Bronze Star Medal
Overview
 
The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 individual military decoration
Awards and decorations of the United States military
Awards and decorations of the United States Military are military decorations which recognize service and personal accomplishments while a member of the United States armed forces...

 that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. As a medal it is awarded for merit, and with the "V" for valor device it is awarded for heroism. It is the fourth-highest combat
Combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

 award of the U.S. Armed Forces and the ninth highest military award (including both combat and non-combat awards) in the order of precedence of U.S.
Encyclopedia
The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 individual military decoration
Awards and decorations of the United States military
Awards and decorations of the United States Military are military decorations which recognize service and personal accomplishments while a member of the United States armed forces...

 that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. As a medal it is awarded for merit, and with the "V" for valor device it is awarded for heroism. It is the fourth-highest combat
Combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

 award of the U.S. Armed Forces and the ninth highest military award (including both combat and non-combat awards) in the order of precedence of U.S. military decorations. Officers from the other federal uniformed services
Uniformed services of the United States
The United States has seven federal uniformed services that commission officers as defined by Title 10, and subsequently structured and organized by Title 10, Title 14, Title 33 and Title 42 of the United States Code.-Uniformed services:...

 are also eligible to receive the award if they are militarized or detailed to serve with a service branch of the armed forces.

General information

The Bronze Star Medal was established by Executive Order 9419, 4 February 1944 (superseded by Executive Order 11046, 24 August 1962, as amended by Executive Order 13286, 28 February 2003).

The Bronze Star Medal may be awarded by the Secretary of a military department or the Secretary of Homeland Security with regard to the Coast Guard when not operating as a service in the Navy, or by such military commanders, or other appropriate officers as the Secretary concerned may designate, to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard of the United States, after December 6, 1941, distinguishes, or has distinguished, himself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight— while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

The acts of heroism are of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star
Silver Star
The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States armed forces for valor in the face of the enemy....

. The acts of merit or acts of valor must be less than that required for the Legion of Merit
Legion of Merit
The Legion of Merit is a military decoration of the United States armed forces that is awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements...

 but must nevertheless have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction. The Bronze Star Medal is awarded only to service members in combat who are receiving imminent danger pay.

The award may be made to each member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, after 6 December 1941, was cited in orders or awarded a certificate for exemplary conduct in ground combat against an armed enemy after 7 December 1941. For this purpose, an award of the Combat Infantryman Badge
Combat Infantryman Badge
The Combat Infantryman Badge is the U.S. Army combat service recognition decoration awarded to soldiers—enlisted men and officers holding colonel rank or below, who personally fought in active ground combat while an assigned member of either an infantry or a Special Forces unit, of brigade size...

 or Combat Medical Badge
Combat Medical Badge
The Combat Medical Badge is an award of the United States Army which was first created in January 1945. The badge is awarded to any member of the Army Medical Department, at the rank of Colonel or below, who are assigned or attached to a medical unit which provides medical support to a ground...

 is considered as a citation in orders. Documents executed since 4 August 1944 in connection with recommendations for the award of decorations of higher degree than the Bronze Star Medal cannot be used as the basis for an award under this paragraph.

History

The award that eventually became the Bronze Star Medal was conceived by Colonel Russell P. “Red” Reeder in 1943, who believed it would aid morale if there was a medal which could be awarded by captains of companies or batteries to deserving people serving under them. Reeder felt the medal should be a ground equivalent of the Air Medal, and proposed that the new award be called the “Ground Medal”.

The idea eventually rose through the military bureaucracy and gained supporters. General George C. Marshall, in a memorandum to President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 dated 3 February 1944, wrote

The Air Medal
Air Medal
The Air Medal is a military decoration of the United States. The award was created in 1942, and is awarded for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.-Criteria:...

 had been adopted two years earlier to raise airmen's morale. President Roosevelt authorized the Bronze Star Medal by Executive Order 9419 dated 4 February 1944, retroactive to 7 December 1941. This authorization was announced in War Department Bulletin No. 3, dated 10 February 1944.

The Executive Order was amended by President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, per Executive Order 11046 dated 24 August 1962, to expand the authorization to include those serving with friendly forces. This allowed for awards where U.S. service members might be involved in an armed conflict where the United States was not a belligerent. At the time of the Executive Order, for example, the U.S. was not a belligerent in Vietnam, so U.S. advisers serving with the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces would not have been eligible for the award.

