CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 324, a bill to grant the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the First Special Service Force, in recognition of its superior service during World War II,under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on January 18, 2013 by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL) and referred to the Committee on Financial Services.
H.R. 324 authorizes the Congressional Gold Medal to be awarded to the First Special Service Force in honor of their service during World War II. The medal will be given collectively to the First Special Strike Force, and a second medal will be struck and given to the Smithsonian Institution for public display and research. The bill also authorizes the Mint to strike bronze duplicates of the medal for sale.
The First Special Service Force, also known as the “Devil’s Brigade,” was an elite American-Canadian joint-operations unit during WWII. It was also the first modern special operations force and was first activated in Montana in 1942. The First Special Service Force went on to serve with distinction in combat in Alaska, Italy and France, often succeeding where other units had failed, before being disbanded in December 1944.
The Congressional Gold Medal, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is America’s highest civilian honor. First awarded by Congress in 1776 to George Washington, the Congressional Gold Medal has been presented to notable figures that have left lasting marks on American culture and history, including military leaders, musicians, scientists, explorers, and many others.
By awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the First Special Service Force, H.R. 324 recognizes not only the sacrifice and excellence displayed by the unit, but also the lasting effect the unit has had on the military.
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