The Medal of Honor was created during the American Civil War and is the highest military decoration presented by the United States government to a member of its armed forces. It is bestowed "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in actual combat against an armed enemy force". The medal is awarded by the President of the United States on behalf of the Congress.
Since it was instituted there have been 3,473 recipients; at least 29 American Jews have received the Medal of Honor for their actions, but a 1993 study determined that racial discrimination affected the awarding of medals. In 2005 Tibor Rubin, who many believed to have been overlooked due to discrimination, received the Medal of Honor for his actions in 1950.