Michael Metrinko’s Medal of Valor

Iran 1981

"Before the Iran hostage crisis began on November 9, 1979, American diplomats in Iran faced the ongoing challenges of serving during the Iranian revolution, which had been unfolding since early 1978. Michael Metrinko, who was the U.S. Consul in Tabriz, Iran faced a chaotic and violent situation in early 1979. Metrinko opted to remain at his post despite being given permission to depart, staying behind out of concern for the welfare of several Americans and other westerners held in prison in Tabriz. Metrinko helped them get to the safety of the U.S. consulate building compound after revolutionaries attacked the prison. The consulate did not remain a safe haven for long, and was violently stormed by revolutionaries. Metrinko and the group of former prisoners were taken hostage twice during the ensuing ordeal, and were at risk of being executed. Using his language skills and personal contacts in Iranian society, Metrinko ably extricated himself and the former prisoners from this dangerous and unpredictable situation. For his actions, Metrinko was awarded the U.S. Department of State’s Medal of Valor. Today, this award is known as the Award for Heroism."

  • Source/Credit: Gift of Michael J. Metrinko
  • Catalog Number: 2021.0015.06
  • Created: 1981
  • Acquired: 2021

This image is in the public domain and no permission is required to use it. Please credit the National Museum of American Diplomacy as the original source, and provide a link back to the item page where possible.

Most of our items are donations, and we cannot always confirm the copyright or trademark status of photographs, prints, drawings, and other artistic works that may be depicted in these images.

Please contact us at NMAD@state.gov for any permissions or usage questions.

MLA Format

Michael Metrinko's Medal of Valor. 1981. National Museum of American Diplomacy, https://diplomacy.state.gov/items/michael-metrinkos-medal-of-valor

Chicago Format

Michael Metrinko's Medal of Valor, 1981, National Museum of American Diplomacy, Washington, DC, https://diplomacy.state.gov/items/michael-metrinkos-medal-of-valor

APA Format

(1981). Michael Metrinko's Medal of Valor [Object]. National Museum of American Diplomacy, Washington, D.C., United States. https://diplomacy.state.gov/items/michael-metrinkos-medal-of-valor

Additional Images