BRONZE STAR MEDAL
1. Description: A Bronze star 1 ½ inches in circumscribingdiameter. In the center thereof is a 3/16-inch diameter superimposed bronze star, thecenter 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 tobe engraved. The star is suspended from the ribbon by a rectangular shaped metal loop withthe corners rounded.
2. Ribbon: The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists ofthe following stripes: 1/32 inch White 67101; 9/16 inch Scarlet 67111; 1/32 inch White;center stripe 1/8 inch Ultramarine Blue 67118; 1/32 inch White; 9/16 inch Scarlet; and1/32 inch White.
3. Criteria: a. The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to anyperson who, while serving in any capacity in or with the military of the United Statesafter 6 December 1941, distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritoriousachievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, while engaged in anaction against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operationsinvolving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreignforces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the UnitedStates is not a belligerent party.
b. Awards may be made foracts of heroism, performed under circumstances described above, which are of lesser degreethan required for the award of the Silver Star.
c. Awards may be made torecognize single acts of merit or meritorious service. The required achievement or servicewhile of lesser degree than that required for the award of the Legion of Merit mustnevertheless have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction.
4. Components: The following are authorized components ofthe Bronze Star Medal:
a. Decoration (regularsize): MIL-D-3943/22. NSN for decoration set is 8455-00-269-5749. NSN for replacementmedal is 8455-00-246-3829.
b. Decoration (miniaturesize): MIL-D-3943/22. NSN 8455-00-996-5004.
c. Ribbon: MIL-R-11589/18.NSN 8455-00-252-9915.
d. Lapel Button:MIL-R-11484/16. NSN 8455-00-265-4889.
5. Background: a. General George C. Marshall, in amemorandum to President Roosevelt dated February 3, 1944, wrote: "The fact that theground troops, Infantry in particular, lead miserable lives of extreme discomfort and arethe ones who must close in personal combat with the enemy, makes the maintenance of theirmorale of great importance. The award of the Air Medal have had an adverse reaction on theground troops, particularly the Infantry Riflemen who are now suffering the heaviestlosses, air or ground, in the Army, and enduring the greatest hardships." The AirMedal had been adopted two years earlier to raise airmens morale.
b. President Rooseveltauthorized the Bronze Star Medal by Executive Order 9419 dated 4 February 1944,retroactive to 7 December 1941. This authorization was announced in War DepartmentBulletin No. 3, dated 10 February 1944. The Executive Order was amended by PresidentKennedy, per Executive Order 11046 dated 24 August 1962, to expand the authorization toinclude those serving with friendly forces.
c. As a result of a studyconducted in 1947, the policy was implemented that authorized the retroactive award of theBronze Star Medal to soldiers who had received the Combat Infantryman Badge or the CombatMedical Badge during World War II. The basis for doing this was that the badges wereawarded only to soldiers who had borne the hardships which resulted in GeneralMarshalls support of the Bronze Star Medal. Both badges required a recommendation bythe commander and a citation in orders.
d. Order of precedence andwear of decorations is contained in Army Regulation 670-1. Policy for awards, approvingauthority, supply, and issue of decorations is contained in AR 600-8-22.
Information courtesy of U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry