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ABOUT PERSHING RIFLES AWARDS

The use of awards and decorations to recognize outstanding achievement is a time honored tradition with ancient roots.  Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and kingdoms throughout the Middle Ages used decorations to honor individuals who had demonstrated outstanding achievement, valor, or heroism.  Like the United States Military, the National Society of Pershing Rifles has established a series of awards and decorations to recognize those individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the organization.

 

In order of precedence from highest to lowest, the National Society of Pershing Rifles uses the following awards to recognize outstanding achievement.  A more detailed description of each is provided below.

 

  1. National Commander's Awards
  2. Membership Ribbon
  3. National Headquarters Staff Ribbon
  4. Regimental Headquarters Staff Ribbon
  5. Lifesaving Award
  6. Gold Achievement Medal
  7. Silver Achievement Medal
  8. Bronze Achievement Medal
  9. Best Regiment Ribbon
  10. Most Improved Regiment Ribbon
  11. Best Company Ribbon
  12. Most Improved Company Ribbon
  13. Service Ribbon
  14. John J. Pershing Memorial Drill Competition Participation Ribbon
  15. Best Pledge Ribbon - Regimental
  16. Best Pledge Ribbon - Company

 

The following historical awards are not used by the National Society of Pershing Rifles today:

 

  1. Regimental Commander's Award
  2. National Postal Rifle March Award
  3. National Postal Physical Fitness Award

 

AWARD DESCRIPTIONS

ACTIVE USE

The P/R National Commander’s Award is the highest honor given by the National Society of Pershing Rifles. It is awarded to an active Pershing Rifleman who is so outstanding in his/her performance and general way of life that he/she influences the organization’s history for a long period of time, regardless of the number of years of service in Pershing Rifles.

 

Description: A rectangular silver & blue bar bearing a silver shield charged with the Pershing Rifles symbol between silver letters “P” and “R”.

 

Worn 1/8” above and centered over the right breast pocket of the male uniform and 1/4” above and centered over the nameplate of the female uniform.

 

The P/R National Commander’s Award was approved by the P/R National Legislative Assembly on 21 April 1962. The US Army Institute of Heraldry provided official written approval for the wear of this award on 13 February 1963.

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The P/R Regimental Commander’s Award was presented by a regimental commander to a limited number of active Pershing Rifleman which displayed outstanding performance and made significant contributions to Pershing Rifles.

 

The first mention of Regimental Commander’s Award is on 9 April 1974 when the National Commander requested that the US Army Institute of Heraldry (TIOH) recognize it in the list of approved awards.  TIOH declined to approve this award because it to closely resembled the Czechoslovakian F.I.D.A.C award.  Despite this lack of approval this award was presented for several years to deserving Pershing Riflemen.

NOT IN

ACTIVE USE

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ACTIVE USE

The design of the P/R Membership Ribbon is identical to the Army Good Conduct Medal (except it is blue rather than red), which denotes exemplary conduct at all times.  It is worn on the left breast of the uniform.

 

The current Pershing Rifles Membership Ribbon was created by the US Army Institute of Heraldry in May 1951 to replace a pre-World War II design that was deemed to be too similar to the Italian War Cross.

 

The US Army Institute of Heraldry provided official written approval for the wear of the Pershing Rifles Membership Ribbon on 14 May 1951.   Air Force Instruction 36-2903, AFROTC Supplement states that the Pershing Rifles Membership Ribbon, “may be worn on the AFROTC cadet uniform in precedence according to AFR OTCI 36-2011 and AFROTCVA 36-3.”

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The P/R Lifesaving Award is presented a Pershing Rifleman who has distinguished himself or herself by saving a human life. An individual is nominated by the P/R unit commander and approval authority for this award is the National Commander.

 

Description:  A medal consisting of pendant and suspension ribbon. The pendant is a disk surrounded by a laurel wreath 1 1/2″ in height and width with a 3/4″ Pershing Rifles Coat of Arms centered on it. All in a bronze colored metal.  The ribbon is white on which three 1/8″ purple stripes are centered.

