FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   CONTACT: Christopher Kortlander

May 21, 2008                                                                 Custer Battlefield Museum

Phone: (406) 638-2020

FAX: (406) 638-2019


Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow to receive the

French Legion of Honor Award and the Bronze Star


GARRYOWEN, Montana – Christopher Kortlander, founding director of the Custer Battlefield Museum in Garryowen, has announced that at 11 A.M. June 25th, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in front of the museum, Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow will be awarded the French Legion of Honor Chevalier medal and the Bronze Star for his service in the U.S. Army during World War II.


Dr. Medicine Crow is recognized as a warrior by the Crow Tribe for having completed all four actions of counting coup while serving in battle during World War II. A noted tribal historian and grandson of General Custer’s scout, White Man Runs Him, Medicine Crow is the first member of the Crow Tribe to earn a master's degree, and has authored numerous books on Crow culture. On June 25th, Dr. Medicine Crow will be awarded two of the highest military awards from the governments of the United States and France.


In a letter from French Ambassador Pierre Vimont, he explained that: “This award testifies to the President of the French Republic’s high esteem for your merits and accomplishments. In particular, it is a sign of France’s true and unforgettable gratitude and appreciation for your personal, precious contribution to the United States’ decisive role in the liberation of our country during World War II.  The French People will never forget your courage and your devotion to the great cause of freedom.”


The Legion of Honor was created by Napoleon in 1802 to acknowledge services rendered to France by persons of great merit. 


The award for the French Legion of Honor is known by many titles, depending on the level of degree. Dr. Medicine Crow has been awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur or Knight of the Legion of Honor. Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur are among the Americans who have received this prestigious decoration.


In addition, Dr. Medicine Crow will also be presented with the Bronze Star, a military decoration awarded for meritorious service. Three-star General Paul E. Funk (U.S. Army, Ret.), a native of Roundup, Montana will make the presentation to Dr. Medicine Crow.  General Funk was one of the generals to lead Operation Desert Storm and commanded the 3rd Armored Division in the 100-hour war that drove Iraqi forces from Kuwait. He was also commander of the U.S. Army’s III Corps, consisting of 162,000 soldiers in eight divisions.


The public is invited to join in the ceremony honoring Dr. Medicine Crow as he receives these important and well-deserved awards. For additional information about the ceremony, please contact the Custer Battlefield Museum at (406) 638-1876, or visit the museum’s website: E-mail inquiries should be directed to

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