Guinness World Records stopped tracking the world’s most decorated soldiers because the importance and distinction of certain medals outweigh the number of medals a service member can be awarded — a point veterans certainly understand.
What brought this issue to Guinness’s attention was the medal count between Audie Murphy — long regarded as the most decorated U.S. soldier ever — and a little-known WWII veteran and Medal of Honor recipient named Matt Urban, whose medal count matched Murphy’s.
But because Urban’s recommendation and supporting paperwork had been lost, so no one knew that Urban had matched the well-known Murphy until 36 years after the end of WWII.
President Carter called then-retired Lt. Col. Matt Urban “The Greatest Soldier in American History” as he presented the Medal of Honor to Urban in 1980. The soldier’s Medal of Honor citation alone lists “a series of actions” — at least 10 — that go above and beyond the call of duty.