No, President Joe Biden didn’t place a recipient’s Medal of Honor on backward

President Joe Biden didn’t place a Spc. Dwight Birdwell’s Medal of Honor on backward, as viral videos claim.
Credit: Screenshot/Twitter

President Joe Biden on July 5 bestowed the nation's highest military honor to four Army soldiers for heroism during the Vietnam War.

Biden presented the Medal of Honor to Staff Sgt. Edward N. Kaneshiro, Spc. Five Dwight W. Birdwell, Spc. Five Dennis M. Fujii, and retired Maj. John J. Duffy

Since the ceremony in the White House’s East Room, several video clips have gone viral that claim to show Biden placing the medal on Birdwell backward. Some videos have more than a million views.  

THE QUESTION

Did President Joe Biden place a recipient’s Medal of Honor on backward?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, the social media claims are false. Biden placed the medal on Birdwell correctly.

WHAT WE FOUND

The viral video’s low resolution makes it hard to tell if the medal was placed backward, but official clips from the White House and news footage show it was placed correctly.

In the high-resolution White House video, Biden places the medal around Birdwell’s neck 29 minutes into the video.

C-SPAN, which televises proceedings from the federal government, also recorded the event that shows Biden placing the medal.

Photos taken by The Associated Press also show Biden placing the medal on correctly. The shape of the medal and its coloration closely match Birdwell’s tie. 

Credit: AP
President Joe Biden awards the Medal of Honor to Spc. Dwight Birdwell for his actions on Jan. 31, 1968, during the Vietnam War, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Washington.

Birdwell was honored for helping head off an assault and evacuate the wounded at Tan Son Nhut Airbase near Saigon on Jan. 31, 1968, despite injuries to his torso and face. The assault happened during an opening salvo in what is known as the Tet Offensive, an especially bloody period of the Vietnam War.

Birdwell, a member of the Cherokee Nation and a lawyer in Oklahoma City, had received a Silver Star for his actions. Biden said it took Birdwell's commanding officer decades to realize that Birdwell had not received the proper recognition and took steps, even in retirement, to “make this day possible.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

Follow Us

Want something VERIFIED?

Text: 202-410-8808

Related Stories