United States Department of War
The United States Department of War called the War Department, was the United States Cabinet department responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army bearing responsibility for naval affairs until the establishment of the Navy Department in 1798, for most land-based air forces until the creation of the Department of the Air Force on September 18, 1947. The Secretary of War, a civilian with such responsibilities as finance and purchases and a minor role in directing military affairs, headed the War Department throughout its existence; the War Department existed from August 7, 1789 until September 18, 1947, when it split into Department of the Army and Department of the Air Force and joined the Department of the Navy as part of the new joint National Military Establishment, renamed the United States Department of Defense in 1949. Shortly after the establishment of a strong government under President George Washington in 1789, Congress created the War Department as a civilian agency to administer the field army under the president and the secretary of war.
Retired senior General Henry Knox in civilian life, served as the first United States Secretary of War. Forming and organizing the department and the army fell to Secretary Knox. Direct field command of the small Regular Army by President Washington leading a column of troops west through Pennsylvania to Fort Cumberland in Maryland in 1794 to combat the incipient Whiskey Rebellion on the frontier was an occasion never since used by American Presidents; the Possibility of re-organizing a "New Army" under nominal command of retired President and Major General George Washington and his aide, former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton to deal with the rising tide of maritime incidents between American commerce ships and the new French Republic was authorized by second President John Adams in 1798 and the remote possibility of land invasion was an interesting adventure. On November 8, 1800 the War Department building with its records and files was consumed by fire. Foundation of the new military academy at West Point along the Hudson River upstream from New York City in 1802 was important to the future growth of the American army.
In August 1814 during the Burning of Washington, the United States Department of War building was burned-however the War and State Department files had been removed-all books and record had been saved. The multiple failures and fiascos of the War of 1812 convinced Washington that thorough reform of the War Department was necessary. Secretary of War, John C. Calhoun reorganized the department into a system of bureaus, whose chiefs held office for life, a commanding general in the field, although the Congress did not authorize this position. Winfield Scott became the senior general until the start of the American Civil War in 1861; the bureau chiefs acted as advisers to the Secretary of War while commanding their own troops and field installations. The bureaus conflicted among themselves, but in disputes with the commanding general, the Secretary of War supported the bureaus. Congress regulated the affairs of the bureaus in detail, their chiefs looked to that body for support. Calhoun set up the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1824, the main agency within the War Department for dealing with Native Americans until 1849, when the Congress transferred it to the newly founded Department of the Interior.
During the American Civil War, the War Department responsibilities expanded. It handled the recruiting, supply, medical care and pay of two million soldiers, comprising both the regular army and the much larger temporary volunteer army. A separate command structure took charge of military operations. In the late stages of the war, the Department took charge of refugees and freedmen in the American South through the Bureau of Refugees and Abandoned Lands. During Reconstruction, this bureau played a major role in supporting the new Republican governments in the southern states; when military Reconstruction ended in 1877, the U. S. Army removed the last troops from military occupation of the American South, the last Republican state governments in the region ended; the Army comprised hundreds of small detachments in forts around the West, dealing with Indians, in coastal artillery units in port cities, dealing with the threat of a naval attack. The United States Army, with 39,000 men in 1890 was the smallest and least powerful army of any major power in the late 19th century.
By contrast, France had an army of 542,000. Temporary volunteers and state militia units fought the Spanish–American War of 1898; this conflict demonstrated the need for more effective control over its bureaus. Secretary of War Elihu Root sought to appoint a chief of staff as general manager and a European-type general staff for planning, aiming to achieve this goal in a businesslike manner, but General Nelson A. Miles stymied his efforts. Root enlarged the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York and established the United States Army War College and the General Staff, he changed the procedures for promotions and organized schools for the special branches of the service. He devised the principle of rotating officers from staff to line. Concerned about the new territories acquired after the Spanish–American War, Root worked out the procedures for turning Cuba over to the Cubans, wrote the charter of government for the Philippines, eliminated tariffs on goods imported to the United States from Puerto Rico.
Root's successor as Secretary
The Comanche campaign is a general term for military operations by the United States government against the Comanche tribe in the newly settled west. Between 1867 and 1875, military units fought against the Comanche people in a series of expeditions and campaigns until the Comanche surrendered and relocated to a reservation. Western settlement brought the Spanish, French and American settlers into regular contact with the native tribes of the region. Many of these Indians were friendly, received the new settlers gladly, offering to trade and coexist peacefully, while other tribes resisted the newcomers; the idea of Manifest Destiny as well as the Homestead Act pushed American and immigrant settlers further west, thereby creating more competition for a finite amount of land. This competition for land created the Natives of the region. In an effort to prevent conflicts in the area, many treaties were signed promising land and peace between the two parties, but such treaties were honored; the Comanche tribe was one of the main sources of native resistance in the region that became Oklahoma and Texas, came into conflict with both other tribes and the newer settlers.
With the outbreak of the Civil War, some Indian tribes attempted to align themselves with what they believed would be the winning side. In the case of the Comanche, the tribe signed a treaty with the Confederacy, when the war ended they were forced to swear loyalty to the United States government at Fort Smith; this did little to end the cycle of raiding. Spreading over a large expanse of the southern plains, the Comanche fought hard diplomatically to maintain power in the region they controlled. In the Treaty of Little Arkansas in 1865, the Comanche tribe was awarded a large piece of land spanning parts of Oklahoma and Texas; some parts of this region, called the Comancheria, soon became part of the reservation system. This treaty was followed by the Medicine Lodge Treaty in 1867, which helped to solidify the reservation system for the Plains Indians; these policies became part of President Ulysses S. Grant's Peace Policy, which prioritized missionary work and education over fighting. President Grant's Peace Policy became an important part of the white-Indian relations for a number of years.
A faction of the Comanche tribe, the Quahadi, was arguably the most resistant towards the Anglo settlers. Skeptical of what they would bring, the Quahadi avoided contact with these men. Goods were never exchanged between the groups, because of this seclusion they were unaffected by the cholera plagues in 1816 and 1849; the Quahadi were noted for their fierce nature. They were the wealthiest of the Comanche in terms of horses and cattle, they had never signed a peace treaty, it was this faction of the Comanche that gave the American troops the most trouble during this period. General William T. Sherman sent four cavalry companies from the United States Army to capture the Indians responsible for the Warren Wagon raid, but this assignment developed into eliminating the threat of the Comanche tribe, namely Quanah Parker and his Quahadi. Following on the heels of the Civil War, the Army had a low number of recruits, little money to pay the soldiers they did have, so few men were sent west to fight the Indian threat.
5,000 enlisted men, divided into ten regiments made up the American forces that would face the powerful Comanche. General Sherman picked Ranald S. Mackenzie, described by President Grant as "the most promising young officer in the army," commanding the 4th Cavalry, to lead the attack against the Comanche tribe. Mackenzie and his men developed a style of fighting designed to defeat the Comanche rather than face them in open battle. Colonel Mackenzie embarked on several expeditions into the Comancheria in an effort to destroy the Comanche winter camps and crops, as well as their horses and cattle. Reminiscent of General Sherman's "March to the Sea," the 4th Cavalry fought the Comanche by destroying their means of survival. In the fall of 1871, Mackenzie and his 4th Cavalry, as well as two companies in the 11th Infantry, arrived in Texas, began to seek out their target; the campaign began in the Llano Estacado region. In his first expedition and his men attacked these camps twice; the campaign began with the Battle of Blanco Canyon.
Through the use of Tonkawa scouts, Mackenzie was able to track Quanah Parker's faction, save another group of American soldiers from slaughter. They succeeded in pushing the Quahadi far into the region before they were forced to abandon the hunt for the winter; the second expedition lasted longer than the first, from September to November, succeeded in making it clear to the Comanche that the peace policy was no longer in effect. Mackenzie established a strong border patrol at several forts in the area, such as Fort Richardson, Fort Griffin, Fort Concho. While there was little direct combat between the two forces, the American tactics were successful. By following the Comanche tribe throughout the region and destroying each of their camps and his cavalry were able to hinder the Comanche's ability to prepare properly for winter. Mackenzie's third expedition, in September 1872, was the largest. Capturing 130 Indian women and children, stealing horses, ransacking Indian camps and the Fourth Cavalry spanned the region several times with the assistance of the Twenty-fourth Infantry and his Tonkawa scouts.
These captives were used in a deal made between the soldiers at Fort Sill and the Comanche tribe: peace in exchange for hostages. The Comanche agreed to the terms, there was a pe
World War I Victory Medal (United States)
The World War I Victory Medal was a United States World War I service medal designed by James Earle Fraser. Award of a common allied service medal was recommended by an inter-allied committee in March 1919; each allied nation would design a'Victory Medal' for award to their military personnel, all issues having certain common features, including a winged figure of victory on the obverse and the same ribbon. The Victory Medal was intended to be established by an act of Congress; the bill authorizing the medal never passed, thus leaving the military departments to establish it through general orders. The War Department published orders in April 1919, the Navy in June of the same year; the Victory Medal was awarded to military personnel for service between April 6, 1917, November 11, 1918, or with either of the following expeditions: American Expeditionary Forces in European Russia between November 12, 1918, August 5, 1919. American Expeditionary Forces Siberia between November 23, 1918, April 1, 1920.
