William D. Hathaway.
“The [Medal of Honor] is the highest and most prestigious U.S. military medal.” The criteria for awarding the Congressional Medal of Honor are strict and similar to the standard that must be met by a prosecutor’s evidence in a criminal proceeding. Military honors have a long history of being conferred to individuals who distinguish themselves from the ranks. In America, the first honor of this type was established by General George Washington, who proclaimed in his general order that “[s]hould any who are not entitled to these honors have the insolence to assume the badges of them, they shall be severely punished. On the other hand it is expected those gallant men who are thus designated will on all occasions be treated with particular confidence and consideration.”