 

The P/R Life Saving Medal was approved by the P/R National Legislative Assembly in November 1964.  The US Army Institute of Heraldry provided official written approval for the wear of this medal on 25 November 1964.

ACTIVE USE

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ACTIVE USE

The P/R Achievement Medals are awarded to outstanding and meritorious Pershing Riflemen.   There are three degrees, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Gold is the highest award, Bronze the lowest.

 

Although the ribbon has changed over the years, the medal pendant has been in use by the Society since at least the 1930s.

 

Description:  A medal consisting of pendant and suspension ribbon. The pendant has an octagonal shape on which the helmet, crossed rifles and torch, all elements of the Pershing Rifles Coat of Arms, are placed. The pendant also contains a laurel wreath which signifies achievement, all above a scroll with the organization’s name, “Pershing Rifles”  The finish is of a gold, silver or bronze colored metal depending upon the level.  The ribbon is white on which three 1/8″ blue stripes are centered.  The ribbon bar is the same as the suspension ribbon with a metal “G”, “S” or “B” letter centered on it to represent the gold, silver or bronze level of the award. The color or the letter corresponds with the level of the award.

 

The US Army Institute of Heraldry provided official written approval for the wear of these medals on 18 October 1951.

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The P/R Best Regiment and Best Company Awards recognize units for outstanding achievement each year.  The Best Regiment Award recognizes the most outstanding Regimental Headquarters while the best Company Award recognizes the best local level unit.  Nominations are made directly to the Pershing Rifles National Headquarters.  In order to select a winner, the Pershing Rifles National Headquarters examines a unit's strength in the following areas:

 

  1. Membership Strength and New Member Intake Program
  2. Leadership (i.e. ROTC / Student Government / Pershing Rifles)
  3. Involvement in Community Service Activities
  4. Proficiency in Regulation and Exhibition Drill
  5. Proficiency in Basic Military Knowledge

 

The Most Improved Awards evaluate a Regimental Headquarters or Company on in the same areas, but compare a unit's progress rather than standing across the Society.

ACTIVE USE

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ACTIVE USE

The P/R Service Ribbon denotes the length of service of an active Pershing Rifleman.

 

Description: A white ribbon with two 1/16″ blue stripes on each end. The ribbon denotes one year of Pershing Rifles membership.  Service discs (round silver pips) are worn on the service ribbon for each year of active Pershing Rifles service completed in excess of the one year of completed service for which the service ribbon is awarded.

 

The current Pershing Rifles Service Ribbon was created by the US Army Institute of Heraldry in May 1951 to replace a pre-World War II design that was deemed to be too similar to the Italian Medal of Military Merit.

 

The US Army Institute of Heraldry provided official written approval for the wear of this ribbon on 18 October 1951.

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The P/R Pledge Ribbon denotes candidate members of Pershing Rifles who are part of a pledging program approved by the National Society of Pershing Rifles.  The Pledge Ribbon is the oldest continuously worn ribbon of our organization.  It was first described in our 1930 Pledge Manual as:

 

The Pledge Ribbon is blue and white, in two separate pieces, and will be place together by folding the blue ribbon lengthwise and placing it in the center of the white ribbon parallel to the sides.  The two will then be folded together so that both colors may be seen at the crease.  The ribbon will be placed in the notch of the coat lapel so that one quarter of an inch is protruding.

 

The current  Pledge Ribbon is still half blue and half white.  It is worn on the left breast of the uniform with the blue segment to the left.  It serves to remind prospective members of the values portrayed in the colors blue and white.  Blue represents Loyalty, Devotion, Friendship and Truth. White represents Purity, Cleanliness of Life and Rectitude of Conduct.  It also serves as a reminder of the high standards of Pershing Riflemen for which hazing of any type during the pledging process will not tolerated.  Such activity is not representative of the those values instilled by our founder John J. Pershing.

 

By tradition the P/R Pledge Ribbon is not worn by an active Pershing Rifleman unless the individual has been awarded the Best Pledge Ribbon.

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Contact Information

 

Pershing Rifles National Headquarters

16192 Coastal Highway

Lewes, DE 19958

 

Commander@PershingRiflesSociety.org

Phone: (605) 390-3001