What Is The Congressional Medal of Merit And How Is It Awarded?

I can find a zillion references to people being bestowed this honor, but not a single thing on what one has to do in order to be qualified to be awarded one, what the procedure is for submitting someone for this award, or what the process is for Congress to get it approved (if any – it’s pretty strict for the Congressional Medal of Honor, but this seems much less “official,” as it were, so perhaps each Congressperson can just decide to bestow one and that’s all it takes?). There’s nothing about it on Wikipedia. Google has not been my friend in this regard. Even my Congresswoman’s COS says he’s never heard of it.

My boss sits on the Advisory Council for the Foundation Board of Directors of the L.A. Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor UCLA Medical Center (how’s that for a mouthful?). They are holding an event to honor several doctors for their contributions to the practice of medicine, one of whom is Dr. John Criley. . . On July 15, 1970 the first paramedic training program in California was adopted by Governor Ronald Reagan, —and California was the first state to adopt legislation permitting paramedics to provide advanced medical life support.

LA BioMed researcher Dr. John Michael Criley, was the driving force in the development of the concept of using firefighter personnel to provide a wide range of medical care services at the scene of an emergency. Under his leadership, six firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department began the first paramedic training class. On December 8, 1969, the first Mobile Intensive Care Unit, complete with radio telemetry, cardioscope, defribrillator, medications, and other equipment and supplies, and manned by two newly trained paramedics on each shift went into service.

Three weeks after Governor Reagan signed the law, the first curriculum for paramedics was launched. Dr. Criley’s concept became the accepted program with the county and grew to be a model for training paramedics all over the country.
They have enlisted our assistance in the hopes that Dr. Criley can be presented this award, but I am officially stumped.

There seems to be a very broad range of activities for which people have been awarded this thing. In 1946 Enrico Fermi received the U.S. Congressional Medal of Merit for his work in the field of nuclear energy and safety. Congressman Ehlers of Michigan seems to know what it is – he awards them to one outstanding senior from every high school in his district every year. Al Jolson even received one posthumously, for entertaining the troops during both World Wars and the Korean War.

I’d call Congressman Ehlers’ office myself, but I’m not one of his constituents, so I’m reluctant to bother his staff. Besides which, my boss won’t even allow me to press our Congresswoman’s COS because “we shouldn’t make him do our homework for us.” Ok, so how do I get the information I need about this award, then? Gah! Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Source: http://www.congressionalgoldmedal.com/

First hit from Google. :smiley:

Thank you! Though it must’ve snuck its way up to the top just recently, because it certainly hasn’t come up for me on several searches until just now – and trust me, I checked again before posting this thread, and it was definitely not there.

When Google is purring, it does all sorts of nice things for you. Just don’t make it angry.
Feeding it chocolate always works, though. Dark chocolate. :smiley:

Actually it’s called the Medal of Honor.

“Congressional Medal of Honor” is incorrect, despite its widespread usage.

BTW, the Medal of Honor is bestowed for conspicuous acts of gallantry on the battlefield–under fire. The answer is: No, he would not qualify. Not even close.
10. What are the guidelines for which the medal could be awarded?

10A. On July 25,1963 Congress established a set of guidelines under which the Medal of Honor could be awarded:
a.) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
b.) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or,
c.) while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

The Medal of Merit is distinct from The Medal of Honor Carnac…see Duckster’s link in Post #2.

Actually, it’s not. It is the Medal of Merit, the Medal of Honor being something completely different – a military honor that can only be awarded by the President, not Congress. If you had read the link so helpfully provided by Duckster, you’d’ve seen right in the first paragraph:

P.S. Duckster, I’ll try to remember about the Dark Chocolate Gifts to the Google Gods (or in this case, the rassum frassum quotation marks, the inclusion of which does not result in providing the above-referenced site). Thank you again.

P.P.S. Jane Harman’s staff still doesn’t know what this is!