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Awarding the Bronze Star.

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  • Awarding the Bronze Star.

    I wanted to get your guys opinion on this and this seemed like the most appropriate forum on this website, if it is not than I apologize to all.

    The Bronze Star is given for meritorious combat service, a Purple Heart is most often awarded to those wounded in combat, and the POW for being held captive during wartime.”

    The American Bronze Star Recipient Registry
    PG. 14, Para 2

    The two above links I used to research the topic. The first, to find out the criteria for the medal and the second to find out about the order of events. It is my understanding that the other POW’s also got Bronze Stars. I can understand the Purple Heart and Prisoner of War medals, but you can’t get two medals for the same action, can you? All other information used is my own personal experience in the Corps, none of which was in combat, so I maybe missing something, but it doesn’t add up to anything other than PR and politics gone badly.

    Semper Fi,

    Personal comments made in this post have been edited out by the moderator

  • #2
    Shortly after John Kennedy became president he signed the order that awarded the Bronze Star to everyone who earned a (CIB) Combat Infantrymans Badge in World War II. Since then the US Army has handed out Bronze Stars to a lot of folks for a lot of reasons that often have nothing to do with combat. One of my fellow high school teachers served a year in Vietnam as an MP. When he was drafted in 1969 he was a college graduate with a degree in English, and had been teaching high school English at DuBorg High School in St. Louis. As soon as he checked in to his MP unit in Vietnam, and they found out about his background, plus his ability to type; battalion HQ was as far as he got. As he told me he spent his year in country as the Battalion CO's clerk. Writing everything the CO signed, and never doing anything, but working in the battalion HQ. Never fired a shot, was never shot at, or even spent a single day in the field. Upon checking out at the end of his tour he was awarded the Bronze Star. I don't know what the standards for the Bronze Star Medal are, but the Army hands them out to a lot of people, often just for showing up for work everyday.


    • #3
      Your question - is a subject of a bit of consternation to me ownself -

      At least the 'V' still stands for something.

      Sad as it is, it be.

      Personal comments made in this post have been edited out by the moderator


      • #4
        Bronze Star criteria

        Straight from DoD 1348.33-M (DoD "Manual of Military Decorations and Awards")

        AP1.1.2.20. Bronze Star
        AP1. Authorized by Executive Order 9419, "Bronze Star Medal," February 4, 1944, superseded by Executive Order 11046 (reference (sss)).
        AP1. Awarded to any person who, after December 6, 1941, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the United States, distinguishes himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, under any of the following circumstances:
        AP1. While engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.
        AP1. While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force.
        AP1. 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.
        AP1. When the Bronze Star is awarded for heroism, a bronze letter "V" (for valor) is worn on the suspension and service ribbon of that medal.


        • #5
          As far as I understand, it is not the purpose nor the intent of POP A SMOKE to provide a forum to discuss any award given by any branch of the service to anyone. I am very disheartened by the actual mention on an Active Duty Service Members name and anyone without first hand knowledge objecting to that award.

          Frankly I am saddened by this thread and request that those involved edit their remarks.
          Semper Fidelis

          George T. Curtis


          • #6
            Not knowing the total circumstances behind the awarding of the Bronze Star medal to the Army PFC, I’ll hold my remarks. But I do have to wonder about the Army’s policy on awarding that medal. If I recall correctly, the Army caught a lot of flack for just giving out medals after the invasion of Granada.
            Larry Groah[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][/FONT]


            • #7
              A couple of points to ponder:

              Some of you may not remember it, but during the Vietnam War it was common practice in both MAG 16 & 36 to award Bronze Stars w/o Combat V to deserving Marines, many of who had never seen a minute of combat, as end of tour awards.

              That being the case, it seems a little unfair to take the Army, which has always had a more liberal awards policy, to task for doing essentially the same thing.

              Besides, as brother Curtis observed, it really isn't any of our business, is it?


              p.s. No, I don't have one.


              • #8
                Take a look at the order of awards as they are now (Google search-us military awards). The Purple Heart is now ahead of the Air Medal, just below the Bronze Star. When I was "in" the PH was the lowest personal medal that could be awarded because you did not have to do anything yourself to get wounded, the other guy did it to you. Precedence has changed. If I remember right, we wear our medals in the order as presented at the time we got them. (My AM's are ahead of my PH.)

                Side note: I got kicked off the awards board in VMO-2 for refusing to writing someone up for an end of tour award because it was for something I did in every day flying. Marines are still the most reserved of all services about handing out medals.

                Do not regard one person's awards as a comparisons to your own. You know what you got yours for. Your crew knows. That is what counts. When I see a Marine with a Bronze Star, I know that it was earned. Others?


                • #9
                  Not Our Business

                  It could be argued, since Marines supported by HMM-165 were part of that rescue, that we certainly could be concerned with the Army's "cavalier" attitude towards medals many of our own have died for. Those of us that were part of these more "lively" operations in Viet Nam (and other conflicts) feel that they cheapen awards won by brave Marines in heated combat. by awarding them to those "somewhat" less deserving, in our view. Don't be so quick to say it's none of our business.
                  Semper Fi
                  Semper Fidelis

                  Phu Bai tower:
                  YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
                  Remember, These are "A" models!
                  YW-11 BuNo-151939
                  '65 Model CH-46A


                  • #10
                    Bronze Stars

                    Hi Guys,

                    I`m totally new to this forum. I`m not a Marine, in fact I`m not even American. However, I`ve done my bit on Op Iraqi Freedom, or Op Telic, as we call it. I have a passing interest in American Medals, especially the Bronze Star, which is how I`ve ended up here, anyway. I must say I find the awarding of this medal very confusing. I`ve read the post about the Combat Clerk getting it, all be it without the `V`. I`ve read about British Tank Regiment NCO`s getting it for driving US Senior Officers around, in Bagadad. There seems to be a high level of Senior British Officers awarded it for various things. I was just wondering what a Foreign National would have to do in order to win one, if thats the right term. There seems to be an aweful lot of admin cases getting it, whilst guys out on the ground seem to be over looked, but thats another story!!! I`m also really confused about how someone who through not fault (or not) of there own gets caught by the enemy, and there for gets the Purple Heart, POW Medal, Campaign Medal & a Bronze Star? Anyway guys nice chatting with you, take it easy.