Pentagon planning database of military valor awards, medals

WASHINGTON — Following the Supreme Court’s decision last month to strike down a law that made it illegal to lie about receiving military awards for valor, the Pentagon says it plans to set up a database that would allow medal claims to be checked.

“We are exploring options to stand up a database of valor awards and medals,” Pentagon press secretary George Little said Tuesday. “The goal is to stand up such a database.”

The Pentagon had called such a database impractical, saying many of the records were unavailable. But Supreme Court justices, in striking down the Stolen Valor Act as an unconstitutional limit on free speech, said false medal claims could be combatted if the Defense Department established a medal database.

Little said military officials still must determine details, including which medals would be included and the range of years covered, and gave no prospective launch date for the database.

“We would obviously hope to go as far back as possible but we also want there to be integrity in the data,” he said.


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