The Commendation Medal is a mid-level United States military decoration, presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. For valorous actions in direct contact with an enemy, but of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Bronze Star Medal, a Commendation Medal with "V" Device or Combat "V" is awarded. On January 7 2016, The "C" Device or Combat "C” was created and may be authorized for wear on the service and suspension ribbon of the Commendation Medal to distinguish an award for meritorious service or achievement under the most arduous combat conditions. A Commendation Medal with Combat Device is unofficially named the “Combat Commendation” and is considered to be a higher level form of the Commendation Medal, regardless of the Awarding Branch. Retroactive award of the “C” device is not approved for medals awarded before 7 January 2016; each branch of the United States Armed Forces issues its own version of the Commendation Medal, with a fifth version existing for acts of joint military service performed under the Department of Defense.
The Commendation Medal was only a service ribbon and was first awarded by the U. S. Navy and U. S. Coast Guard in 1943. An Army Commendation Ribbon followed in 1945, in 1949, the Navy, Coast Guard, Army Commendation ribbons were renamed the "Commendation Ribbon with Metal Pendant". By 1960, the Commendation Ribbons had been authorized as full medals and were subsequently referred to as Commendation Medals. Additional awards of the Army and Air Force Commendation Medals are denoted by bronze and silver oak leaf clusters; the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Coast Guard Commendation Medal are authorized gold and silver 5/16 inch stars to denote additional awards. The Operational Distinguishing Device is authorized for wear on the Coast Guard Commendation Medal upon approval of the awarding authority. Order of Precedence is following the Air Medal but before the Prisoner of War Medal and all campaign medals; each of the military services awards separate Achievement Medals which are below the Commendation Medals in precedence.
The Joint Service Commendation Medal was authorized on 25 June 1963 and is awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, after 1 January 1963, distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement or service in a joint duty capacity. This award is intended for senior service on a joint military staff and is senior in precedence to service-specific Commendation Medals; as such, it is worn above the service Commendation Medals on a military uniform. DevicesOak leaf cluster "V" Device The Army Commendation Medal is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States other than General Officers who, while serving in any capacity with the U. S. Army after December 6, 1941, distinguished themselves by heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service; the medal may be awarded to a member of another branch of the U. S. Armed Forces or of a friendly foreign nation who, after June 1, 1962, distinguishes themselves by an act of heroism, extraordinary achievement, or significant meritorious service, of mutual benefit to the friendly nation and the United States.
Criteria and appearanceThe Army Commendation Medal is awarded to American and foreign military personnel in the grade of O-6 and below who have performed noteworthy service in any capacity with the United States Army. Qualifying service for the award of the medal can be for distinctive meritorious achievement and service, acts of courage involving no voluntary risk of life, or sustained meritorious performance of duty. Approval of the award must be made by an officer in the grade of higher; the medallion of the Army Commendation Medal is a bronze hexagon, 13⁄8 inches wide. On the medallion is an American bald eagle with wings spread horizontally, grasping in its talons three crossed arrows. On its breast is a shield paly of thirteen pieces and a chief; the reverse bears a panel for naming between the words FOR MILITARY above and MERIT below, all placed above a laurel sprig. The ribbon is 13⁄8 inches wide of myrtle green, it is edged in white and in the center are five thin white stripes spaced apart.
DevicesOak leaf cluster "V" Device "C" Device "R" Device The U. S. Air Force began issuing its own Air Force Commendation Medal in 1958 with additional awards denoted by oak leaf clusters. Prior to this time, USAF recipients received the Army Commendation Medal, it was not until 1996. On January 7, 2016, the "C" device and "R" device was authorized on the Air Force Commendation Medal as well. For USAF enlisted personnel, the Air Force Commendation Medal is worth three points under the Air Force enlisted promotion system. Criteria and appearanceThe Air Force Commendation Medal is awarded to both American and foreign military personnel of any service branch in the U. S. military grade of O-6 and below
United States Armed Forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States of America. It consists of the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard; the President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and forms military policy with the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security, both federal executive departments, acting as the principal organs by which military policy is carried out. All five armed services are among the seven uniformed services of the United States. From the time of its inception, the U. S. Armed Forces played a decisive role in the history of the United States. A sense of national unity and identity was forged as a result of victory in the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War. So, the founders of the United States were suspicious of a permanent military force, it played a critical role in the American Civil War, continuing to serve as the armed forces of the United States, although a number of its officers resigned to join the military of the Confederate States.
