By Timothy C. Westcott, Ph.D. Special to the Doughboy Foundation web site
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 extended the Valor Medals Review Project being conducted by the George S. Robb Centre for the Study of the Great War at Park University. Robb Centre staff have identified 214 World War I servicemembers that may have been unjustly denied high-level valor awards owing to their racial or religious background. Servicemembers worthy of a Medal of Honor may have been downgraded to a Distinguished Service Cross/Navy Cross, and/or a French Croix de Guerre with Palm and/or have an archived Medal of Honor recommendation.
Demographic and military service representation highlights 105 Jewish Americans, 73 African Americans, 23 Native Americans, 12 Hispanic Americans and one Asian American that represent 14 countries, 32 U.S. states and 12 tribes/nations, and are composed of 197 soldiers, seven Marines, five Army Air Service, four sailors and one Naval Air Service veteran. Robb Centre staff have submitted 50 nominations for consideration to the respective branches within the Department of Defense.
In spring 2023, the Robb Centre released “More Than a Medal” documentary highlighting the VMR Project.