The Pentagon will review more than 1,100 medals issued since the 9/11 terror attacks for possible upgrade to the Medal of Honor, the country's highest award issued for valor in combat, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.
The sweeping review ordered by Defense Secretary Ash Carter would represent one of the most significant steps in decades to honor troops who have displayed extraordinary courage in combat. It stems from a study of military decorations and awards that was ordered in March 2014 by then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel "to ensure that after 13 years of combat the awards system appropriately recognizes the service, sacrifices and action of our service members."
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Should even a fraction of the medals under review be upgraded, it's possible that dozens more troops would receive the Medal of Honor for their bravery in Iraq and Afghanistan. A formal announcement is scheduled for Thursday. The review and creation of new awards to honor the-post 9/11 generation of troops are the latest in a series of dramatic steps Carter has taken regarding military personnel; others include opening all combat jobs to women, and preparing to rescind the ban on transgender troops from serving.
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