The House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, congressional leaders have agreed to award the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM) to the U.S. Army’s 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) and the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) for their extraordinary accomplishments in World War II. The National Veterans Network has been designated as the entity that will plan and execute the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony and events in the Fall of 2011 in Washington, D.C.
The Japanese American Museum of San Jose, in conjunction with Representatives Zoe Lofgren, Mike Honda, and Anna Eshoo, are planning a local ceremony in San Jose, CA. This event will be for veterans and their families, as well as widows or families of veterans, who are unable to attend the ceremony in Washington, D.C. The local event is being planned for February 23, 20012. Unfortunately, because of high demand for this event, event registration is now closed.
Q. Who qualifies for this award?
Public Law 111-254 states that the CGM is to be awarded to veterans of the 100th, 442nd, as well as Japanese Americans who served in the MIS during World War II. The Department of Defense defines the period of WW II to be December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946. In addition, the following are qualified to receive the award:
- Caucasian and other non-ethnic Japanese, e.g. Korean and Hawaiian Americans, assigned to the 100th Battalion, 442nd RCT, including cadre who were ordered to remain at Camp Shelby to train replacements.
- Caucasians assigned as team leaders of Nisei linguists.
- Students at MIS or other U.S. Army language schools.
- Any Japanese American assigned as a linguist in the Occupation of Japan during World War II (August 15, 1945 to December 31, 1946).
Q. What is the Congressional Gold Medal?
This medal is an award bestowed by Congress and is the highest civilian award in the United States. The decoration is awarded to an individual or unit who performs an outstanding deed or act of service to the security, prosperity and national interest of the United States. The first recipient of the medal was George Washington in 1776. Among the 145 individuals and units awarded the medal were the Tuskegee Airmen, the Navajo Code Talkers, Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers.
Q. How does a qualified local veteran obtain a Congressional Gold Medal replica?
Thanks to generous sponsors, all veterans, widows or next of kin of veterans registered to attend the event in San Jose, CA will be presented with a three-inch bronze CGM replica at no cost. One replica will be given per family who attend the event.
For those who wish to purchase a replica, the U.S. Mint has the 3″ bronze replica available for online purchase at http://www.usmint.gov/ for $44.95 and $8 for a presentation case.