The first Badge of Military Merit was awarded Sergeant Elijah Churchill of Enfield, Connecticut. He was a member of the Fourth Troop of the Second Continental Dragoons fighting in the Revolutionary War
. The Badge of Military Merit was created by George Washington
on August 7, 1782. According to The Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, only three men were ever awarded the badge. The Badge of Military Merit was the precursor to the present day Purple Heart.