Bestowed by the President of the United States, it is the highest civilian award given in the country. Initially established by President Harry S. Truman to award meritorious civilian service during World War II, it was later re-established by President John F. Kennedy for individuals who have given "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." General Bradley was decorated with this award by President Gerald Ford.