The front of the bronze medal features a winged Victory holding a sword on the front. The back of the bronze medal features "The Great War For Civilization" in all capital letters curved along the top of the medal. Curved along the bottom of the back of the medal are six stars, three on either side of the center column of seven staffs wrapped in a cord; the top of the staff is winged on the side. The staff is on top of a shield that says "U" on the left side of the staff and "S" on the right side of the staff. On left side of the staff it lists one World War I Allied country per line: France, Serbia, Montenegro and Greece. On the right side of the staff the Allied country names read: Great Britain, Brazil, Portugal and China. To denote battle participation and campaign credit, the World War I Victory Medal was authorized with a large variety of devices to denote specific accomplishments. In order of seniority, the devices authorized to the World War I Victory Medal were as follows: The Citation Star to the World War I Victory Medal was authorized by the United States Congress on February 4, 1919.
A 3⁄16 inch silver star was authorized to be worn on the ribbon of the Victory Medal for any member of the U. S. Army, cited for gallantry in action between 1917 and 1920. In 1932, the Citation Star was redesigned and renamed the Silver Star Medal and, upon application to the United States War Department, any holder of the Silver Star Citation could have it converted to a Silver Star medal; the Navy Commendation Star to the World War I Victory Medal was authorized to any person, commended by the Secretary of the Navy for performance of duty during the First World War. A 3⁄16 inch silver star was worn on the World War I Victory Medal, identical in appearance to the Army's Citation Star. Unlike the Army's version, the Navy Commendation Star could not be upgraded to the Silver Star medal; the following battle clasps, inscribed with a battle's name, were worn on the medal to denote participation in major ground conflicts. For general defense service, not involving a specific battle, the "Defensive Sector" Battle Clasp was authorized.
The clasp was awarded for any battle, not recognized by its own battle clasp. The World War I Victory Medal bears the clasps of the battles the U. S. Army participated in across the ribbon. Not all battles are shown on the bar clasps. Only the battles designated as battles that would have bars issued were shown on the medal; the famous Battle of Chateau Thierry to hold the Chateau and the bridge as a joint effort between the US Army and the US Marines against the German machine gunners did not get awarded clasps. Navy battle clasps were issued for naval service in support of Army operations and had identical names to the Army battle clasps. There was a slight variation of the criteria dates for the Navy battle clasps; the Defensive Sector Clasp was authorized for Navy personnel who had participated in naval combat but were not authorized a particular battle clasp. For sea-related war duty, the Navy issued the following operational clasps, which were worn on the World War I Victory Medal and inscribed with the name of the duty type, performed: Unlike the army, the navy only allowed one clasp of any type to be worn on the ribbon.
Members of the marine or medical corps who served in France but was not eligible for a battle clasp would receive a bronze Maltese cross on their ribbons. For non-combat service with the army during the First World War, the following service clasps were authorized to be worn with the World War I Victory Medal; each service claps was inscribed with a region name where support service was performed. The U. S. Army issued the following service clasps: The U. S. Navy issued similar service clasps to the Army for service in the following regions during the following periods: Since battle and service clasps could only be worn on the full-sized World War I Victory Medal, 3/16 inch bronze service stars were authorized for wear on the award ribbon; this was the common method of campaign and battle display when wearing the World War I Victory Medal as a ribbon on a military uniform. Medals issued to U. S. Marines were issued with a Maltese cross device affixed to the ribbon; the World War I Victory Medals were awarded after the end of World War I, so they were mailed to the servicemen instead of awarded in person.
