Bronze Star Medal

The Bronze Star Medal is a ‘military honor of the U.S. military, translated into Italian as “the Bronze Star medal.” It is awarded for “acts of heroism, of merit or meritorious service in a combat zone.” In the first case, on the ribbon of the coin is on purpose a small “V” of bronze, which stands for ‘value’, called “V” device.

Sometimes, it refers to the medal simply as Bronze Star. It is the fourth highest reward for valor in combat and ninth among all U.S. military honors. Soldati foreigners and official of federal agencies that are part of the uniformed services Service of the United States (such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps) can receive equally the medal, place that were operating together with a armed force American.


The Bronze Star was conceived by the highly decorated Colonel Russell “Red” Reeder in 1943, as a medal to be conferred upon deserving directly from their captain company commander, estimated according to the official, could boost the morale of the troops of infantry and artillery. Such as name, Reeder proposed “Ground Medal”, that is “medal of the earth,” in parallel with the Air Medal, “Air Medal”, which at the time was attributed to the military of the United States Army Air Forces, the U.S. Air Force of World War II.

The idea climbed the military bureaucracy until to arrive on the the general’s desk George Marshall, head of state greater of the Army, which in turn proposed it to the president Franklin Delano Roosvelt, with a note dated February 3 1944.

The Air Medal, in effect, was approved two years ago to raise the morale of the American airmen, but there was a fee for all the other soldiers. On February 4, 1944, President Roosevelt authorized the new medal with Executive Order 9419, retroactive to the day of’ attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. On February 10, the authorization was given in the bulletin no. 4 of the War Department.

August 24, 1962 President John Fitzgerald Kennedy amended the legislation of Roosevelt with Executive Order 11046, allowing the award of the medal to those who had been in combat together with a “friendly force”. In practice, this made ​​it possible to decorate those American soldiers engaged in combat operations is not officially recognized as a war by Congress. For example, at the time the United States was not yet a belligerent force in Vietnam and U.S. soldiers had only the status of “advisers”, which prevented the ability to reward them with the Bronze Star in cases of acts of merit.

Since the criteria for granting the Bronze Star allow it to be assigned to “any person … who is serving in any capacity in or next »of the U.S. military, has often been attributed also to foreign military: allies in the Second World War, soldiers of the United Nations during the Korean War, South Vietnamese and other co-belligerents during the war of Vietnam and members of coalitions that took part in the Gulf wars, Afghanistan and Iraq. A number of Bronze Star with “V” device was also given to veterans of the Battle of Mogadishu in October 1993.

Concessions retroactive

In 1947, was retroactively conferred the Bronze Star even to those who, during the second world war, they were been decorated with the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB), Combat Badge of infantry, or the Combat Medical Badge (CMB),  combat medical badge. The two awards were – and, by 2012, still are – delivered respectively infantry and personal body of health of the Army who have taken part in a dogfight. The basis of this decision, there was the finding that the criteria for granting the two distinctive fully meet the same side: then, those who had received a CIB or CMB had certainly endured the discomfort that had pushed General Marshall to authorize the Bronze Star. Both badges required for the grant, the approval of the ‘commanding officer and a citation of orders in the sheet of the unit.

In addition, the Bronze Star was also extended to all U.S. military present in the Philippines between December 1941 and May 1942 and the entire 101st Airborne Division.


In March 2012, the ‘U.S. Air Force has been criticized for concessions – uncorrelated with each other – the Bronze Star with two technical sergeant for their service in the mission in Afghanistan, as financial analysts. The controversy stems from the fact that, according to the motives of decoration, many online commentators have noted that the two have not made any act of special merit, merely nothing more or less to their institutional duty to manage the funds of the military unit to which were assigned. The Air Force countered by defending the two non-commissioned officers from what he called “cyberbullying”.

However, this was only the cause of the scandal, which has re-emerged as a result of a wider debate and articulate the so-called “medal inflation” in the Air Force and in the ‘U.S. Army, exemplified – according to critics – the number of Bronze Star granted by the two armed forces in Afghanistan: 45,701 by the U.S. Army (of which 1,602, or 2.6% of the value) and 13,354 USAF (of which 839, or 6.3% of the value) to these can be added the 108,775 conferred only by the Air Force, for the war in Iraq, of which 2.2% (2,489 medals) to the value. Critics point out the disparity between contributions “to the value” (which, as has been said, are indicated by “V” device) and those to the simple “meritorious service”, often confined inside military bases or even in the homeland, chaplains, quartermasters, medical personnel, office workers and soldiers in general traditionally responsible for the support of the branches in the rear. The accusation is that of devalue, with the width of Sleeve in the concession of Bronze Star, the heroism of the decorated past and present, by treating the accolade as a mere gift to the career and an addition to curriculum of officers and non-commissioned officers elderly.

