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What is a bronze star?

The Bronze Star Medal was established by Executive Order 9419, 4 February 1944 (superseded by Executive Order 11046, 24 August 1962). b. The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Army of the United States after 6 December 1941, distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with military operations against an armed enemy; or while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. ------------------------------------------------------ Description: A Bronze star 1 inches in circumscribing diameter. In the center thereof is a 3/16-inch diameter superimposed bronze star, the center line of all rays of both stars coinciding. The reverse has the inscription "HEROIC OR MERITORIOUS ACHIEVEMENT" and a space for the name of the recipient to be engraved. The star is suspended from the ribbon by a rectangular shaped metal loop with the corners rounded. Ribbon: The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 1/32 inch White 67101; 9/16 inch Scarlet 67111; 1/32 inch White; center stripe 1/8 inch Ultramarine Blue 67118; 1/32 inch White; 9/16 inch Scarlet; and 1/32 inch White. c. Awards may be made for acts of heroism, performed under circumstances described above, which are of lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star. d. The Bronze Star Medal may be awarded for meritorious achievement or meritorious service according to the following: (1) Awards may be made to recognize single acts of merit or meritorious service. The lesser degree than that required for the award of the Legion of Merit must nevertheless have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction. (2) Award may be made by letter application to Commander, ARPERCEN, ATTN: DARP-VSE-A, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132-5200 (enclosing documentary evidence, if possible), to each member of the Armed Forces of the United States who after 6 December 1941, has been cited in orders or awarded a certificate for exemplary conduct in ground combat against an armed enemy between 7 December 1941 and 2 September 1945, inclusive, or whose meritorious achievement has been other wise confirmed by documents executed prior to 1 July 1947. For this purpose, an award of the Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge is considered as a citation in orders. Documents executed since 4 August 1944 in connection with recommendations for the award of decorations of higher degree than the Bronze Star Medal will not be used as the basis for an award under this paragraph