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A brief description of certain United States and foreign Military
Insignia*, so far bestowed, within the knowledge of the Committee, upon
members of the Society.
MEDAL OF HONOR: This, the highest decoration awarded by our Gov
ernment, can be given to any officer or enlisted man who shall “in
action involving actual conflict with an enemy distinguish himself
conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity, at the risk of his life,
above and beyond the call of duty.” It was authorized by Act of
Congress in 1861 and is presented “in the name of Congress;” hence
the frequent allusion to it as the Congressional Medal of Honor.
It is of metal, bearing the head of Minerva, the Goddess of
War, underneath the word Valor, and below rests an eagle, to which
is attached a blue ribbon with thirteen stars.
The Medal of Honor, like the Victoria Cross (British), is
jealously guarded and rarely bestowed. It is the highest honor that
can be given for valor.
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS: This decoration was instituted by
Executive Order in January, 1918, and confirmed by Congress in the
following July. It is awarded for individual acts of extraordinary
heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy
not warranting the award of a Medal of Honor. More than 5000 have
already been awarded.
It consists of an eagle upon a cross, both of metal, suspended from a
blue ribbon with a red and white margin.
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL: Established by Executive Order in
January, 1918, and confirmed by Congress in the following July. It is
awarded for specially meritorious services in a position of great
responsibility. About 600 so far have been awarded.
It consists of a round metal disk engiaved “For Distinguished Ser
vice,” suspended from a red, blue and white ribbon.
THE NEW MEDAL OF HONOR: This is awarded for an act of gallantry
or valor akin to that of the Army decoration of similar name. It is a
cross of solid gold, each arm of the cross having an anchor, and in the
center is engraved “United States Navy”—all suspended from a blue
ribbon with thirteen stars, above which is a bar inscribed “Valour.”
THE NEW NAVY CROSS: This is a personal decoration established by
Congress in February, 1919, and can be awarded to anyone in the Naval
service who distinguishes himself by extraordinary heroism or other
distinguished service not justifying the award of the Medal of Honor or
the Distinguished Service Medal, or necessarily involving conflict with
the enemy. Prior to the World War about 750 of these medals had been
It is made up of a metal cross, in the center of which are two
anchors and “U. S. N.,” suspended by a blue ribbon having a central
white vertical band.
*For further information and illustrations, see the Name Index
Keywords/Tags: ARMY MEDAL OF HONOR, DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS, DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL, NAVY THE NEW MEDAL OF HONOR, NEW NAVY CROSS, Sons of the Revolution Members, Pennsylvania, World War I