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The Medal of Honor takes its place in our country's heritage as the highest award for military valor. This prestigious honor is awarded only to individuals who have "distinguished themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives, above and beyond the call of duty." The Medal of Honor for the U.S. Army was approved on July 12, 1862, which authorized the award to be given to recognize enlisted soldiers who distinguished themselves by gallantry in action. The law was ameded on March 3, 1863 and included the award to officers as well as enlisted personnel, and made retroactive to the beginning of the Civil War. Subsequent changes were made to the conditions for awarding the Medal of Honor, but the original intent to recognize individuals who displayed their unique abilities through acts of uncommon courage and valor remains unchanged. There were 50 Medal of Honor Recipients who were serving with the U.S. Army Medical Department when they earned the nation's highest honor.