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The Military Order of the Purple Heart

History of the Medal

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.

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