The Honor Bell of the Military Order of the Carabao has been awarded since 1954 to recognize members who have rendered distinguished services to the Order. The Bell is also awarded to non-members, designated "hombres," who have rendered distinguished services to the military interests of the country.
Honor Bells are standard brass cow bells with a cravat ribbon suspension engraved with the recipient's name and the year of presentation. The Honor Bell is accompanied by a miniature brass cow bell with the recipient's initials and the letters "M.O.C." engraved on the dome. This style Honor Bell is also suspended by a cravat ribbon.
Miniature Honor Bells are worn by recipients at the Wallows, the annual business meeting, and the monthly luncheons, and are rung vigorously after each significant pronouncement. Today's organization is primarily social in nature, however a patriotic theme remains dominant. When the Grand Paramount Carabao takes the oath of office by promising "not to water down the whiskey for the Herd," the bells are enthusiastically rung.
The first Honor Bell awards were made in 1954 to three distinguished citizens: Reps Sam Rayburn [of Texas], Speaker of the House and former House Majority Leader, Rep. Joseph W. Martin, Jr. [of Massachusetts], former Speaker of the House and Minority Leader, and LCDR Richard M. Nixon, USNR, Vice President of the United States and a Carabao in his own right by virtue of service in Philippine waters during World War II. In 1958 Senator William F. Knowland [of California], Senate Majority Leader, received an Honor Bell for “Distinguished Service.”