The National Security Act of 1947, adopted following World War II and during the Cold War's onset, created the modern U. S. military framework. The Act established the National Military Establishment, headed by the Secretary of Defense, it was amended in 1949, renaming the National Military Establishment the Department of Defense, merged the cabinet-level Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Department of the Air Force, into the Department of Defense. The U. S. Armed Forces are one of the largest militaries in terms of the number of personnel, it draws its personnel from a large pool of paid volunteers. Although conscription has been used in the past in various times of both war and peace, it has not been used since 1973, but the Selective Service System retains the power to conscript males, requires that all male citizens and residents residing in the U. S. between the ages of 18–25 register with the service. On February 22, 2019, however, a federal judge ruled that registering only males for Selective Service is unconstitutional.
As of 2017, the U. S. spends about US$610 billion annually to fund its military forces and Overseas Contingency Operations. Put together, the U. S. constitutes 40 percent of the world's military expenditures. The U. S. Armed Forces has significant capabilities in both defense and power projection due to its large budget, resulting in advanced and powerful technologies which enables a widespread deployment of the force around the world, including around 800 military bases outside the United States; the U. S. Air Force is the world's largest air force, the U. S. Navy is the world's largest navy by tonnage, the U. S. Navy and the U. S. Marine Corps combined are the world's second largest air arm. In terms of size, the U. S. Coast Guard is the world's 12th largest naval force; the history of the U. S. Armed Forces dates to 14 June 1775, with the creation of the Continental Army before the Declaration of Independence marked the establishment of the United States; the Continental Navy, established on 13 October 1775, Continental Marines, established on 10 November 1775, were created in close succession by the Second Continental Congress in order to defend the new nation against the British Empire in the American Revolutionary War.
These forces demobilized in 1784. The Congress of the Confederation created the current United States Army on 3 June 1784; the United States Congress created the current United States Navy on 27 March 1794 and the current United States Marine Corps on 11 July 1798. All three services trace their origins to their respective Continental predecessors; the 1787 adoption of the Constitution gave the Congress the power to "raise and support armies", to "provide and maintain a navy" and to "make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces", as well as the power to declare war. The President is the U. S. Armed Forces' commander-in-chief; the United States Coast Guard traces its origin to the founding of the Revenue Cutter Service on 4 August 1790 which merged with the United States Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915 to establish the Coast Guard. The United States Air Force was established as an independent service on 18 September 1947. S. Signal Corps, formed 1 August 1907 and was part of the Army Air Forces before becoming an independent service as per the National Security Act of 1947.
The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps was considered to be a branch of the United States Armed Forces from 29 July 1945 until its status as such was revoked on 3 July 1952. On March 1st, 2019, the Department of Defense sent a proposal to Congress that would establish the United States Space Force as an independent military service within the Department of the Air Force. If approved, this would become the sixth military service branch to be created. Command over the U. S. Armed Forces is established in the Constitution; the sole power of command is vested in the President by Article II as Commander-in-Chief. The Constitution presumes the existence of "executive Departments" headed by "principal officers", whose appointment mechanism is provided for in the Appointments Clause; this allowance in the Constitution formed the basis for creation of the Department of Defense in 1947 by the National Security Act. The DoD is headed by the Secretary of Defense, a civilian and member of the Cabinet.
The Defense Secretary is second in the U. S. Armed Forces chain of command, with the exception of the Coast Guard, under the Secretary of Homeland Security, is just below the President and serves as the
Distinguished Service Medal (U.S. Army)
The Distinguished Service Medal is a military award of the United States Army, presented to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the United States military, has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility. The performance must be such as to merit recognition for service, exceptional. Exceptional performance of normal duty will not alone justify an award of this decoration. Separate Distinguished Service Medals exist for the different branches of the military as well as a fifth version of the medal, a senior award of the United States Department of Defense; the Army version of the Distinguished Service Medal is referred to as the "Distinguished Service Medal" while the other branches of service use the service name as a prefix. For service not related to actual war, the term "duty of a great responsibility" applies to a narrower range of positions than in time of war, requires evidence of conspicuously significant achievement.
