The Walter Reed medal was established by Act of Congress (Public Law 858, 70th Congress) on February 28, 1929, as amended by a Special Act of Congress in July of 1957 to include Gustaf E. Lambert and Roger Post Ames.
The Walter Reed Medal was awarded to the following 24 men for their participation in the yellow fever investigation in Cuba between 1900 and 1901:
ORDER OF PRECEDENCE
Because the Walter Reed Medal was awarded belatedly to a small number of people, it does not have an established place in the Army's order of precedence.
No devices were authorized for this medal.
The Walter Reed Medal was designed by Thomas Hudson Jones (1892-1969) of the Institute of Heraldry.
The first Walter Reed Medal was posthumously awarded to Walter Reed.
DESCRIPTION AND SYMBOLISM
In the center of a gold medallion 63 millimeters in diameter, the figures of a female and a male are shown. The female holds a caduceus in her right hand and has her left hand on the male's shoulder. The male is holding a staff in his right hand and a shield in his left. The following inscription appears around the contour of the medal: · CONQUEST · OF · YELLOW · FEVER ·
The female figure is Hygeia, the ancient Greek goddess of health. The male figure is a soldier, representing the men who participated in the Yellow Fever studies.
In the upper quarter of a gold medallion 63 millimeters in diameter, a tablet for inscribing the recipient's name. Above the tablet, the words AWARDED·TO, and beneath the tablet, ·IN·RECOGNITION·OF·THE·HIGH·PUBLIC·SERVICE·OF·MAJOR·WALTER·REED·USA·AND·ASSOCIATES·WHO·GAVE·TO·MAN·CONTROL·OF·YELLOW·FEVER. Each word is separated by a bullet. Around the border of the medal, the words ·THE·CONGRESS·OF·THE·UNITED·STATES·ACT·OF·FEBRUARY· 28· 1929 (each word is separated by a bullet).
A "miniature" one and a quarter inches in diameter was also manufactured. This "miniature" is the same size as ordinary wearable medals and is essentially a duplicate of the larger table medal, except for its reduced size and the fact that it was fitted with a suspension ring and ribbon.
The miniature medal has a red ribbon, which symbolizes sacrifice.