Silver Star and Bronze Star Medals


The Silver Star is the third highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States Armed Forces. The Silver Star medal had its beginning during World War I and is awarded for valor against an opposing armed force.

The Silver Star is awarded for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States not justifying a higher award. It may be awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Armed Forces, distinguishes himself or herself by extraordinary heroism involving one of the following actions:

In action against an enemy of the United States
While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force
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 Silver Star differs from the Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross or Air Force Cross, in that it requires a lesser degree of gallantry and need not be earned while in a position of great responsibility. Soldiers who received a citation for gallantry in action during World War I were eligible to apply to have the citation converted to the Silver Star Medal.


When the medal is awarded by the Army, Air Force, or Space Force for acts of valor in combat, the “V” device is authorized for wear on the medal. When the medal is awarded by the Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard for acts of valor or meritorious service in combat, the Combat “V” is authorized for wear on the medal.

Officers from the other Uniformed Services of the United States are eligible to receive this award, as are foreign soldiers who have served with or alongside a service branch of the United States Armed Forces.

Civilians serving with U.S. military forces in combat are also eligible for the award. For example, UPI reporter Joe Galloway was awarded the Bronze Star with “V” device for actions during the Vietnam War, specifically rescuing a badly wounded soldier under fire in the Battle of Ia Drang, in 1965. Another civilian recipient was writer Ernest Hemingway.

– Wikipedia contributors. (2023, December 29). Bronze Star Medal. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:03, January 21, 2024, from

For more information about the Armed Forces Silver and Bronze Stars and points of interest visit:

Department of Defense Awards for Valor at:

Marine Corp Combat Awards at:

Home of Hero’s at: