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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: NR-093-14
February 21, 2014

Secretary Hagel Announces Decision on Sgt. Rafael Peralta Medal of Honor Case

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced today that he will not reopen the Medal of Honor nomination for U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta.
 
After extensively familiarizing himself with the history of Sgt. Peralta’s nomination, Secretary Hagel determined the totality of the evidence does not meet the “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” Medal of Honor award standard.  
 
The Department of Defense has taken extraordinary measures to ensure Sgt. Peralta’s nomination received full consideration.  Three separate secretaries of defense have now examined the case, and each independently concluded the evidence does not support award of the Medal of Honor.  
 
The standard for the Medal of Honor is extremely high, as one would expect for our nation’s most prestigious military medal.  
 
Secretary Hagel and the department remain forever grateful to Sgt. Peralta for his selfless service to our nation.