Unfortunately, we also do not know for sure whether Washington presented Sergeants
Churchill and Brown with their honors personally. We do know from Sergeant Bissell’s
pension records that his Badge of Military Merit was presented to him on the lawn
at Hasbrouck House by Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Trumbull, Washington’s Military
Secretary. Although Washington intended the Badge of Military Merit to be made permanent,
it was allowed to lapse after the army was disbanded in June 1783. At the end of
the Revolutionary War, no federal decoration was awarded to American servicemen
until the Navy Medal of Honor was created in 1861 during the Civil War.
On this special anniversary, when we honor the 150th anniversary of the Medal of
Honor, all Americans should take time to reflect and give thanks for the extraordinary
leadership of General George Washington, for the heroism of Sergeants Churchill,
Brown and Bissell and for the bravery and self-sacrifice of all the soldiers in
the Continental Army whose "patience fortitude and long and great sufferings" were,
in Washington's words, “unexampled in history."
Professor Ray Raymond MBE, FRSA, served 21 years in Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service
as a special adviser to HM Director General of Trade and Investment for the USA
and worked extensively with senior members of the British Royal Family. From 1997
to 2005, he advised the Chief of Staff to British Prime Minister Tony Blair on US
politics and public policy. In 2000, he was honored by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
II, and in 2010 was honored by HRH the Duke of York for efforts to strengthen the
relationship between the City of London and Wall Street.
Professor Raymond teaches Government, International Relations and History at the
State University of New York. Concurrently, he lectures on Comparative Politics
and International Relations at the US Military Academy, West Point. In 2006 received
the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal from the Department of the Army for his contributions
to the academic program at West Point. He has also served as a consultant to the
US Air Force Academy and has lectured at the US Army War College, the US Naval Academy,
the United Kingdom’s Joint Services Defense Academy and Royal United Services Institute.
On Behalf of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, in 2007 Professor Raymond wrote
“George Washington and the Badge of Military Merit,” and was the lead author of “Some Gave All,” a special publication to mark the 75th anniversary of the MOPH.
He has written extensivley on the history of US foreign policy towards the United
Kingdom, ethnic nationalism, terrorism and the United Nations. He is currently working
on a diplomatic biography of John Jay.