The Bronze Star was again the center of controversy in 2003, during the war in Iraq, when it was given to private first class Jessica Lynch, lass to supplies of the 507 th Maintenance Company, which on March 23 2003 he was taken prisoner by Iraqi forces when his convoy was lost on the streets of Nasiriyya, was ambushed and the vehicle Humvee in which he was banging off the road, overturning. La Lynch clapped his the boss and fainted almost immediately without taking part to the clash that was raging around her. Captured, he was immediately taken to the hospital by his captors to the extent of his injuries, severe enough. Immediately, the Pentagon news spread that the young soldier had fought heroically against Iraqis, reporting gunshot wounds and stab wounds, news later proved unfounded because Lynch showed only fractures and other injuries consistent with a car accident. In a short time, thanks to the health of the Iraqi accusations that were looking after, U.S. special forces stormed rocambolescamente in the structure, meanwhile abandoned by the enemy, and rescued Lynch in what has been described by the BBC operation “Hollywood” propaganda, duly recorded with a video camera at night, with explosions and bursts with blanks to “make the scene” and give the impression of a real shooting.

Originally, the Department of Defense was going to decorate Lynch with the prestigious Silver Star, but with the emergence of contrasting version, backed by the protagonist of the story, it was decided to limit the Bronze Star. This does not avoided a harsh polemic on the criteria for granting of this medal and on propaganda governmental about the war.

Even during operations in Kosovo in 1999, the ‘United States Air Force had been criticized for the generosity with which distributed Bronze Star: it had been awarded 185, of which 160 to officers, and only 1 out of 10 had been decorated in the area and combat, were decorated even five officers who had never left the Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. For comparison, the Navy had conferred 69 and the Army, with five thousand soldiers in the area of operations, no. After an investigation of the Pentagon and the consent from part of the Congress, she was seized the decision to interrupt the granting of Bronze Star to those who had not been in war zone.


The Bronze Star Medal was designed by Rudolf Freund (1878 – 1960), jewelery Bailey, Banks & Biddle, who also wrote the Silver Star.

It looks like a bronze star with a diameter of 38 mm. Aligned with the center is a bronze star for 4.8 mm in diameter, with the inscription on the reverse: “HEROIC OR Meritorious Achievement” and a blank space for engraving the name of the rewarded. The ribbon of the medal is 35 mm long and shall be distributed in symmetrical bands: middle band ultramarine blue, 3.2 mm; scarlet red, 14 mm, white, 0.79 mm, white, 0.79 mm.

In case of repeated injections of the Bronze Star, shall apply on the ribbon of the leaves of oak (oak leaf clusters) to individuals belonging to the Army and Air Force and stars of 8 mm in the case of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

Italian decorated

During the Second World War, the U.S. Army awarded 53 Bronze Star Medal for Italian citizens, including:

•In Boscagli, nom de guerre Alberto, Commander Group Divisions Garibaldine Assault Atheist Garemi

•Valerio Caroti, battle name Julius, Division Commander of the Martyrs of Valleogra Garemi

Ferruccio Parri, Italian politician and, under the pseudonym “Maurice” was one of the main leaders of the CLNAI partisans during the war of liberation. He was the first Italian Prime Minister, the head of a government of national unity set up after the Second World War.

•Raffaele Cadorna Jr, General, Commander of the Corps Volunteers of Liberty.

•Mario Argenton, an officer of the Italian Army, Deputy Chief of Staff of the General Headquarters of the Corps Volunteers of Liberty.

•Paris Brunetti, ex-officer of the ‘Italian Army, commander of the brigade partisan Bruno “Garibaldi Brigade Antonio Gramsci (Feltre),” active in the mountains of Feltre and Belluno.

•Cino Moscatelli, or Vincenzo Moscatelli, partisan commander in Sesia Valley.

•Manrico Ducceschi, nom de guerre Goofy, commander of the ‘Zone XI Patriots during the war of liberation.

•Enrico Mattei, entrepreneur, Cavaliere del Lavoro, partisan, Member of the Christian Democrats, and an Italian businessman.

•Ilio Barontini, founder of the Communist Party of Italy, in the partisan resistance in France, Spain and Emilia-Romagna, Senator of the PCI.

•Aurelio Ferrando, nom de guerre Scrivia, commander of the Division Garibaldina “Pinan-Cichero” active between Piedmont and Liguria

•Eraldo Fico, nom de guerre “Comma” commander of the Division Garibaldina “Coduri” active in the mountains of Tigullio Liguria (Riviera di Levante).

•John Parri, said “John”, chief of staff of the XXVI Garibaldi Brigade. Reggio Emilia

•Pius Montermini, “Luigi,” Garibaldi Brigade commander XXVI

•Captain Corrado Galli, commander of the 5th baggage Someggiate “Monte Cassino.”

•Angelo Scala, “the Baptist”, commander of the Brigade Volante Balilla.

Honors U.S.

Italian Resistance

U.S. Military

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