Legion of Valor of the United States of America, Incorporated

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Legion of Valor of the United States of America
Legion of Valor 2.JPG
Crest of the Legion of Valor
Formation 1890 (as the Medal of Honor Legion)
Headquarters Philip J. Conran, National Adjutant,
4706 Calle Reina,
Santa Barbara, CA 93110-2018
Membership Recipients of the
Medal of Honor,
Distinguished Service Cross,
Navy Cross,
or Air Force Cross
National Commander Donald E. Mason
Website http://www.legionofvalor.com

The Legion of Valor is a federally chartered corporation created to promote patriotic allegiance to the United States, fidelity to the U.S. Constitution, and popular support for civil liberties and the permanence of free institutions.[1] Its membership is open to recipients of the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross and the Air Force Cross.[2]

History[edit]

In 1890 the Medal of Honor Legion was organized by Civil War and Indian Wars Medal of Honor recipients.[3]

At the end of the nineteenth century Civil War veterans began to seek recognition of their prior service and heroism in requesting awards of the Medal of Honor, which had been created in 1862. At the same time, recipients of the Medal of Honor recognized that the Grand Army of the Republic and other veterans organizations had begun presenting awards that resembled the Medal of Honor, and that a large number of impostors were pretending to be war heroes. As a result, the Medal of Honor Legion was created to protect the integrity of the award by lobbying for changes including the creation of a centralized roster of recipients, and to investigate individuals claiming to have received the award, so that pretenders could be exposed and awards that had been erroneously presented could be revoked.[4]

Following the Spanish-American War membership was expanded to include Medal of Honor recipients of that conflict and the Philippine–American War.[5]

In 1910, a dispute over who would be eligible for membership led Daniel Sickles and several other members of the Medal of Honor Legion to leave and form a new group, the Military Order of the Medal of Honor.[6][7]

After the end of World War I in 1918 the Medal of Honor Legion again expanded membership to include military members who had received the Distinguished Service Cross.[8]

Membership was again expanded in 1933 to include recipients of the Navy Cross, and the name of the organization was changed to The Army and Navy Legion of Valor.[9]

The successor organization to the Military Order of the Medal of Honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, became active in the late 1940s and was federally chartered in 1958.[10][11]

When the Air Force Cross was created in 1961, recipients of this award were made eligible for membership, and the name was changed to the Legion of Valor of the United States of America, Inc.[12]

Governance[edit]

The Legion of Valor is administered by elected officers including a national commander and two vice commanders, as well as a board of directors. Past national commanders hold lifetime positions on the board of directors.[13]

National Convention[edit]

The Legion of Valor meets annually to conduct board of directors meetings, elect officers, and review and amend its constitution.[14]

Projects and programs[edit]

Silver Cross for Heroism

In 1957 the Legion of Valor created a Silver Cross to recognize actions involving the saving or preservation of life. In 1989 the Legion of Valor's constitution was amended to allow Silver Cross recipients to become associate members.[15]

Bronze Cross for Achievement

Established in 1951, the Bronze Cross for Achievement rewards cadets from the Reserve Officers Training Corps who demonstrate "excellence in military, scholastic, and civic affairs." [16][17][18]

Legion of Valor Veterans Museum[edit]

In August 1991 the Legion of Valor established the Legion of Valor Veterans Museum. Located in Fresno, California, the museum contains military memorabilia, artifacts, photographs, and official citations.[19][20]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Text of federal legislation, 36 USC CHAPTER 1303 - Legion of Valor of the United States of America, Incorporated, 01/08/2008
  2. ^ Legion of Valor web site, membership application
  3. ^ Roster of the Medal of Honor Legion, published by the Legion, 1897
  4. ^ The Objects of the Hereditary Societies and the Military and Naval Orders of the United States, by Eugene Zieber, 1895, pages 14 to 16
  5. ^ Congressional Medal of Honor Society web site, history page
  6. ^ Honor Medal Men Divide, New York Times, January 31, 1910
  7. ^ Patriotic Societies of the United States and Their Lapel Insignia, compiled and edited by Sydney A. Phillips, 1914, pages 84 to 86
  8. ^ Handbook of Information and Instructions for Home Service Workers, published by American National Red Cross, 1921, page 297
  9. ^ War Heroes Organize, New York Times, April 7, 1933
  10. ^ Newspaper article, Honor Medal group to Hold Convention, Miami News, November 2, 1956
  11. ^ Beyond Glory: Medal of Honor Heroes in Their Own Words, by Larry Smith, 2004, page xv
  12. ^ United States Statutes, published by U.S. Office of the Federal Register, 1961, Volume 75, page 95
  13. ^ Legion of Valor web site, Officers page
  14. ^ Legion of valor web site, convention page
  15. ^ Legion of valor web site, history page
  16. ^ "Legion of Valor History". Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  17. ^ Press release, Mines ROTC Cadet Receives Legion of Valor Honor, Karen Gilbert, Public Relations Specialist, Colorado School of Mines, September 23, 2009
  18. ^ Newspaper article, VHS Cadet Honored With Legion of Valor Bronze Cross, Shelby County (Alabama) Reporter, October 15, 2009
  19. ^ Magazine article, America's Legion of Valor Museum, Army Magazine, Association of the United States Army, by Scott R. Gourley, November 1, 2001
  20. ^ Fodor's 2000 California, 1999, page 285