Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Bronze Star Medal through executive order on February 4th of 1944. The Bronze Star was created during the Second World War in a response to the Airmen’s Medal that was being awarded to pilots during the war. George C. Marshall argued in a letter to Roosevelt that the awarding of the Airmen’s Medal was creating resentment among the ground troops during the war, and hurting the morale of those troops who were suffering some of the greatest casualties. He urged for the creation of an award that could be given to troops by Company Commanders on the level of the Airmen’s Medal to increase the overall troop morale.
In response to this the medal was designed by Bailey, Banks and Biddle, who also designed the Silver Star, and awarded to the first soldiers in 1944 retroactive through December 7th 1941. Now I have seen my fair share of Bronze Medals handed out throughout my career. I will also say that I have never been lucky enough nor have I ever done anything in my miitary career that I think would be deserving of this illustreous medal. I also have the ultimate respect for anyone who has recieved this medal, which is placed above the Purple Heart in order of precedence. Think about that for a second, you can take a bullet for your country and the medal you would recieve is still below that of the Bronze Star.
We all have stories about someone who received an award that they don’t deserve, or at least we feel that they do not deserve. This rarely happens, especially today with the Bronze Star. This is because as of 2012 you must be in a combat zone to earn a Bronze Star. So the next time you meet someone who has earned this award, please do 2 things. Number one thank them for their service, and number 2 get their contact information and follow the link below to purchase one of our Bronze Star designed gifts to show your absolute appreciation for their service to this great country.