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PR military

Hugnan, Korea, December 24, 1950. 65th Infantry troops last to evacuate besieged port. Corporal Julio Guzman and Sergeant Major Lupercio Ortiz.
Officially, Puerto Ricans started serving in the United States military in 1899 with the creation of the Battalion of Porto Rican Volunteers . Since then, hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans have been drafted or volunteered to serve in all the branches of the military. Puerto Ricans who...
Training of draftees
The G.I. Bill in Puerto Rico The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act was finally signed into law by President Roosevelt on June 22nd, 1944. The Veterans Administration became responsible for carrying out the law's key provisions: education and training, loan guaranty for homes, farms or businesses, and...
1940s Jungle Training
As it happened in World War I, Puerto Ricans responded enthusiastically to the call to arms. The metropolis and the Allies’ propaganda, the effort of the local elites to mobilize the peasantry and urban workers, the dire economic situation and a tradition of service combined to drive the Puerto...
In the town of Caguas, Puerto Rico, 1st Lt. Cipriani, communications officer of the 65th Infantry, accompanied by Sgt. Navares, supervises the work of Tech. Sgt. Santiago and Pvt. Rafael Rivera. November 1941. CMH.
Before the military mobilization of the Puerto Ricans became relevant for Puerto Rico’s economy and society, a labor mobilization through federal programs and war preparedness took place. [1] Historian José L. Bolívar Fresneda has demonstrated that during the period 1939-1948 instead of state or...
Troops of 65th Infantry ready for action at maneuvers, Salinas, Puerto Rico. 1941. CMH.
The winds of war, even before the juggernaut of the German and Japanese militaries became apparent and the U.S. slowly started to ready itself for war, made Continental politicians more open to finding solutions to the island’s plight – and to avoiding a repetition of the 1930s’ political violence...
Battalion surgeon, Dr. Ernesto Gonzalez in Vietnam administering vaccinations to Vietnamese aborigenes, 1967
Besides death and physical wounds, war has always taken a toll on both soldiers and civilians. The trauma of war stays with those who went through it. What we call today Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been known by other names such as combat fatigue, battle fatigue, or shell shock...
Soldiers of the 65th, North of the Han River, Korea, June 1951. Photo credit: U.S. Army
On August 13, 1952, exploding Chinese artillery rounds and the strains of the Puerto Rican national anthem set the mood as a group of Puerto Rican soldiers raised their homeland's flag beside the Stars and Stripes on a mountainous battlefield in South Korea. [1] After half a century under direct U...
Cabo Gomez arrives in New York, Aug. 31, 1952
In September of 1951, El Diario de Nueva York published a picture of Corporal Ángel Gómez, receiving medical treatment at the Walter Reed Military Hospital in Maryland. In the photograph he was learning how to use his new prosthetic limbs. Gómez appeared in the picture wearing a “pava” (Puerto Rico...
Homenaje del Pueblo de Puerto Rico - May 23, 1951
On October 12th, 1950, Puerto Ricans learned that the 65th was fighting in Korea. The island’s newspapers were full of stories and pictures of the soldiers and the ceremonies held previous to their departure. Island-wide, the people of Puerto Rico joined to support the 65th throughout the war...
Painting of the 65th Infantry Regiment during Korean War
Over 61,000 Puerto Ricans served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Korean War. Many served with the 65th Infantry. The vast majority were volunteers who several times completed the island’s monthly recruiting quota. The chance that they may be sent to the 65th motivated thousands of Puerto Ricans...
Puerto Rican National Guard Crest
Creation of the Puerto Rico National Guard The three regiments from Las Casas were reorganized in 1922 as part of the Army Reserve Corps. In 1919, Secretary of War Baker authorized Yager to organize an infantry regiment and a cavalry battalion, officially creating the Porto Rico National Guard. In...
369th Infantry band en route to France
During World War I, many Puerto Ricans were drafted, recruited or volunteered while residing in the continental United States. They were sent to either black or white units depending on their skin color. A curious case is that of James Reese Europe, a distinguished African-American jazz musician...
Porto Rican Regiment, 1917
The War Department authorized the creation of the 94 th Infantry Division to be composed of four Porto Rican regiments. [1] The 94 th Division would consist of four regiments 373, 374, 375, 376, the first two were assigned to the Tactical Brigade 187 while the 375-Colored, and the projected 376...
Puerto Rican soldiers, Sgt. Paul Santiago, Northern Iraq, 2003
Active duty military personnel, veterans and their families have dispersed the Puerto Rican population beyond what has been considered as traditional centers of Puerto Rican migration. New York, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts continue to host the largest populations of...
65th Infantry Regiment Congressional Gold Medal (front)
The Congressional Gold Medal The culmination of the recovery and restoration process of the Borinqueneers’ historical record of military service is the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal. Obtaining the award comes from the efforts of the Borinqueneers CGM Alliance (BCGMA) and countless...