The Army Certificate of Merit was issued in medal form between the years of 1905 to 1918. The decoration replaced the much older Certificate of Merit first issued in 1847 for valor in action during the Mexican-American War. Originally only authorized for Privates in 1854 it was approved for Sergeants but never authorized for officers. In 1892, the criteria were changed to include distinguished service in action. Although awarded for non-combat heroism, it was generally awarded for gallantry against the enemy. It could only be awarded once and became obsolete July 9, 1918 with the establishment of the Distinguished Service Cross and Distinguished Service Medal.