Nomination window for Medals of Valor and Merit closing soon

OLYMPIA — The deadline to submit nominations for Washington’s Medals of Merit and Valor is Sep. 15, 2023.

The Medal of Merit recognizes exceptional individuals who perform outstanding services for Washington and its residents. The Medal of Valor is awarded to anyone who has saved, or attempted to save, the life of another at the risk of their own safety.

On April 18, Secretary of State Steve Hobbs announced that the Office of the Secretary of State (OSOS) had begun to accept nominations for the highest civilian honors awarded to the people of Washington.

“Every day we walk among giants; those that have dedicated themselves to bettering our communities and those that have demonstrated selfless acts that warrant our gratitude,” said Secretary Hobbs. “They deserve to be celebrated for what they have done and to be recognized for their inspiring acts.”

Nomination forms for the Medal of Merit and Medal of Valor can be found online. Forms and supporting documents may be sent to [email protected] or either the Medal of Merit Committee or Medal of Valor Committee, c/o Secretary of State, P.O. Box 40220, Olympia, WA 98504-0220.

Recipients are chosen by state medal committees that include the governor, president of the state Senate (lieutenant governor), speaker of the state House of Representatives, and chief justice of the state Supreme Court. The secretary of state serves as a nonvoting ex-officio member and secretary of the committees. Recipients are awarded their medals during a special presentation ceremony.

The Medal of Merit may be awarded posthumously but cannot be awarded to an elected official while in office or any candidate for an elected office. Law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other professional emergency responders are not eligible for the Medal of Valor.

Washington’s Office of the Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.