Military History: The Silver Star Medal

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Military History: The Silver Star Medal

May 1st is national Silver Star Service Banner Day, a day that honors the sacrifices of the US military personnel as well as those awarded with the Silver Star. In honor of this day, we've decided to take a closer look at the award itself. 


The Silver Star Medal is the third highest military decoration, awarded to those for valor in combat. This award is given as a result of gallantry in action against the enemy of the United States. This award is presented by the US Department of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Homeland Security. 



The Silver Star medal was established on July 9, 1918 during World War I as a successor award to the "Citation Star." In 1932, Congress approved the conversion of the "Citation Star" to the Silver Star Medal with the original "Citation Star" remaining in the center of the medal. When awarding the medal, the Army awards it as the "Silver Star" while the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force and Coast Guard award the medal as the "Silver Star Medal." 



The award is given for singular acts of valor or heroism over a brief period, typically 1 to 2 days of battle. The gallantry displayed must have taken place while in action against an enemy of the US while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force or while serving with friendly foreign forces. Military members often referred to as an "Ace" (having five or more confirmed aerial kills), typically receive this award as a result of successfully risking his life multiple times and emerging victorious. 



The Silver Star Medal is a gold 5 pointed star 1 1/2 inches in circumference with a laurel wreath encircling rays from the center and containing a silver star in the center. The back of the medal has the words "FOR GALLANTRY IN ACTION" inscribed. The ribbon consists of Old Glory red in the center preceded outward in pairs white, ultrafine blue, white and ultrafine blue again. Ribbon devices associated with the award of the Silver Star Medal are denoted by bronze or silver oak leaf clusters


It is estimated that between 100,000 and 150,000 Silver Star Medals have been awarded since it's establishment. For all of those that served and continue to serve in our Armed Forces we thank you! Especially those who demonstrated gallantry in action against our enemies resulting in the award of the Silver Star Medal! 


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