However, justification of the award may accrue by virtue of exceptionally meritorious service in a succession of high positions of great importance. Awards may be made to persons other than members of the United States Armed Forces for wartime services only, only under exceptional circumstances, with the express approval of the President in each case; the Coat of Arms of the United States in Gold surrounded by a circle of Dark Blue enamel, 1 ½ inches in diameter, bearing the inscription "FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MCMXVIII". On the reverse is a scroll for the name of the recipient upon a trophy of flags and weapons; the medal is suspended by a bar attached to the ribbon. The ribbon is 1 3⁄8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes:5⁄16 inch Scarlet 67111. Additional awards of the Distinguished Service Medal are denoted by oak leaf clusters; the Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the United States Army, has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility.
The performance must be such as to merit recognition for service, exceptional. Exceptional performance of normal duty will not alone justify an award of this decoration. For service not related to actual war, the term "duty of a great responsibility" applies to a narrower range of positions than in time of war and requires evidence of a conspicuously significant achievement. However, justification of the award may accrue by virtue of exceptionally meritorious service in a succession of high positions of great importance. Awards may be made to persons other than members of the Armed Forces of the United States for wartime services only, only under exceptional circumstances with the express approval of the President in each case; the following are authorized components of the Distinguished Service Medal and applicable specifications:Decoration: MIL-D-3943/7. NSN for decoration set: 8455-00-444-0007. NSN for replacement medal is 8455-00-246-3830. Decoration: MIL-D-3943/7. NSN 8455-00-996-5008. Ribbon: MIL-R-11589/52.
NSN 8455-00-252-9922. Lapel Button: MIL-L-11484/4. NSN 8455-00-253-0809; the Distinguished Service Medal was authorized by Presidential Order dated 01-02-1918, confirmed by Congress on 07-09-1918. It was announced by War Department General Order No. 6, 1918-01-12, with the following information concerning the medal: "A bronze medal of appropriate design and a ribbon to be worn in lieu thereof, to be awarded by the President to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the Army shall hereafter distinguish himself or herself, or who, since 04-06-1917, has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility in time of war or in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States." The Act of Congress on 07-09-1918, recognized the need for different types and degrees of heroism and meritorious service and included such provisions for award criteria. The current statutory authorization for the Distinguished Service Medal is Title 10, United States Code, Section 3743.
Among the first awards of the Distinguished Service Medal for service in World War I, were those to the Commanding Officers of the Allied Armies:Marshal Ferdinand Foch Marshal Joseph Joffre, General Philippe Petain of France, General Louis Franchet d'Espèrey of France, General Sir Arthur Currie of Canada, General Sir John Monash of Australia, Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig of Britain, General Armando Diaz of Italy, General Cyriaque Gillain of Belgium, General John Joseph Pershing - United States Field Marshal Živojin Mišić of SerbiaMore than 2,000 awards were made during World War I, by the time the United States entered World War II 2,800 awards had been made. From July 1, 1941 to June 6, 1969, when the Army stopped publishing awards of the DSM in Department of the Army General Orders, over 2,800 further awards were made. Prior to World War II the DSM was the only decoration for non-combat service in the U. S. Army; as a result, before World War II the DSM was awarded to a wider range of recipients than during and after World War II.
During World War I awards of the DSM to officers below the rank of brigadier general were common but became rare once the Legion of Merit was established in 1942. Until the first award of the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal in 1965, United States Air Force personnel received this award as well, as was the case
The Silver Star Medal, unofficially the Silver Star, is the United States Armed Forces's third-highest personal decoration for valor in combat. The Silver Star Medal is awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States; the Silver Star Medal is the successor award to the "Citation Star", established by an Act of Congress on July 9, 1918, during World War I. On July 19, 1932, the Secretary of War approved the conversion of the "Citation Star" to the SSM with the original "Citation Star" incorporated into the center of the medal. Authorization for the Silver Star Medal was placed into law by an Act of Congress for the U. S. Navy on August 7, 1942, an Act of Congress for the U. S. Army on December 15, 1942; the current statutory authorization for the medal is Title 10 of the United States Code, 10 U. S. C. § 3746 for the U. S. Army, 10 U. S. C. § 8746 for the U. S. Air Force, 10 U. S. C. § 6244 for the U. S. Navy; the U. S. Army and Air Force award the medal as the "Silver Star".
