The Soldier's Medal is a military award of the 7th Cavalry.
Creation and History
It was introduced by a law passed by U.S. Congress on July 2, 1926. The criteria for the medal are: "The Soldier's Medal is awarded to any person of the Armed Forces of the United States or of a friendly foreign nation who, while serving in any capacity with the Army of the United States, distinguished himself or herself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy." (Army Regulation 600-8-22).
The first medals were awarded on October 17, 1927 to John F. Burns and James P. Martin, for heroism during a fire and to James K. Wilson and Cleophas C. Burnett for saving people from drowning.
Notable recipients of the Soldier's Medal include Colin Powell, who was awarded the decoration during his second tour in Vietnam (1968-69) when he was injured in a helicopter crash and, despite his wounds, rescued two comrades from the burning wreckage.
The Soldier's Medal is awarded for calling a Garry Owen on behalf of the 7th Cavalry or for taking the initiative to make critical decisions during time of lost communtications with higher leadership.
On a 1 3/8 inch wide Bronze octagon an eagle displayed, standing on a fasces, between two groups of stars of six and seven, above the group of six a spray of leaves. On the reverse is a shield paly of 13 pieces, on the chief the letters "US", supported by sprays of laurel and oak, around the upper edge the inscription "SOLDIER’S MEDAL" and across the face the words "FOR VALOR." In the base is a panel for the name of the recipient to be engraved. The medal is suspended from the ribbon by a rectangular-shaped metal loop with corners rounded.
The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 3/8 inch Ultramarine Blue 67118 on each side and the center containing 13 White and Red stripes of equal width (7 White 67101 and 6 Old Glory Red 67156).