For example, the boxes containing the Victory Medals for United States Army World War I veterans were mailed out by the depot officer at the General Supply Depot, U. S. Army, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in April 1921. An outer
Navy Expeditionary Medal
The Navy Expeditionary Medal is a military award of the United States Navy, established in August 1936. The General Orders of the Department of the Navy which established the medal states, "The medal will be awarded, to the officers and enlisted men of the Navy who shall have landed on foreign territory and engaged in operations against armed opposition, or operated under circumstances which, after full consideration, shall be deemed to merit special recognition and for which service no campaign medal has been awarded; the Navy Expeditionary Medal is retroactively authorized to February 12, 1874." The medal was designed by A. A. Weinman and features a sailor beaching a craft carrying Marines, an officer, a US flag with the word "Expeditions" above. On the reverse of both the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal and Navy Expeditionary Medal, in the center of the bronze medallion an eagle is shown alight upon an anchor; the eagle is grasping sprigs of laurel. Above the eagle are the words UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS or UNITED STATES NAVY presented as an arch.
Above the laurel are the words FOR SERVICE presented horizontally. The eagle is the American bald eagle and represents the United States, the anchor alludes to Marine Corps or Navy service, the laurel is symbolic of victory and achievement; the medal is one of the few Navy awards, not concurrently bestowed to the United States Marine Corps, as Marine Corps personnel are eligible for the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal as an equivalent award. In addition, since 1961, some Navy commands have permitted service members to choose between the Navy Expeditionary Medal and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for participation in certain operations. Both awards may not be bestowed for the same action. Additional awards of the Navy Expeditionary Medal are denoted by service stars; the Wake Island Device is authorized for those service members who were awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal through the defense of Wake Island. As the vast majority of the defenders of Wake Island were U. S. Marines, the Navy Expeditionary Medal with the Wake Island device is one of the rarest awards in the U.
S. military history. Under the “deemed to merit special recognition and for which service no campaign medal has been awarded“ clause, both the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal and Navy Expeditionary Medal have been awarded for classified operations with proper adjudication by the Secretary of the Navy Special Awards Board; the MCEM and NEM "can be authorized and awarded to individuals or units who have participated in classified operations not in connection with larger operations in which the public is aware.” The SECNAV INSTRUCTION 1650.1H - NAVY AND MARINE CORPS AWARDS MANUAL details the process via the Special Awards Board for issuing classified awards. Anecdotal reports from former service members cite a wide variety of classified operations for which the MCEM and NEM have been awarded, ranging from Marine Corps units clandestinely deployed in Africa, to helicopter gun-crews or force protection units assisting SEAL-DEVGRU or Delta Force teams worldwide, classified submarine operations during the Cold War.
In cases where the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal or Navy Expeditionary Medal has been awarded for classified operations, the name of the operation is omitted from public documentation including from the individual service member’s DD214 personnel record with only the name of the award and issue date provided. Both the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal and Navy Expeditionary Medal have been fraudulently worn by military service members convicted under the UCMJ and civilians fraudulently claiming to have been awarded the MCEM or NEM along with other medals such as the Purple Heart, it has been reported that L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, fraudulently claimed being awarded the Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal; the issuance of military awards is available via a public records search and from lists of authorized recipients available online. In recent years, a number of television news crews have confronted people fraudulently wearing military awards and “Stolen Valor” websites publicly shame those who fraudulently wear or claim military awards and will notify federal law enforcement when they believe the activity rises to the level of a crime such as fraud for profit-or-gain, falsely receiving veterans services, falsifying a federal document such as the DD214, or violation of the Stolen Valor Act
Nicaraguan Campaign Medal
The Nicaraguan Campaign Medal is a campaign medal of the United States Navy, authorized by Presidential Order of Woodrow Wilson on September 22, 1913. A medal, the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was authorized by an act of the United States Congress on November 8, 1929; the two medals were considered two separate awards, with the original medal being referred to as the First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal. The First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was created to recognize those U. S. Navy personnel and U. S. Marines who had participated in amphibious actions in Nicaragua between 29 July and 14 November 1912; the following naval commands, all embarked U. S. Marines, were eligible for the First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal: USS Annapolis USS California USS Cleveland USS Colorado USS Denver USS Glacier USS Maryland USS Tacoma The medal for the First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal displayed a volcano, rising from a lake, with the words “Nicaraguan Campaign” and the date 1912 on the edges of the medal; the medal itself was suspended from a red ribbon with two thick blue stripes.
