Defense creates military honors database to prevent false claims

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

The Defense Department launched a Web database Tuesday that will list the recipients of military service honors.

The website,, was created to discourage individuals from fraudulently claiming military honors. In a controversial decision in June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that falsely claiming a service medal constituted protected speech under the First Amendment. The decision overturned the 2006 Stolen Valor Act, which had made it a federal crime to falsify military award information.

In a statement, Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Erin C. Conaton noted the importance of having an official database to verify accomplishments from military service.

“It is essential that we honor and recognize our service members’ achievements, while maintaining the integrity of our award data,” Conaton said.

The database will contain information from all the service branches, which currently maintain records on military awards separately. During a congressional hearing in February, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, criticized Defense for failing to take the lead in creating a unified medal database. Pentagon officials responded that establishing such a database would be difficult and would potentially stretch resources thin.

Regardless, Conaton noted the new website will work with each branch of the military to expediently upload information from recent conflicts, along with medal recipients from past wars. Information on past wars may not initially be accessible, she cautioned.

“We are working quickly to compile accurate information on the heroes of the post-9/11 conflicts,” Conaton said. “At the same time, we will work with the military services to identify and seek to address the challenges associated with compiling data from earlier conflicts.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.