Posey’s Borinqueneers Legislation Clears the Senate and Heads to the White House
Washington, May 23, 2014
The United States Senate last night approved Congressman Bill Posey’s (R-Florida) bipartisan legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment known as the “Borinqueneers”. Posey introduced the legislation with Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico). The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award that Congress can bestow, next only to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This bill is now going to the White House for the President’s signature.
“I would like to express my gratitude to the soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment known as the Borinqueneers for their service and the great sacrifices they have made for our nation and the cause of freedom,” said Congressman Posey. “The Borinqueneers have shown exceptional and unyielding valor on the battlefield and they have earned their place in history as American heroes.
“Awarding the Gold Medal to these brave soldiers is an appropriate way for our nation to observe Memorial Day – and let us always remember the brave men and women in uniform, and their families, for answering the call to serve and the having the courage to defend our liberty.
“Finally, on a personal note, I think it’s important to recognize the efforts of Puerto Rican leaders right here in this community – Dennis Freytes with the National Association for Uniformed Services, Frank Medina, Commissioner Wanda Rentas, and Commisioner John Quińones and many others who worked closely with Rob Medina on my staff to move this forward.
“I would also like to thank members of my staff, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi and his staff for working together across the aisle and all of those on the national level who have advocated for the passage of this important legislation. This demonstrates how people working together can achieve great things and I look forward to seeing the President sign this legislation into law in the coming days.”
The 65th Infantry Regiment was created by Congress in 1898 as an all-Puerto Rican segregated unit and was called upon to serve our nation in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, where they fought some of the fiercest battles to date and became known as the Borinqueneers. During the now-famous Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War, the Borinqueneers fought alongside the First Marine Division, covering them through what is recognized as one of the greatest strategic withdrawals in military history.
As a unit, they earned a Presidential Unit Citation, a Meritorious Unit Commendation and two Republic of Korea Unit Citations, including personal praise from General MacArthur when they were called to the front lines of the Korean War. Individuals within the regiment were also awarded the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star and the Bronze Star.