The White House says it's to correct discrimination in the military and make sure people who may have previously been overlooked are honored.
Of the 24 veterans, 19 are Hispanic, Jewish and African American. All but one are enlisted men.
One, Joe Baldonado, who died in 1950, is from Santa Clara County.
The veterans being honored fought in World War II, the Korean War, or in Vietnam. Only three of the veterans are still alive.
The awards ceremony will be held on March 18.