Nominations now open for Washington’s Medals of Merit and Valor

OLYMPIA — The Office of the Secretary of State is now accepting nominations for Washington’s Medals of Merit and Valor. Nominations for both awards can be made until September 20.

The Medal of Merit recognizes people 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 and is not acting in the course of duty as a Washington police officer, firefighter, or other government-employed first responder.

“The Medals of Merit and Valor are the highest civilian honors awarded to the people of Washington,” Secretary Hobbs said. “I encourage you to nominate the hero in your life who works tirelessly for their community.”

Recipients are chosen by state medal committees which consist of the governor, 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.

Earlier this year, the Medals of Merit and Valor were awarded to the families of Dr. Abraham “Abe” Bergman and Donnie Chin for their service to Washington. This was the first time in nine years that either medal had been awarded.

Visit the Office of the Secretary of State website for nomination guidelines and forms. Recipients will be publicly announced after January 15, 2025, and a formal award ceremony will be held later in the year.

Washington’s Office of the Secretary of State oversees 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 operates the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, and administers the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees and the Productivity Board state employee suggestion program to provide incentives for efficiency improvements. The Secretary of State also oversees the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.