On the reverse of each medal was a Navy or Marine Corps crest, depending on the recipient's branch of service. The First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was a one-time-only decoration and there were no devices or attachments authorized. "Nicaraguan Campaign Medal". Archived from the original on August 15, 2006. Http://www.history.navy.mil/medals/2nic.htm
China Campaign Medal
The China Campaign Medal is a decoration of the United States Army, created by order of the United States War Department on January 12, 1905. The medal recognizes service in the China Relief Expedition, conducted by the United States Army at the turn on the 20th century during the Boxer Rebellion. To be awarded the China Campaign Medal, a service member must have performed military duty in China, between the dates of June 20, 1900 and May 27, 1901, with such duty being in service of the China Relief Expedition. For those service members who were cited for gallantry in action, the Citation Star is authorized as a device to the China Campaign Medal; the United States Navy equivalent of the China Campaign Medal was the China Relief Expedition Medal. A similar medal, known as the China Service Medal, was created by the Navy in 1941. On the obverse is the Imperial Chinese five-toed dragon with the inscription CHINA RELIEF EXPEDITION around the upper border and the dates 1900–1901 at the bottom. On the reverse is a trophy composed of an eagle perched on a cannon supported by crossed flags, rifles, an Indian shield and quiver of arrows, a Cuban machete, a Sulu kris.
Below the trophy are the words FOR SERVICE. Around the border at the top are the words UNITED STATES ARMY and around the bottom are thirteen stars; the ribbon is 13⁄8 inches wide and is composed of the following vertical stripes: 1/16 inch Ultramarine blue, 11⁄4 inch Golden yellow, 1/16 inch Ultramarine Blue. Army units which received credit for campaign participation may display the streamer on the organizational flag; the inscription will be as indicated on the unit's lineage and honors. There are three streamers displayed on the Army flag to represent the China Relief Expedition; the inscriptions are: TIENTSIN 1900 YANG-TSUN 1900 PEKING 1900 List of military decorations Awards and decorations of the United States military This article incorporates text in the public domain from the United States Army."China Relief Expeditionary Medal". Service Medals and Campaign Credits of the United States Navy. Naval Historical Center. 13 June 1998. Retrieved 2007-10-17."China Campaign Medal". The Institute of Heraldry, United States Army.
Archived from the original on 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2007-10-17
Mexican Service Medal
The Mexican Service Medal is an award of the United States military for service in Mexico from 1911 to 1919. The Mexican Service Medal awarded by the Army was established by General Orders of the United States War Department on December 12, 1917; the Navy's Mexican Service Medal was established by Navy Department General Orders Number 365 on February 11, 1918, as amended by Navy Department General Orders No. 464 of April 27, 1919. The Mexican Service Medal recognizes those service members who performed military service against Mexican forces between the dates of April 12, 1911 and June 16, 1919. To be awarded the Mexican Service Medal, a service member was required to perform military duty during the time period of eligibility and in one of the following military engagements. Veracruz Expedition: April 21 to November 23, 1914 Punitive Expedition into Mexico: March 14, 1916 to February 7, 1917 Buena Vista, Mexico: December 1, 1917 The punitive expedition in the aftermath of the Brite Ranch raid on San Bernardino Canyon, Mexico: December 26, 1917 La Grulla, Texas: January 8 – January 9, 1918 The aftermath of the Neville Ranch raid that resulted in a small action in the village of Pilares, Chihuahua: March 28, 1918 For actions in Nogales, Arizona during the Battle of Nogales or Battle of Ambos Nogales: November 1–26, 1915, or August 27, 1918 El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua for the Battle of Ciudad Juárez: June 15 – June 16, 1919The United States Navy issued the Mexican Service Medal to members of the Navy and Marines who participated in any of the above actions, as well as to service members who served aboard U.
S. naval vessels patrolling Mexican waters between April 21 and November 26, 1914, or between March 14, 1916, February 7, 1917. The Mexican Service Medal was awarded to any service member, wounded or killed while participating in action any against hostile Mexican forces between April 12, 1911 and February 7, 1917. Although a single decoration, both the Army and Navy issued two different versions of the Mexican Service Medal; the Army Mexican Service Medal displayed an engraving of a yucca plant, while the Navy version depicts the San Juan de Ulúa fortress in Veracruz harbor. Both medals displayed the annotation "1911 - 1917" on the bottom of the medal; the Mexican Service Medal was a one time decoration and there were no service stars authorized for those who had participated in multiple engagements. For those Army members, cited for gallantry in combat, the Citation Star was authorized as a device to the Mexican Service Medal. There were no devices authorized for the Navy's version of the decoration.
A similar decoration, known as the Mexican Border Service Medal existed for those who had performed support duty to Mexican combat expeditions from within the United States. General of the Armies John J. Pershing General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Fleet Admiral William Halsey Jr. USN General George S. Patton Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, USN Major General John H. Russell Jr. USMC Awards and decorations of the United States military Border War