The Distinguished Service Award of the Military Order of the Carabao is a replica of the staute designed by Theodora Kitson which was erected by the United Spanish War Veterans and is located on Memorial Drive at the entrance to Arlington Cemetery.
The award was specifically sculpted for the Military Order of the Carabao by Miriam Riggs Ennis.
The Distinguished Service Award of the Military Order of the Carabao was established in 1995 to recognize the contribution of a member of the military establishment, either civilian or uniform, who best exemplifies the highest traditions of service to our nation, and the principles and ideals upon which the Military Order of the Carabao was founded.
The best explanation for the Military Order of the Carabao to establish this Award lies in the reason for there even being a Military Order of the Carabao. Quoting from the publication Historical Sketch, Constitution and Register of the Military Order of the Carabao, 1900-1913, the Order was founded in Manila, Philippine Islands, in November 1900, ‘for the purpose of fostering a high standard of military and social duty and to perpetuate the memories and associations of military service in the Philippines during the early days of American occupation.’
The bond of the Military Order of the Carabao is selfless service to our nation.
—General Gordon R. Sullivan
Grand Paramount Carabao 1995
The Military Order of the Carabao is unique in its membership, and even more unique among organizations associate with this nation's military history. Where most other defense oriented organizations are willing to accept application for membership from those with the appropriate industry affiliations, the Military Order of the Carabao is the only organization which requires for membership prior to military service either as an officer, or as an enlisted man who subsequently becomes and officer. Further, it is not associated with service in a specific Branch of Service. Current membership in the Order includes officers from all Branches of the U.S. Military.
In the words of General Gordon R. Sullivan, Grand Paramout Carabao for 1995, at the monthly luncheon April 18, 1995, the bond of the Military Order of the Carabao is selfless service to our nation. It therefore is fitting that the Order assume the role of recognizing the individual who best meets the criteria for this ‘Selfless Service to the Nation.’
The Recipient of the Distinguished Service Award is selected annually for recognition by the Order, from nominations offered by the Executive Committe of the Council and the Distinguished Service Award Selection Committee of the Order. Final selection is made by the Distinguished Service Award Selection Committee of the Order.
Current members of the Distinguished Service Award Selection Committee include the Grand Paramount, Lietenant General William R. Maloney, USMC, and the following past Grand Paramount Carabaos:
The individual selected for recognition by the Military Order of the Carabao should be either a military or civilian member of the Department of Defense, or of an organization of the U.S. Government which has been delegated responsibility for defending our country against external aggression.
The criteria for selection includes the following: