The First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was established by Presidential Order on September 22, 1913, at the request of Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt based on a suggestion made by Rear Admiral W.H.H. Southerland.
The First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was awarded for qualifying service between the inclusive dates of July 29 and November 14, 1912.
The First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was awarded to Navy and Marine Corps personnel who served ashore in Nicaragua or aboard any of the following ships in support thereof between the inclusive dates of July 29 and November 14, 1912.
The First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was worn after the Cuban Pacification Medal and before the Mexican Service Medal.
No devices were established for the First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal.
First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal number #1 (with the Navy reverse) was given to Admiral W.H.H. Southerland on June 26, 1914. Medal number #1 (with the Marine Corps reverse) was given to Colonel Joseph H. Pendleton, USMC.
The First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was designed by Rudolf Freund (1878-1960) of Bailey, Banks & Biddle.
DESCRIPTION AND SYMBOLISM
In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, a volcano is shown rising from a lake, as viewed from a forest; the whole under the words NICARAGUAN CAMPAIGN with the date 1912 in the exergue.
The volcano is Momotombo, which rises from Lake Managua, Nicaragua, as seen from the tropical rain forest which typifies the area. The area of Managua was selected to represent Nicaragua on the medal because it was one of the two main areas where American seamen and Marines were stationed.
In the center of a bronze medallion, an eagle with its wings displayed is shown alight upon an anchor with draped chain, over the words FOR SERVICE in raised letters. At the base of the medal, and following the contour of its rim, there is an elongated wreath composed of oak on the left and laurel on the right. Following the contour of the upper portion of the medal, the words UNITED STATES NAVY or UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS) are shown in raised letters.
The eagle is the American bald eagle and represents the United States. The anchor and draped chain allude to naval service. oak represents strength and laurel represents victory.
The ribbon for the First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal is the same as that of the Philippine Campaign Medal, but with the colors reversed.
This medal was originally manufactured by Bailey, Banks and Biddle of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was serially numbered without prefix on the rim at the 6:00 o'clock position.