On February 4, 1944 President Roosevelt created the Bronze Star with an Executive Order. These US military medals were intended to be the ground equivalent of the Air Medal. These military ribbons and medals are presented to individual members of the U.S. armed forces for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. When bestowed with a Valor Device for bravery these military medals are considered the fourth highest combat award in the pantheon of military medals of America.
Currently, Bronze Star Medals may be awarded to any person serving in any capacity in or with the U.S. Armed Forces, including foreign troops. These military decorations are awarded for heroic or meritorious service in ground operations against an armed enemy. The acts of heroism are considered to be of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star, and the acts of merit are considered to be inferior to those required for the Legion of Merit. Only service members in combat and receiving imminent danger pay are eligible to receive the Bronze Star. In the U.S. Army and Air Force, additional awards of the Bronze Star are denoted by Oak Leaf Clusters. In the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, each additional award is shown by an Award Star. All branches of the U.S. military award the Valor Device to signify that the Bronze Star was won for heroism in combat rather than meritorious achievement awards. Regardless of multiple awards, only one “V” device may be worn on these military medals.
The Bronze Star is worn below the individual Service Medals, and above the Purple Heart in the general order of precedence that has been established for the proper display of all military medals and ribbons for United States service members.