I wish I could send some money for them.

    • david

      youre just gonna make it into profit for honor…true valor needs no hidden agenda

    • Brad Strohm

      We don’t do it for the cash award. We do it because we saved lives. Get it.