President Awards Congressional Gold Medal for Valiant Military Service to Latino Infantry Regiment, the "Borinqueneers"
June 10, 2014
Contact: Jossie Flor Sapunar
Washington, D.C. – Today, the 65th Infantry Regiment received the Congressional Gold Medal from President Obama for their
military service in three wars. Nicknamed the "Borinqueneers," the combat-fight unit is the only Hispanic-segregated active duty infantry that played a major role in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.
"Overcoming the obstacles of segregation and discrimination, the Borinqueneers showed exemplary patriotism in their fight for America's freedom," said LULAC National President Margaret Moran. "Through exemplary public service, Latinos demonstrate their high esteem of this great country."
The pinnacle military achievements of the 65th Infantry Regiment came during the Korean War where the unit participated in nine major campaigns and earned two Presidential Unit Citations, a Meritorious Unit Commendation and two Republic of Korea Unit Citations. More than three thousand 65th Infantry soldiers were wounded including over seven hundred killed. Over the span of WWI, WWII and the Korean War, individual members have earned ten Distinguished Service Crosses, 258 Silver Stars, 628 Bronze Stars, and over 2700 Purple Hearts.
In August 2013 LULAC sent a letter to Congress urging representatives to pass the appropriate legislation that would commemorate the predominantly Latino unit's service.
Though primarily made up of Puerto Ricans, the Borinqueneers are arguably one of the most ethnically diverse U.S. combat-fight units, with Mexican American, segregated African American, Philippine, Virgin Islander soldiers as well as soldiers from other ethnicities.
About LULAC: The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.