VFW Commemorates National Borinqueneers Day

The storied Army regiment from Puerto Rico celebrated for its many accomplishments

WASHINGTON — Today the VFW joins a grateful nation in commemorating National Borinqueneers Day, named in honor of the brave Soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment of the United States Army.

Nicknamed during the Korean War for the original inhabitants of the island of Puerto Rico, the Borinqueneers have a long and storied history dating back to its inception as the first all-Hispanic military unit in 1899. Since then, the 65th would go on to serve with distinction in defending the Panama Canal Zone during WWI and North Africa, France and Germany in WWII. 

During the Korean War, the 65th Infantry was heralded for their exceptional courage, tenacity and sacrifice. They were awarded battle participation credits for nine campaigns, lauded for their bravery at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, and credited with the last battalion-sized bayonet charge in U.S. Army history. Among their numerous awards for valor from the Korean War are two Presidential Unit Citations, 2,771 Purple Heart Medals, 606 Bronze Stars, 256 Silver Stars, nine Distinguished Service Crosses, and the Medal of Honor. 

On April 13, 2016, the Borinqueneers were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their many contributions to the Armed Forces of the United States. In January 2021, members of Congress passed legislation making National Borinqueneers Day law, celebrating this valorous unit for the first time April 13 last year. 

Today, the legacy elements of 65th Infantry Regiment continue to serve where and when it’s called upon as part of the Puerto Rican National Guard.

From all of the 1.5 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary, we salute all Borinqueneers, both past, present and future, as well as all who serve in the U.S. military from Puerto Rico. Thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do for our great nation.