WASHINGTON – The Congressional Gold Medal was presented collectively today to the U.S. Army 65th Infantry Regiment–known as the Borinqueneers–for its pioneering military service, devotion to duty, and many acts of valor in the face of adversity. The ceremony was held in Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.
Composed primarily of Hispanic soldiers, the U.S. Army 65th Infantry Regiment was the last segregated unit of the U.S. military. Though restricted to noncombat roles during World War I, the regiment served heroically on the battlefields of World War II and Korea. The regiment participated in some of the fiercest battles from 1950 to 1952, earning the admiration of many, and dispelling negative stereotypes and reservations about its fighting experience.
Designed and struck by the United States Mint, the medal’s obverse (heads side) depicts a portrait of a fictional Borinqueneer. The soldiers in the background are in an inverted “V” formation, taking the high ground with fixed bayonets during an assault on the enemy during the Korean War. The inscriptions are “65th INFANTRY REGIMENT” and “BORINQUENEERS.” The crossed rifles insignia appears at the bottom of the design.
The obverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
The medal’s reverse (tails side) depicts the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro of San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is a 16th-century citadel, a central symbol of Puerto Rico, and the preferred military command ceremonial parade site of the 65th Infantry Regiment. The inscriptions are “HONOR ET FIDELITAS,” “1899-1956,” “WORLD WAR I,” “WORLD WAR II,” “KOREAN WAR,” and “ACT OF CONGRESS 2014.”
The reverse was designed by AIP Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Renata Gordon.
Public Law 113-120, which awards the Congressional Gold Medal to the U.S. Army 65th Infantry Regiment, also authorizes the United States Mint to strike and sell bronze reproductions of the medal. The three-inch medal (product code 15ML), priced at $39.95, and the 1.5-inch medal (product code 15MM), priced at $6.95, will be available for purchase beginning today after 3 p.m. Eastern Time via the Mint’s online catalog at https://catalog.usmint.gov/ and at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may call 1-888-321-MINT (6468).
About the United States Mint
The United States Mint was created by Congress in 1792 and became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873. It is the nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces numismatic products, including proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver and gold bullion coins. The United States Mint’s numismatic programs are self-sustaining and operate at no cost to taxpayers.