|Awarded by United States Armed Forces|
|Awarded for||Participation in the capture of Major John André|
|Campaign||American Revolutionary War|
|Status||Obsolete, awarded for specific event.|
The Fidelity Medallion is the oldest decoration of the United States military and was created by act of the Continental Congress in 1780. Also known as the "André Capture Medal", the Fidelity Medallion was awarded to those soldiers who participated in the capture of Major John André, of the British army, who had been the contact to Benedict Arnold and had helped organize his defection.
Historical records indicate that three soldiers, all members of the militia of New York state, were awarded the Fidelity Medallion after its first issuance: Private John Paulding, Private David Williams, and Private Isaac Van Wart.
The obverse of the medallion was inscribed “Fidelity”; the reverse, with the motto, “Amor Patriæ Vincit”, which means, “The love of country conquers.”
The Fidelity Medallion was never again bestowed and it quickly became regarded as a commemorative decoration. For this reason, the Badge of Military Merit is generally considered the first decoration of the U.S. military, even though it was created two years after the Fidelity Medallion, in 1782.
- Historical Collection of New York, by John W. Barber and Henry Howe, 1841.