Thursday, February 14, 2008

Way To Go, Son!

We found out last night that Chris had been approved for the Bronze Star for Meritorious Achievement. We are so proud for him! I'm not quite sure exactly what he did but I know it makes him feel good to know that the very long hours, hard work and dedication have paid off and have been recognized. He continues to thououghly love what he does and I know this award will make the job even more precious to him. I'm not quite sure when the award will be presented but I'm hoping to get some pictues when it happens. We are so proud of the honor that has been bestowed upon Chris. He has grown up to be quite an Officer and indeed a Gentleman! We haven't had the opportunity to talk with Chris since we got the news but I can only imagine that he is even more bubbly than usual. Way to go, son!

The Bronze Star Medal is a United States Armed Forces individual military decoration which may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. When awarded for bravery, it is the fourth-highest combat award of the U.S. Armed Forces and the 9th highest military award (including both combat and non -combat awards) in the order of precedence of U.S. military decorations.

General information
The medal may be awarded for Valor (ie a particular instance of combat heroism), in which case it is accompanied with an attached V or it may be awarded for Meritorious Achievement (ie doing one's combat job well over a period of time) in which case the medal does not have a valor component and does not have an attached V denoting Valor. Most of the bronze stars awarded are meritorious and do not have the V device.

The medal is awarded to a member of the military who, while serving in or with the military of the United States after 6 December 1941, distinguished him- or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or 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.

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. Awards may also be made to recognize single acts of merit or meritorious service. The required achievement or service, while of lesser degree than that required for the award of the Legion of Merit, must nevertheless have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction.

To be eligible for the Bronze Star Medal, a military member must be receiving hostile fire/imminent danger pay during the event for which the medal is to be awarded.

As of 30 October 2000, the Bronze Star Medal may not be awarded to Department of the Army civilians.

The Bronze Star Medal is typically referred to by its full name (including the word “Medal”) to differentiate the decoration from bronze service stars which are worn on campaign medals and service awards.

The award that eventually became the Bronze Star Medal was conceived by Colonel Russell P. “Red” Reeder in 1943, who believed it would aid morale if there was a medal which could be awarded by captains of companies or batteries to deserving people serving under them. Reeder felt the medal should be a ground equivalent of the Air Medal, and proposed that the new award be called the “Ground Medal”.[1]

The idea eventually rose through the military bureaucracy and gained supporters. General George C. Marshall, in a memorandum to President Franklin D. Roosevelt dated 3 February 1944, wrote

“ The fact that the ground troops, Infantry in particular, lead miserable lives of extreme discomfort and are the ones who must close in personal combat with the enemy, makes the maintenance of their morale of great importance. The award of the Air Medal has had an adverse reaction on the ground troops, particularly the Infantry Riflemen who are now suffering the heaviest losses, air or ground, in the Army, and enduring the greatest hardships. ”

The Air Medal had been adopted two years earlier to raise airmen's morale. President Roosevelt authorized the Bronze Star Medal by Executive Order 9419 dated 4 February 1944, retroactive to 7 December 1941. This authorization was announced in War Department Bulletin No. 3, dated 10 February 1944.

The Executive Order was amended by President John F. Kennedy, per Executive Order 11046 dated 24 August 1962, to expand the authorization to include those serving with friendly forces. This allowed for awards where U.S. servicemembers might be involved in an armed conflict where the United States was not a belligerent. At the time of the Executive Order, for example, the U.S. was not a belligerent in Vietnam, so U.S. advisors serving with the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces would not have been eligible for the award.

Since the award criteria state that the Bronze Star Medal may be awarded to "any person...while serving in any capacity in or with" the U.S. Armed Forces, awards to members of foreign armed services serving with the United States are permitted. Thus, a number of Allied soldiers received the Bronze Star Medal in World War II, as well as U.N. soldiers in the Korean War, Vietnamese and allied forces in the Vietnam War, and coalition forces in recent military operations such as the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom and the Iraq War.

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