Bronze Star Award

Bronze Star Medal

The Bronze Star Medal (BSM, or BSV with valor device) is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration 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 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 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The Bronze Star Medal was established by Executive Order 9419, 4 February 1944 (superseded by Executive Order 11046, 24 August 1962, as amended by Executive Order 13286, 28 February 2003).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 6 December 1941, distinguishes, or has distinguished, himself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight—

  1. while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
  2. while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or
  3. 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. The acts of merit or acts of valor must be less than that required for the Legion of Merit 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 or Combat Medical Badge 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 Franklin D. Roosevelt dated 3 February 1944, wrote:

The fact that the ground troops, Infantry in particular, lead miserable lives of extreme discomfort and are the ones who must close in personal combat with the enemy, makes the maintenance of their morale of great importance. The award of the Air Medal has had an adverse reaction on the ground troops, particularly the Infantry Riflemen who are now suffering the heaviest losses, air or ground, in the Army, and enduring the greatest hardships.

The Air Medal 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, 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, as well as U.N. soldiers in the Korean War, Vietnamese and allied forces in the Vietnam War, and coalition forces in recent military operations such as the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom and the Iraq War. A number of Bronze Stars with Valor Device were awarded to veterans of the Battle of Mogadishu.

Appearance:

The Bronze Star Medal was designed by Rudolf Freund (1878–1960) of jewelry firm Bailey, Banks & Biddle. (Freund also designed the Silver Star.)

The Bronze Star is a bronze star 11⁄2 inches (38 mm) in circumscribing diameter. In the center thereof is a 3⁄16 inches (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 13⁄8 inches (35 mm) wide and consists of the following stripes: 1⁄32 inches (0.79 mm) white 67101; 9⁄16 inches (14 mm) scarlet 67111; 1⁄32 inches (0.79 mm) white; center stripe 1⁄8 inches (3.2 mm) ultramarine blue 67118; 1⁄32 inches (0.79 mm) white; 9⁄16 inches (14 mm) scarlet; and 1⁄32 inches (0.79 mm) white.

Devices:

Additional awards of the Bronze Star Medal are denoted by oak leaf clusters in the Army and Air Force and 5/16 inch stars in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

The “V” device may be authorized for wear to all service personnel and indicates an individual award or unit award resulted from an act of combat heroism. The “V” device may also be awarded for wear to denote that a decoration was awarded (authorized) for direct participation in combat operations (Navy and Marine Corps). Only one “V” may be worn on service ribbons or suspension ribbons of medals.

The Bronze Star Medal with the “V” device is the United States military’s fourth highest award for valor.

SOURCE:  wikipedia

4 thoughts on “Bronze Star Award

  1. I SERVED IN VIETNAM FROM 1967 TO 1968 AS AN INFANTRY SOLDIER WITH A LOT OF ENEMY CONTACT. I WAS AWARDED THE COMBAT INFANTRY BADGE , WHICH IS CONSIDERED A CITATION IN ORDERS. CAN I REQUEST FOR THE AWARD OF THE BRONZE STAR ?

    • Dear Israel,
      Your vet center can give you the form or even better go to the Purple Heart or DAV even if you are not a member(Join anyway) and you give them “Power of Attorney”and they will help you fill out the form for submission of military award.If you want a Bronze Star for your bravery then ask for a “V” which is for Valor! Along with your submission you will need notarized witness statements from those that you served with including as many officers as you can as it makes a difference on how fast the request was processed.Find out who your State Representatives/Senators who serve in Washington DC; they have military liaison staff who will guide you in your submission.Figure it might take at least three years.Be sure to list any other military awards as well as your 214? It can be quite frustrating going through the red tape.Search the web for statements used in applying for a Bronze Star.Click on Army writer for more help! Talk it up with other vets and get as much help as you can.

  2. HI FRED , THANK YOU FOR THE INF.. BEING THAT I WAS AWARDED THE COMBAT INFANTRY BADGE , CONSIDERED A CITATION IN ORDERS , THE REQUEST FOR THE BRONZE STAR WOULD BE EASIER TO JUSTIED. I READ SOMEWHERE THAT IF YOU RECEIVED THE COMBAT INF. BADGE OR THE COMBAT MEDIC BADGE YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE BRONZE STAR. CAN YOU PLEASE CHECK ON IT ? THANK YOU NAM BROTHER ! ISRAEL

  3. During/after WWII a Vet could upgrade a CIB to a Bronze Star; you can check the net but I believe that was only for the WWII Vets. Now you can apply to the DOA for a Bronze Star. Thanks Fred as you have preformed way above your designated duty@

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