The Purple Heart Miniature Medal is awarded to members of the United States military, or civilians, who have been wounded, has died of wounds, or may die of wounds, or is killed by an enemy force while in armed combat, or as a result of terrorism, or being a prisoner of war.
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Purple Heart Miniature Medal (Army, Air Force)
The Purple Heart Medal is America’s oldest military decoration. It was originally established on August 7, 1782 by General George Washington who designed the original award called the “Badge of Military Merit.”
The Badge of Military Merit was awarded for singularly meritorious action to a deserving hero of the Revolutionary War. There were only three recipients of the award, all of whom were non-commissioned officers of the Continental Army. The Badge of Military Merit was intended by Washington to be a permanent decoration, but was never used again after the three initial presentations until it was reestablished as the Purple Heart Medal on February 22, 1932 (the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birth) by the Army War Department.