As Military Vicar for the Armed Forces for 27 years, a period that included the country’s peak mobilization years, Cardinal Spellman has been responsible for the spiritual care of millions of Roman Catholic servicemen and women serving at home and abroad. Presently, the Military Ordinariate, the Cardinal’s Service parish, includes a corps of priests who provide for the religious needs of uniformed Catholics and their families at every military installation and at every outpost manned by United States troops. As a regular and frequent visitor to these outposts—often in the combat zone—and especially during the Christmas season, the Cardinal’s services and personally delivered messages have brought consolation and inspiration to men and women of all ranks without regard to religious affiliation.
Throughout his long years of association with the armed forces of his country, during which time he has been concurrently Archbishop of the great diocese of New York, Cardinal Spellman has been widely recognized and heralded as a dedicated spiritual leader unswerving in his loyalty to his country.
In further recognition of Cardinal Spellman’s highly important contributions to the development of the moral strength of our fighting forces and of his continuing paternal concern for American servicemen and women of all faiths, the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy hereby awards him the Sylvanus Thayer Medal.