The Purple Heart medal ribbon can legally be authorized to only three groups of personnel:
First, those wounded or injured as a direct result of hostile enemy action.
Second, those wounded or injured as a direct result of friendly fire (FF). (Broadly speaking, FF occurs only during a hostile encounter or initiative with, or in response to, an enemy when someone on your side mistakes you for the enemy.) Or when injured by your own non-projectile weapon (bayonet, sword, blunt instrument, etc.) or projectile weapons fire (bullet, explosive device, etc) while engaging, responding to or attacking an enemy.
Third, POWs injured or wounded as a result of individually directed conflict or punishment with their captor in violation of any article of the Geneva Convention Rules of Warfare Concerning the Treatment of Prisoners of War whether or not the captor's government is a signatory to the Convention.
History, The original Purple Heart, designated as the Badge of Military Merit, was established by George Washington -- then the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. From then on, as its legend grew, so did its appearance. Although never abolished, the award of the badge was not proposed again officially until after World War I. General Douglas MacArthur, commissioned work of a new design and the Purple Heart was revived on the 200th Anniversary of George Washington's birth by Executive Order of the President of the United States on February 22, 1932. Purple Hearts were not awarded by the U.S. during World War I, but resumed in World War II. The award was extended to the Coast Guard in 1942. In 1952, Congress made the awarding of the Purple Heart retroactive to April 5, 1917, the date America entered WWI.
Lost and Found, Purple Heart Medals and other medals of valor are sometimes lost, stolen, misplaced, hocked at pawn shops and turn up in various ways. If you find a medal of valor that belongs to someone else, or if you see or hear of one for sale then contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what you should do. There is also a non-profit in Vermont to contact Purple Hearts Reunited↗ for help in finding the recipient or the family of.
Warning, Stolen Valor is already a federal offense and soon to be the sale of medals of valor a federal offense.
The Civil War Campaign medal 1861-1865 details here↗
The World War One Victory medal 6 April 1917 to 11 November 1918 details here↗
The World War Two Victory medal December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946 details here↗
The Cold War Victory medal September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991 details here↗
The Korean War Service medal June 27, 1950 to July 27, 1954 details here↗
The National Defense Service medal Periods of national emergency details here↗
The Vietnam War Service medal November 15, 1961 to April 30, 1975 details here↗
The Southwest Asia Service medal 2 August 1990 to 30 November 1995 details here↗
The Global War on Terrorism Service medal September 11, 2001 to present details here↗