PHILIPPINE CONGRESSONAL MEDAL
(Army)
                        

ESTABLISHING LEGISLATION

The Philippine Congressional Medal was established by Act of Congress (Public Law 360, 59th Congress) on June 29, 1906, and implemented by War Department General Orders Number 125 of July 9, 1906.

EVENT COMMEMORATED

The Philippine Congressional Medal commemorates certain services rendered during the Philippine Insurrection. It was awarded to individuals who enlisted under the call of the President to serve during the Spanish-American War and who remained on active duty beyond the period of their enlistment to help suppress the Philippine insurrection (February 4, 1899 - July 4, 1902), and who subsequently received an honorable discharge. To be eligible a soldier had to meet four criteria: He must have
  • enlisted between April 21 and October 26, 1898;

  • served beyond April 11, 1899;

  • served in the Philippines after July 6, 1899; and,

  • received an honorable discharge (or died prior to being discharged).
ORDER OF PRECEDENCE

The Philippine Congressional Medal was after any decoration (e.g., Medal of Honor or Certificate of Merit) and before any campaign medal.

DEVICES

No devices were authorized for this medal.

DESIGNER

The Philippine Congressional Medal was designed by Francis D. Millet (1846-1912) .

FIRST RECIPIENT

Philippine Congressional Medal No. 1 was issued to Joseph A. McGary, Clerk, Quartermaster Corps (late private, Co. K, 14th U.S. Infantry) on July 8, 1908.

DESCRIPTION AND SYMBOLISM

Obverse

In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, a military formation is depicted. It consists of a color bearer holding the United States flag accompanied by two soldiers with rifles on their shoulders, all three facing to the viewer's left. The flag extends to the rim of the medallion between the words PHILIPPINE INSURRECTION. In the exergue, the date 1898 is shown between two bullets.

As this medal was voted by Congress to be given to soldiers "who followed the flag" in the Philippine Islands "under unusual circumstances," it seemed appropriate to Millet to employ the symbolism of a color guard bearing the American flag. Because this medal was given to members of the Army, the presence of soldiers on the obverse clearly represents the military character of their service.

Reverse

In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, the inscription (in five lines) FOR / PATRIOTISM / FORTITUDE / AND / LOYALTY centered within a wreath composed of pine on the left and palm on the right and tied at its base with a bow. This medal was given to both Regular Army and Volunteers and therefore has a distinctive reverse (to distinguish it from medals given only to members of the Regular Army). The highly distinctive wreath alludes to the Philippines (palm) and the to goals of autonomy and self-determination (pine).

RIBBON



The red, white and blue edge stripes represent the United States. It was not feasible to use the colors of the Philippines, as they were also red, white and blue, so Millet selected the center band of blue to be the predominant color of the combination and to differentiate the entire ribbon from others and, "to give it a special character."

NUMBERING

The Philippine Congressional Medal was struck at the Philadelphia Mint and was serially numbered with the No. prefix at the six o'clock position.

                        


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