The item shown above is the diploma that was given to every volunteer who served in the American Field Service for a period of six months or more during World War I. The diploma was intended to testify to the character of the service rendered by each volunteer, and included their ambulance or camion section and the locations in which they served. AFS founder and Inspector General A. Piatt Andrew and Assistant Inspector General Stephen Galatti signed each diploma, as can be seen above.
The diplomas were designed by Bernard Naudin, a distinguished artist at the time. Many AFS drivers believed that America’s assistance to France during World War I was important due to the assistance of the Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat and military officer, to the colonists during the American Revolution in the eighteenth century. The imagery on Naudin’s diploma highlights this belief by showing an American Revolutionary War soldier with a contemporary French soldier (at left), and an American World War I Driver standing with a contemporary French soldier (at right.)