The Military Order of Foreign Wars
The United States
On December 27, 1894, a group of patriotic gentlemen from several States met in the Governor’s Room, City Hall, New York City, sharing a belief in the need for a patriotic and hereditary society conceived to honor officers who served in the foreign wars of the United States. Those gentlemen had great vision, giving a beginning to a prestigious Order that set a standard for the future.
This unique and distinguished Order was planned as a military organization with both patriotic and social objectives. Its hereditary line of descent spans the entire period of American History beginning with our War for Independence.
The influence of the Order spread from its inception, and Commanderies were formed in many other States under the coordination of a General Staff in conjunction with a National Council
The Pennsylvania Commandery was founded in 1895 and incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1898.
The Order was formed with these paramount objectives:
• To honor and perpetuate the names of brave and loyal officers who had served in our Nation’s foreign wars and expeditions.
• To keep in mind the memory of their martial deeds, the victories they helped to gain, and the freedoms they have preserved for us.
• To cultivate Military and Naval Science, with emphasis on Military History.
• To bear true allegiance to the United States of America, based on the paramount respect for and fidelity to the Constitution and Laws of our Country.
• To aid in maintaining National Honor, Union, and Independence.
The specific goals of both the Order and the State Commanderies include:
• Developing the leadership capabilities of our young veteran and hereditary Companions to ensure the viability and strength of the Order to serve our Country in the future, supporting, financially and otherwise, worthwhile projects, events, and organizations that relate to our purpose.
• Maintaining an active and assertive program to recruit both veteran officers and hereditary companions so that the Order will be able to carry on its ideals, objectives, and support of our Country.
• Supporting the training of our Armed Forces as they relate to the implementation of the foreign policy and defense of the United States.
• Supporting the training and development of leadership in our Armed Forces by the Service Academies, the Reserve Officers Training Corps programs, and other appropriate institutions and organizations.
• A paramount objective is to make younger generations aware of the rich history and deeds of the military in the founding of our Country. This heritage and the security afforded by a strong armed force allows us to benefit from their sacrifices to enjoy peace and to pursue a fruitful life.
Responsibility for the operation and administration of the Order is vested in the General Staff and Council. A Commander General and Staff are elected at the biennial convention, which rotates among the various State Commanderies. Companions are encouraged to attend those conventions and accompanying social affairs. A newsletter is published and sent to all Companions.
There are State Commanderies in California, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Washington, DC., and West Virginia.
The State Commanderies hold meetings and social functions in keeping with their interests and emphasis. Luncheon meetings include speakers on military and historical topics of interest to the membership. Trips are often arranged to sites of military and historical importance.
REPOSITORY OF RECORDS
The official records of the Military Order of Foreign Wars are preserved in special files at the U.S. Army Military History Institute (USAMHI), Carlisle, PA. Here too are the membership applications of each Companion, including his detailed military history or hereditary eligibility. We are proud to be included in this important institution. In turn, the USAMHI is appreciative of being the guardian of these important records. Their availability for research and educational use guarantees their preservation.
The rolls of the Order contain the names of many famous leaders since our founding in 1894, prior to the Spanish-American War. Beginning with Admiral Dewey, the Order has been represented in every subsequent war or conflict including: Generals Smedley Butler, Pershing, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Haig, and Admiral Halsey.
Down through the years, we count many Presidents, members of the Cabinet, and important persons from all walks of life as Companions. The strength of the Order, however, is built on the hundreds of loyal companions who have served their country honorably and proudly. Joining us in this proud history are the many hereditary companions, descendants of officers who have served in our country’s wars and other conflicts since the Revolution.
MOTTO AND INSIGNE
The motto of the MOFW is of paramount importance: Deus et Libertas. It reflects the twin principles on which the Order was founded and which guide us today. The insigne has an historic past. The swords and anchor represent the senior services of the Army and Navy. By order of the Department of Defense, the medals of the MOFW may be worn on uniforms on special occasions. Miniature replicas may be worn on evening dress. For everyday wear, Companions are proud to wear the colors of the Order with a lapel rosette, the striped repp four-in-hand, or the bow-tie.
In order to ensure the future of the Order, we actively seek qualified candidates whom we consider for election to membership. We welcome candidates to apply for membership in our two classifications of companionship.
VETERAN: for officers (active, retired, or honorably discharged) who have served in the foreign wars or other military engagements of our Nation. It is necessary to have served during a qualifying conflict but not necessarily in the foreign theater of operations itself. Enlisted service members who served during a qualifying conflict are qualified if they have subsequently become officers. In some instances, officers in Allied forces qualify as well.
HEREDITARY: for descendants of officers with qualifying service, as described above, dating from the War of Independence to the present. (The 1861 - 1865 War Between the States does not qualify as a Foreign War.) Many of our Hereditary members have had no military service. Others have served as either enlisted persons or as officers.
If you are interested in the Order, return the “Application and Proof of Eligibility for Membership” to the Pennsylvania Commandery with a cheque in the amount of $105 ($50 initiation fee plus $55 annual dues) payable to MOFW-PA. If you wish to apply for life membership, the cheque should be for $600 ($50 initiation plus $550 Life Membership dues.) Please send the application and cheque to:
MAJ James Mallinson
Senior Vice Commander
P.O. Box 627
Paoli, PA 19301
If for any reason you are not elected to membership, the full $105 or $600 will be returned.