Marine Corps History: MajGen Smedley Butler

Not only did Major General Smedley Butler distinguish himself as one of two Marines to earn two Medals of Honor, he earned the prestigious medals in back-to-back campaigns.

MajGen Butler earned his first Medal in 1914, commanding Marine forces during the United States’ occupation of Vera Cruz. A year later, he earned his second Medal for “bravery and forceful leadership” as a commanding officer during the Haitian Occupation.

Butler served for 34 years before retiring from duty, earning 16 medals, five of which were for heroism. At the time of his death, he was the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, in Okinawa, Japan, is named in his honor.

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