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American Military Patches, Other Insignia and Decorations of World War Two by Dr. Howard G. Lanham c.2004

Medals of the Second World War

United States Navy

Marine Corps Brevet Medal

Brevet Medal
Marine Corps Brevet Medal

The Secretary of the Navy authorized the Marine Corps Brevet Medal on June 7, 1921. Brevet commissions were conferred for bravery in action or distinguished service. They were common in the 19th Century when there were few actual decorations that members of the Armed Forces could receive. A brevet was an honorary rank (without pay of command privileges) higher than the marine's actual rank. The establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861 was the beginning of a decline in the use of brevets. The Marine Corps conferred its last brevets during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. It was decided that those individuals holding a brevet were worthy of a visible badge of recognition. At the time of its creation there were only 23 living individuals eligible to receive it. Thus, the Marine Corps brevet medal is among the rarest of United States decorations and is given precedence just after the Medal of Honor.

Quartermaster Sergeant Joseph A. Burnett, U.S.M.C designed the decoration. The ribbon is similar to the Medal of Honor, but is in the Marine Corps color of red. The eagle, anchor and globe insignia joins the cross to the ribbon. The word BREVET and United States Marine Corps is written on the obverse of the medal and "For Distinguished Service" and "In Presence of Enemy" on the reverse. It is not know if any marines serving during the Second World War were among those 23 who received the Marine Corps Brevet Medal.

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