Tuesday, August 7, 2012

This Day in History–Aug 7 1782 The Purple Heart

I am so glad I didn't miss this one today.

A big Salute to all recipients.

Cheers -

Purple Heart Day – August 7th
The original Purple Heart, designated as the Badge of Military Merit, was established by George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army – by order from his Newburgh, New York headquarters on August 7, 1782. The Badge of Military Merit was only awarded to three Revolutionary War soldiers. The modern Purple Heart began it’s rebirth on October 10, 1927, when Army Chief of Staff General Charles Pelot Summerall directed that a draft bill be sent to Congress "to revive the Badge of Military Merit". After much bureaucratic scPurpleuffling, the Purple Heart was officially instituted by Executive Order of the President of the United States on the on the 200th Anniversary of George Washington's birth, out of respect to his memory and military achievements. War Department General Orders No. 3, dated February 22, 1932 was then published announcing the details of the decoration.
The Purple Heart award is a heart-shaped medal within a gold border, 1 ⅜ inches (35 mm) wide, containing a profile of General George Washington. Above the heart appears a shield of the coat of arms of George Washington (a white shield with two red bars and three red stars in chief) between sprays of green leaves. The reverse consists of a raised bronze heart with the words FOR MILITARY MERIT below the coat of arms and leaves. The ribbon is 1 and ⅜ inches (35 mm) wide and consists of the following stripes: ⅛ inch (3 mm) white 67101; 1 ⅛ inches (29 mm) purple 67115; and ⅛ inch (3 mm) white 67101. Additional awards of the Purple Heart are denoted by oak leaf clusters (U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force) and by gold 5/16 inch stars (U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard).
The criteria were then detailed in a War Department circular dated February 22, 1932 and authorized award to soldiers, upon their request, who had been awarded the Meritorious Service Citation Certificate, Army Wound Ribbon, or were authorized to wear Wound Chevrons subsequent to April 5, 1917, the day before the United States entered World War I. The first Purple Heart was awarded to Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who was instrumental in breaking loose the bureaucracy that held up the reinstitution of the award.

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