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The History of Military Medals and Ribbons
The Roman Legions awarded the first Legionnaire over the wall a laurel of oak leaves which was later changed to a gold button. Napoleon rewarded his bravest soldiers the Legion of Honor, which became an enduring symbol of excellence in France to this day.

During our revolution, we refuted all things such as medals that were attached to the King. Only a few individual medals were struck to honor General Washington and other key leaders. However, in 1782, General Washington proclaimed the Order of Military Merit for both bravery and meritorious service. After the Army disbanded, it fell into disuse until brought back by General Douglas MacArthur in 1932 as the Purple Heart.

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