The honor was first awarded in 1863, during the American Civil War. The last recipient was a posthumous award to Army Spc. Leslie H. Sabo Jr. for his actions after his platoon was ambushed during the Vietnam war.
The announcement came Friday, as President Obama met with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai at the White House. According to the White House, during the talks Obama "reaffirmed the United States’ respect for Afghanistan’s sovereignty and reiterated that as Afghanistan takes full responsibility for its security and development, the United States continues to be committed to supporting the Afghan people."