Since the award criteria state that the Bronze Star Medal may be awarded to "any person...while serving in any capacity in or with" the U.S. Armed Forces, awards to members of foreign armed services serving with the United States are permitted. Thus, a number of Allied soldiers received the Bronze Star Medal in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, as well as U.N. soldiers in the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, Vietnamese and allied forces in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, and coalition forces in recent military operations such as the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, Operation Enduring Freedom and the Iraq War. A number of Bronze Stars with Valor Device were awarded to veterans of the Battle of Mogadishu.

CIB & CMB Conversion

As a result of a study conducted in 1947, the policy was implemented that authorized the retroactive award of the Bronze Star Medal to soldiers who had received the Combat Infantryman Badge
Combat Infantryman Badge
The Combat Infantryman Badge is the U.S. Army combat service recognition decoration awarded to soldiers—enlisted men and officers holding colonel rank or below, who personally fought in active ground combat while an assigned member of either an infantry or a Special Forces unit, of brigade size...

 or the Combat Medical Badge
Combat Medical Badge
The Combat Medical Badge is an award of the United States Army which was first created in January 1945. The badge is awarded to any member of the Army Medical Department, at the rank of Colonel or below, who are assigned or attached to a medical unit which provides medical support to a ground...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The basis for doing this was that the badges were awarded only to soldiers who had borne the hardships which resulted in General Marshall's support of the Bronze Star Medal. Both badges required a recommendation by the commander and a citation in orders.

Appearance

The Bronze Star Medal was designed by Rudolf Freund (1878–1960) of jewelry firm Bailey, Banks & Biddle
Bailey Banks & Biddle
Bailey Banks & Biddle is an online and store retailer of jewelry in America. Its principal offices are in Carrollton, Texas and it has six retail stores in Dallas, Houston and Austin Texas, St. Louis, Missouri, King of Prussia , Pennsylvania and Little Rock, Arkansas.- History :Bailey & Kitchen,...

. (Freund also designed the Silver Star
Silver Star
The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States armed forces for valor in the face of the enemy....

.)

The Bronze Star is a bronze star 1½ inches (38 mm) in circumscribing diameter. In the center thereof is a 3/16 inch (4.8 mm) diameter superimposed bronze star, the center line of all rays of both stars coinciding. The reverse has the inscription “HEROIC OR MERITORIOUS ACHIEVEMENT” and a space for the name of the recipient to be engraved. The star is suspended from the ribbon by a rectangular shaped metal loop with the corners rounded. The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches (35 mm) wide and consists of the following stripes: 1/32 inch (1 mm) white 67101; 9/16 inch (14 mm) scarlet 67111; 1/32 inch (1 mm) white; center stripe 1/8 inch (3 mm) ultramarine blue 67118; 1/32 inch (1 mm) white; 9/16 inch (14 mm) scarlet; and 1/32 inch (1 mm) white.

Devices

Additional awards of the Bronze Star Medal are denoted in the Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 and Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 by oak leaf clusters. The Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, Marines
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

, and Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

 issue award star
Award star
An award star is a decoration issued to personnel of the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard in lieu of multiple awards of the same award. An award star is very similar to an oak leaf cluster, which serves the same purpose in the United States Army and United States Air Force...

s to denote subsequent decorations.

The Valor device
Valor device
The Valor device is an award of the United States military which is a bronze attachment to certain medals to indicate that it was received for valor...

 (or “V device”) is authorized by all services and identifies the award as resulting from an act of combat heroism (as in the case of the Army and Air Force) or signifying that the medal was earned in combat (as in the case of the Navy), thus distinguishing it from meritorious achievement awards. However, an accumulation of minor acts of combat heroism does not justify an award of the Valor device. The Bronze Star Medal is awarded for valor, achievement and service. Combat service deserving a Bronze Star Medal, but not achieved in a particular valorous act, would warrant a meritorious (achievement) Bronze Star. The Valor device does not denote an additional award and only one such device may be worn on any ribbon.

The Bronze Star Medal with the Valor Device is the United States military's fourth highest award for valor.

See also

Category:Recipients of the Bronze Star Medal

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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