Certificate of Merit Medal (for veterans)
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The Certificate of Merit Medal was authorized by War Department Order on January 11, 1905, to represent an award of the Certificate of Merit. The Certificate of Merit Medal was available to be worn by all recipients of the Certificate of Merit. The Certificate of Merit was originally established by Congress on March 3, 1847, as an award for gallantry in action or meritorious service. Initially, the Certificate of Merit rewarded privates for acts of gallantry during the Mexican War between 1846 and 1848. The Certificate of Merit was not awarded again until 1877, when the award was reinstated and awarded retroactively back until June 22, 1874. In 1891, eligibility for the award was expanded to include enlisted men and awards were made in recognition of distinguished and valuable service provided to the state, such as in the preservation of human life or the state. The Certificate of Merit was superseded by the Distinguished Service Medal and the Distinguished Service Cross in 1918. It is estimated that 1 206 Certificates of Merit were issued.
The Bronze Medal features a Latin inscription on the obverse which translates to "Virtue and Audacity are Their Own Monument and Reward."
There are two versions of the Medal. The first version was presented to active or retired members of the Armed Forces and is stamped "No." in front of the serial number on the rim. The second version was made available for private purchase by qualified veterans who were no longer in service at the time their award was approved and is stamped "M.No." in front of the serial number on the rim. The second version Medal is rare, with only 300 struck and 33 issued.
Privately altered versions of the Medal with the recipient's name, rank, and details may be encountered.
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