The U. S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard continue to award the medal as the "Silver Star Medal". Since 21 December 2016, the Department of Defense refers to the decoration as the Silver Star Medal; the Silver Star Medal is awarded for gallantry, so long as the action does not justify the award of one of the next higher valor awards: the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, or the Air Force Cross. The gallantry displayed must have taken place while in action against an enemy of the United States, while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party; the Silver Star Medal is awarded for singular acts of valor or heroism over a brief period, such as one or two days of a battle. Air Force pilots and combat systems officers and Navy/Marine Corps naval aviators and flight officers flying fighter aircraft, are considered eligible to receive the Silver Star upon becoming an ace, which entails the pilot and, in multi-seat fighters, the weapons system officer or radar intercept officer and risking his life multiple times under combat conditions and emerging victorious.
However, during the Vietnam War, the last conflict to produce U. S. fighter aces: an Air Force pilot and two navigators/weapon systems officers, a naval aviator and a naval flight officer/radar intercept officer who had achieved this distinction, were awarded the Air Force Cross and Navy Cross in addition to SSMs awarded for earlier aerial kills. Unit award equivalentAir Force – Gallant Unit Citation Army – Valorous Unit Award Coast Guard – Coast Guard Unit Commendation Navy-Marine Corps – Navy Unit Commendation The Silver Star Medal is a gold five-pointed star, 1 1⁄2 inches in circumscribing diameter with a laurel wreath encircling rays from the center and a 3⁄16 inch diameter silver star superimposed in the center; the pendant is suspended from a rectangular shaped metal loop with rounded corners. The reverse has the inscription FOR GALLANTRY IN ACTION; the ribbon is 1 3⁄8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 7⁄32 inch Old Glory red. Ribbon devicesSecond and subsequent awards of the Silver Star Medal are denoted by bronze or silver oak leaf clusters in the Army and Air Force and by gold or silver 5⁄16 inch stars in the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard.
The Department of Defense does not keep extensive records for the Silver Star Medal. Independent groups estimate that between 100,000 and 150,000 SSMs have been awarded since the decoration was established. Colonel David Hackworth, awarded ten SSMs while serving in the Army during the Korean War and Vietnam War, is to be the person awarded the most SSMs. Three Army nurses that served in World War I were cited in 1919 and 1920 with Citation Stars for gallantry in attending to the wounded while under artillery fire in July 1918. In 2007, it was discovered; the three nurses were awarded the Silver Star Medal posthumously: Jane Rignel – Mobile Hospital No. 2, 42nd Division, for gallantry in "giving aid to the wounded under heavy fire" in France on July 15, 1918 Linnie Leckrone – Shock Team No. 134, Field Hospital No. 127, 32nd Division, for gallantry while "attending to the wounded during an artilley bombardment" in France on July 29, 1918 Irene Robar – Shock Team No. 134, Field Hospital No. 127, 32nd Division, for gallantry while "attending to the wounded during an artillery bombardment" in France on July 29, 1918An unknown number of servicewomen received the award in World War II.
