North Carolina has inaugurated the Medal of Valor Award, a prestigious recognition for first responders who exhibit extraordinary heroism in the line of duty. Administered by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, the award aims to honor those who perform acts of great bravery under imminent personal risk.

Prompted by Lt. Governor Mark Robinson, legislation to start program was passed by the state legislature in 2023 and signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper. It gives statewide recognition to paid and volunteer firefighters, paramedics, law enforcement officers, emergency medical services personnel or rescue squad members. The legislation designates the award of two honorees annually, one by the Governor’s office and one by the Lt. Governor’s office. Under special circumstances, additional honorees will be considered.

“It was an honor to be a primary sponsor on this bill, and to be able to help give first responders the recognition that they deserve,” said Rep. Charlie Miller, R-Brunswick. “Throughout my tenure, I have witnessed firsthand the dedication and unwavering commitment exhibited by our state’s first responders in the face of adversity. These brave men and women embody the true spirit of heroism, often risking their own safety to safeguard the lives of others.”

Robinson announced the launch of the North Carolina Medal of Valor Award program earlier this year. The new online platform lays out the process to recognize acts of remarkable bravery and selflessness among the state’s first responders.

“By establishing this dedicated webpage, we aim to ensure that the inspiring stories of our state’s heroes are heard and celebrated for generations to come,” said Robinson.

The Medal of Valor may be awarded to individual first responders or entire units once per calendar year, based on recommendations from their respective highest-ranking officials or unit members.

“The launch of the North Carolina Medal of Valor webpage is a testament to the valor and sacrifice exemplified by individuals in our state,” said Sen. Norm Sanderson, R-Carteret, who sponsored the Senate version. “It is crucial that we acknowledge and honor the courageous deeds of North Carolinians who put their lives on the line to protect others.”

Information on the Medal of Valor Award can be found on the lieutenant governor’s website. The Medal of Valor Award has not yet been added to the governor’s award site.

Do you have a nomination for the North Carolina Medal Of Valor?

Nominations must include a detailed biography of the nominee’s service history in North Carolina, emphasizing acts of heroism beyond their regular duties. Additionally, letters of recommendation from individuals who can attest to the nominee’s character, leadership, and community involvement are required. Self-nominations are not accepted, and nominations from immediate family members are discouraged. All supporting documentation must be submitted via email to [email protected].