About the medals

Our Mission

To honor and recognize animals for bravery and service in both war and peacetime where their stories, and their valiant human handlers, will be recognized for generations to come.


The Animals in War and Peace Medal of Bravery was instituted in the Inaugural Ceremony in Washington, DC on November 14, 2019 to honor the work of American animals in war and peace. The medal was created as the American equivalent of the British PDSA Dickin Medal, awarded in the United Kingdom for any animal displaying conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty particularly in the armed forces or civil emergency services.

The Animals in War and Peace Distinguished Service Medal was instituted in 2020 as a means to recognize animals who distinguish themselves by extraordinary heroism not justifying the Medal of Bravery award, and had a career of sustained superior performance. 

Read more on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animals_in_War_%26_Peace_Medal_of_Bravery.

Who is eligible?

Any animal, past or present, trained to provide a service to the military or first responders.  

Medal of Bravery

The Medal of Bravery is awarded for conspicuously distinguishing themselves by displaying gallantry and acts of valor within the performance of their duties.

There must be no margin of doubt or possibility of error in awarding this honor. To justify the award, the animal's service must clearly be rendered conspicuous above his or her expectations by an act so outstanding that it clearly distinguishes his or her gallantry beyond the call of duty from lesser forms of bravery. 

The act or execution of duty must be performed in the presence of great danger, or at great risk, and must be performed in such a manner as to set them apart from their fellow working or service animals. 

The high standards demanded must be borne in mind when recommending the award.

Distinguished Service Medal

The Distinguished Service Medal is presented to recognize distinguished and exceptionally meritorious service in the performance of his or her duties. 

This  Medal is awarded to any animal who distinguished themselves by extraordinary heroism not justifying the Medal of Bravery award.

To justify this award, exceptional performance of duty, clearly above that normally expected, which has contributed materially to the success of a unit, command or department is required. 

The Medal is also warranted for sustained superior performance throughout the course of their duties.  

Do you have an animal you'd like to nominate?

We are now accepting nominations from the public for our next Animals in War and Peace Medal Ceremony that will be held on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, September 30, 2020.  You can nominate an animal for our Medal of Bravery or brand new Distinguished Service Medal.

Animals in War and Peace Nominating Board and Advisory Committee