Silver Star Medal
Service: All Services (Originally Army only)
Silver Star Medal
Silver Star Medal Criteria: Gallantry in action against an armed enemy of the United States or while serving with friendly foreign forces
Devices: Army/Air Force: Bronze, Silver Oak Leaf Cluster; Navy/Marine Corps/Coast Guard: Gold, Silver Star
Notes: Derived from the 3/16″ silver “Citation Star” previously worn on Army campaign medals
The Silver Star Medal is awarded for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States, or while engaged in military operations involving conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The level of gallantry required, while of a high degree, is less than that required for the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross or Navy Cross. The Silver Star is derived from the Army’s “Citation Star”, a 3/16″ dia. silver star device which was worn on the ribbon bar and suspension ribbon of the “appropriate Army campaign medal” by any soldier cited in orders for gallantry in action. Although most applicable to the World War I Victory Medal, it was retroactive to all Army campaign military medals dating back to the Civil War.
The actual medal was instituted in 1932 with the first award presented to General Douglas MacArthur, the Army’s then-Chief-of-Staff. The Silver Star Medal was designed by Rudolf Freund of the firm of Bailey, Banks and Biddle. On August 7, 1942, the award was extended to Navy personnel and, later that year, authorized for civilians serving with the armed forces who met the stated criteria specified in the initial regulation.
The medal is a five-pointed star finished in gilt-bronze. In the center of the star is a three-sixteenths inch silver five-pointed star within a wreath of laurel, representing the silver [citation] star prescribed by the original legislation. The rays of both stars align. The top of the medal has a rectangular-shaped loop for the suspension ribbon. The laurel wreath signifies achievement and the larger gilt-bronze star represents military service. The reverse contains the inscription, “FOR GALLANTRY IN ACTION” with a space to engrave the name of the recipient.
The ribbon, based on the colors of the National flag, has a center stripe of red flanked by a stripes of white which are flanked by blue bands with borders of white edged in blue. Additional awards are denoted by a bronze or silver oak leaf clusters or gold and silver stars depending on the recipient’s Branch of Service.
Customers need to contact a Military Awards Specialist at 800-308-0849 to purchase the Silver Star Medal.Silver Star Medal,