Four Army nurses serving in Italy during the war—First Lieutenant Mary Roberts, Second Lieutenant Elaine Roe, Second Lieutenant Rita Virginia Rourke, Second Lieutenant Ellen Ainsworth —became the first women recipients of the Silver Star, all cited for their bravery in evacuating the 33rd Field Hospital at Anzio on February 10, 1944. That same year, Corporal Magdalena Leones, a Filipino American, received the medal for clandestine activities on Luzon; the next known servicewomen to receive the Silver Star is Army National Guard Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester in 2005, for gallantry during an insurgent ambush on a convoy in Iraq and Army
Distinguished Service Cross (United States)
The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest military award that can be given to a member of the United States Army, for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force. Actions that merit the Distinguished Service Cross must be of such a high degree that they are above those required for all other U. S. combat do not meet the criteria for the Medal of Honor. The Distinguished Service Cross is equivalent to the Navy Cross, the Air Force Cross, the Coast Guard Cross; the Distinguished Service Cross was first awarded during World War I. In addition, a number of awards were made for actions before World War I. In many cases, these were to soldiers who had received a Certificate of Merit for gallantry which, at the time, was the only other honor for gallantry the Army could award, or recommend a Medal of Honor. Others were belated recognition of actions in the Philippines, during the Boxer Rebellion and on the Mexican Border; the Distinguished Service Cross is distinct from the Distinguished Service Medal, awarded to persons in recognition of exceptionally meritorious service to the government of the United States in a duty of great responsibility.
The Distinguished Service Cross is only awarded for actions in combat, while the Distinguished Service Medal has no such restriction. A cross of bronze, 2 inches high and 1 13⁄16 inches wide with an eagle on the center and a scroll below the eagle bearing the inscription "FOR VALOR". On the reverse side, the center of the cross is circled by a wreath with a space for engraving the name of the recipient; the service ribbon is 1 3⁄8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 1⁄8 inch Old Glory Red 67156. The Distinguished Service Cross is awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Army, distinguishes himself or herself by extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of a Medal of Honor; the act or acts of heroism must have been so notable and have involved risk of life so extraordinary as to set the individual apart from his or her comrades. The following are authorized components of the Distinguished Service Cross: Decoration: MIL-D-3943/4. NSN 8455-00-269-5745 for decoration set.
NSN 8455-00-246-3827 for individual replacement medal. Decoration: MIL-D-3943/4. NSN 8455-00-996-50007. Ribbon: MIL-R-11589/50. NSN 8455-00-252-9919. Lapel Button: MIL-L-11484/1. NSN 8455-00-253-0808. Additional awards of the Army's Distinguished Service Cross are denoted with oak leaf clusters; the Distinguished Service Cross was established by President Woodrow Wilson on January 2, 1918. General Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the Expeditionary Forces in France, had recommended that recognition other than the Medal of Honor be authorized for the Armed Forces of the United States for valorous service rendered in like manner to that awarded by the European Armies; the request for establishment of the medal was forwarded from the Secretary of War to the President in a letter dated December 28, 1917. The Act of Congress establishing this award, dated July 9, 1918, is contained in 10 U. S. C. § 3742. The establishment of the Distinguished Service Cross was promulgated in War Department General Order No.
6, dated January 12, 1918. The Distinguished Service Cross was designed by J. Andre Smith, an artist employed by the United States Army during World War I; the Distinguished Service Cross was first cast and manufactured by the United States Mint at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The die was cast from the approved design prepared by Captain Aymar E. Embury II, Engineers Officer Reserve Corps. Upon examination of the first medals struck at the Mint, it was considered advisable to make certain minor changes to add to the beauty and the attractiveness of the medal. Due to the importance of the time element involved in furnishing the decorations to General Pershing, one hundred of the medals were struck from the original design; these medals were furnished with the provision that these crosses be replaced when the supply of the second design was accomplished. 10 U. S. C. § 3991 provides for a 10% increase in retired pay for enlisted personnel who have retired with more than 20 years of service if they have been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
Order of precedence and wear of decorations is contained in Army Regulation 670-1. Policy for awards, approving authority and issue of decorations is contained in AR 600-8-22. During World War I, 6,309 awards of the Distinguished Service Cross were made to 6,185 recipients. Several dozen Army soldiers, as well as eight marines and two French Army officers, received two Distinguished Service Crosses. A handful Air Service aviators, were decorated three or more times. Eddie Rickenbacker, the top U. S. ace of the war, was awarded a record eight Distinguished Service Crosses, one of, upgraded to the Medal of Honor, while flying with the 94th Aero Squadron. Fellow aviators Douglas Campbell of the 94th, Frank O'Driscoll "Monk" Hunter of the 103rd Aero Squadron each received five. Another 94th aviator, Reed McKinley Chambers, was awarded four Distinguished Service Crosses. Three aviators received three Di
