Laws Regarding the Medal of Valor
Under Washington State law the Medal of Valor is described as follows:
Medal of valor.
There is established a decoration of the state medal of valor with accompanying certificate, ribbons, and appurtenances for award by the governor, in the name of the state, to any person who has saved, or attempted to save, the life of another at the risk of serious injury or death to himself or herself, upon the selection of the governor's state medal of valor committee.
[2000 c 224 § 1.]
Medal of valor committee.
There is created the state medal of valor committee for selecting honorees for the award of the state medal of valor. The committee membership consists of the governor, president of the senate, speaker of the house of representatives, and the chief justice of the supreme court, or their designees. The secretary of state shall serve as a nonvoting ex officio member, and shall serve as secretary to the committee. The committee shall meet annually to consider candidates for this award. Any individual may nominate any resident of this state for any act of valor covered by this section. The committee shall adopt rules establishing the qualifications for the state medal of valor, the protocol governing the decoration, the certificate, and appurtenances necessary to the implementation of this chapter.
[2000 c 224 § 2.]
(1) The award will be presented by the governor of the state of Washington to the recipient only during a joint session of both houses of the legislature.
(2) If the governor is unable to present the award due to the disability or illness of the governor, the governor may delegate the presenting of the award to the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, or the chief justice of the supreme court.
[2000 c 224 § 3.]
The state medal of valor may be awarded posthumously to be presented to such representative of the deceased as may be deemed appropriate by the committee.
[2000 c 224 § 4.]
Hazardous professions excluded.
The state medal of valor will not be awarded to any individual who is acting as a result of service given by any branch of law enforcement, fire fighting, rescue, or other hazardous profession where the individual is employed by a government entity within the state of Washington.
[2000 c 224 § 5.]
Appearance of medal and certificate.
(1) The decoration of the state medal of valor shall be of .999 pure silver and shall consist of the seal of the state of Washington, surrounded by a raised laurel wreath and suspended from a silver bar device inscribed "For Valor" which is suspended from a ring attached by a dark green ribbon, bordered by silver. The reverse of the decoration within the raised laurel wreath shall be inscribed with the recipient's name and the words: "For exceptionally valorous service, given in the act of saving the life of another."
(2) The certificate accompanying the medal will prominently display: (a) The title, "Washington State Medal of Valor"; (b) the recipient's name; and (c) the phrase, "For exceptionally valorous service, given in the act of saving the life of another." A seven-line citation will also be included on the certificate.
[2000 c 224 § 6.]