Every day, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers engage in exceptional acts of bravery while in the line of duty. Often, such acts place the officers involved at personal risk of injury or result in their sustaining a physical injury. To honor these acts of bravery, Congress passed the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-298), creating the Federal Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery and the State and Local Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery. The act establishes an award to honor exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty by federal, state, and local law enforcement officers. The medals are awarded annually by the U.S. Attorney General and are presented by the recipients’ Congressional representatives.
To meet the definition of an act of bravery, nominees for the Congressional Badge of Bravery must have either:
- Sustained a physical injury while engaged in the lawful duties of the individual, and performing an act characterized as bravery by the agency head who makes the nomination, and being at personal risk; or
- Although not injured, performed an act characterized as bravery by the agency head who makes the nomination that placed the individual at risk of serious physical injury or death.
Nominating a Law Enforcement Officer to Receive the Congressional Badge of Bravery
The submitting of nominations is by/at the direction of law enforcement agency heads to the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance. Nominations are considered by either the Federal Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Board or the State and Local Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Board, which submit their recommendations to the U.S. Attorney General.
The opening date for nominations is on or about December 15 of each year. When the nomination period is open, all nominations must be submitted through the online Congressional Badge of Bravery Nomination System.
PLEASE NOTE: The background of Congressional Badge of Bravery nominees may be reviewed as part of the selection process. Agency heads must submit nominations through the online Congressional Badge of Bravery Nomination System.
- Congressional Badge of Bravery Frequently Asked Questions
- Template for CBOB applications
- Illustrations of the CBOB federal and state and local medals
- For more information about the Congressional Badge of Bravery, please email AskCBOB@usdoj.gov.
- Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Brochure
- To learn about other law enforcement and crime prevention initiatives, subscribe to NewsFromBJA.
- Gregory Joy, BJA Policy Advisor, and CBOB Program Administrator: Gregory.Joy@usdoj.gov