United States Army
The United States Army is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution; as the oldest and most senior branch of the U. S. military in order of precedence, the modern U. S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, formed to fight the American Revolutionary War —before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army; the United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775. As a uniformed military service, the U. S. Army is part of the Department of the Army, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense; the U. S. Army is headed by a civilian senior appointed civil servant, the Secretary of the Army and by a chief military officer, the Chief of Staff of the Army, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It is the largest military branch, in the fiscal year 2017, the projected end strength for the Regular Army was 476,000 soldiers. S. Army was 1,018,000 soldiers; as a branch of the armed forces, the mission of the U. S. Army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars, by providing prompt, land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders"; the branch participates in conflicts worldwide and is the major ground-based offensive and defensive force of the United States. The United States Army serves as the land-based branch of the U. S. Armed Forces. Section 3062 of Title 10, U. S. Code defines the purpose of the army as: Preserving the peace and security and providing for the defense of the United States, the Commonwealths and possessions and any areas occupied by the United States Supporting the national policies Implementing the national objectives Overcoming any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United StatesIn 2018, the Army Strategy 2018 articulated an eight-point addendum to the Army Vision for 2028.
While the Army Mission remains constant, the Army Strategy builds upon the Army's Brigade Modernization by adding focus to Corps and Division-level echelons. Modernization, reform for high-intensity conflict, Joint multi-domain operations are added to the strategy, to be completed by 2028; the Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the Second Continental Congress as a unified army for the colonies to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander. The army was led by men who had served in the British Army or colonial militias and who brought much of British military heritage with them; as the Revolutionary War progressed, French aid and military thinking helped shape the new army. A number of European soldiers came on their own to help, such as Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who taught Prussian Army tactics and organizational skills; the army fought numerous pitched battles and in the South in 1780–1781, at times using the Fabian strategy and hit-and-run tactics, under the leadership of Major General Nathanael Greene, hit where the British were weakest to wear down their forces.
Washington led victories against the British at Trenton and Princeton, but lost a series of battles in the New York and New Jersey campaign in 1776 and the Philadelphia campaign in 1777. With a decisive victory at Yorktown and the help of the French, the Continental Army prevailed against the British. After the war, the Continental Army was given land certificates and disbanded in a reflection of the republican distrust of standing armies. State militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of a regiment to guard the Western Frontier and one battery of artillery guarding West Point's arsenal. However, because of continuing conflict with Native Americans, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army; the Regular Army was at first small and after General St. Clair's defeat at the Battle of the Wabash, the Regular Army was reorganized as the Legion of the United States, established in 1791 and renamed the United States Army in 1796; the War of 1812, the second and last war between the United States and Great Britain, had mixed results.
The U. S. Army did not conquer Canada but it did destroy Native American resistance to expansion in the Old Northwest and it validated its independence by stopping two major British invasions in 1814 and 1815. After taking control of Lake Erie in 1813, the U. S. Army seized parts of western Upper Canada, burned York and defeated Tecumseh, which caused his Western Confederacy to collapse. Following U. S. victories in the Canadian province of Upper Canada, British troops who had dubbed the U. S. Army "Regulars, by God!", were able to capture and burn Washington, defended by militia, in 1814. The regular army, however proved they were professional and capable of defeating the British army during the invasions of Plattsburgh and Baltimore, prompting British agreement on the rejected terms of a status quo ante bellum. Two weeks after a treaty was signed, Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans and Siege of Fort St. Philip, became a national hero. U. S. troops and sailors captured HMS Cyane and Penguin in the final engagements of the war.
Per the treaty, both sides (the United S
Certificate of Merit Medal
The Certificate of Merit Medal was a military decoration of the United States Army, issued between the years of 1905 and 1918. The Certificate of Merit Medal replaced the much older Certificate of Merit, authorized by the United States Congress on March 3, 1847; the system of military awards and decorations presented to members of the United States Military can trace its lineage to the Badge of Military Merit. This military award, established by George Washington, was given in recognition of soldiers who displayed unusual gallantry or extraordinary fidelity. Awarded three times during the Revolutionary War, the Badge of Military Merit was not awarded again. Thus, for more than 50 years the United States Military had no official military decorations; the original Certificate of Merit was authorized by an Act of Congress related to the expansion of the US Army during the Mexican–American War. The legislation authorized brevets to non-commissioned officers and for privates who distinguished themselves in service "the President may in like manner grant him a certificate of merit, which shall entitle him to additional pay at the rate of two dollars per month."
This was a step forward in the recognition of the individual contributions of soldiers. The first certificates were only authorized for Privates and it was not until 1854 that the Certificate of Merit was awarded to NCOs the rank of Sergeant and above; the Certificate of Merit was never authorized for officers. During this period from at least 1865 to 1904, the Certificate was used as an alternative to the award of a Medal of Honor; this created a dilemma for some soldiers, who applied for both in the hopes of the pay increase from the Certificate but who could only be awarded one award. George Jordan is an example of a soldier, it was issued to 545 soldiers during the Mexican–American War. After the war, the Certificate of Merit was discontinued. Though the Army was of the position that it no longer had the authority to award the Certificate of Merit, commanders in the field continued to recommend soldiers for the award, but the Army did not act on the nominations. Following the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876, the Certificate of Merit was reintroduced.
In 1892, the criteria for the Certificate of Merit was changed. Adjutant General's Circular number 2 dated 11 February 1892 stated: Medals of honor should be awarded to officers or enlisted men for distinguished bravery in action, while certificates of merit should, under law, be awarded for distinguished service, whether in action or otherwise, of a valuable character to the United States as, for example, extraordinary exertion in the preservation of human life, or in the preservation of public property, or rescuing public property from destruction by fire or otherwise, or any hazardous service by which the Government is saved loss in men or material. Simple heroism in battle, on the contrary, is fitly rewarded by a medal of honor, although such act of heroism may not have resulted in any benefit to the United States. Where the conduct of an enlisted man, non-commissioned officer or private has been represented to merit both a medal of honor and a certificate of merit, recommendation may be made for both, either or at different times.
Soldiers, both privates and non-commissioned officers, were eligible for award of a Certificate of Merit upon the recommendation of their regimental or corps commander. Service could be in time of war; these regulations remained in effect until 9 July 1918. In 1905, a medal was created for those holding a Certificate of Merit and called the Certificate of Merit Medal; this medal was authorized for wear on a United States military uniform. It was always worn following the Medal of Honor, before all campaign medals; the first recipient of the Certificate of Merit Medal was First Lieutenant William B. Baker, presented medal No. 1 on 30 December 1907. Baker had received an original Certificate of Merit as a Corporal during the Spanish–American War on 13 August 1898; the last act recognized by a Certificate of Merit was May 1918, when Corporal Paul Scaletta made a water rescue of soldiers in dangerous surf condition at Ocean Beach, California. The last soldier to be awarded the Certificate of Merit Medal was George Arrington for his service while a Private with the 24th Infantry Regiment in 1889.
He was awarded medal No. 361, subsequently converted it to a Distinguished Service Cross. The Certificate of Merit Medal was declared obsolete on July 19, 1918; those holding the Certificate of Merit Medal could exchange their medal for the newly created Distinguished Service Medal. In 1934, Congress changed the regulation allowing the conversion of the medal to the Distinguished Service Cross, including those converted to the Distinguished Service Medal; the medal is 1.25 inches in diameter. The obverse depicts an eagle facing left, with its wings spread; the eagle is surrounded by the inscription VIRTUTIS ET AUDACIAE MONUMENTUM ET PRAEMIUM. The reverse of the medal bears the word, FOR MERIT surrounded by an oak wreath of two branches, the stems joined at the bottom by a bow. Around the edge in relief are the words, UNITED STATES ARMY at the top and thirteen stars below; the suspension and service ribbon of the Certificate of Merit Medal is red and blue. It has two stripes of blue at the edges with equal stripes of white.
A wide central stripe of red is bisected by a thin stripe of white. Medal of Honor Awards and decorations of the United States military