--ORIGINAL 1932 UNITED STATES SILVER STAR MEDAL, SPLIT WRAP BROOCH, & CLUTCH-BACK RIBBON BAR.
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The Silver Star is the successor award to the "Citation Star" (3⁄16 silver star) which was established by an Act of Congress on July 9, 1918. On July 19, 1932, the Secretary of War approved the conversion of the "Citation Star" to the Silver Star Medal. The original "Citation Star" is incorporated into the center of medal. The Silver Star's suspension and service ribbon resembles the red, white, and blue suspension and service ribbon of the Certificate of Merit Medal.
Authorization for the Silver Star Medal was placed into law by an Act of Congress for the U.S. Navy on August 7, 1942 and an Act of Congress for the U.S. Army on December 15, 1942. The current statutory authorization for the medal is Title 10 of the United States Code, 10 U.S.C. § 3746 for the U.S. Army, 10 U.S.C. § 8746 for the U.S. Air Force, and 10 U.S.C. § 6244 for the U.S. Navy.
The US Army and Air Force award the medal as the "Silver Star". The US Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard continue to award the medal as the "Silver Star Medal".
The Silver Star is a gold five-pointed star, 1 1⁄2 inches (38 mm) in circumscribing diameter with a laurel wreath encircling rays from the center and a 3⁄16 inch (4.8 mm) diameter silver star superimposed in the center. The pendant is suspended from a rectangular shaped metal loop with rounded corners. The reverse has the inscription FOR GALLANTRY IN ACTION. The ribbon is 1 3⁄8 inches (35 mm) wide and consists of the following stripes: 7⁄32 inch (5.6 mm) Old Glory red (center stripe); proceeding outward in pairs 7⁄32 inch (5.6 mm) white; 7⁄32 inch (5.6 mm) ultramarine blue; 3⁄64 inch (1.2 mm) white; and 3⁄32 inch (2.4 mm) ultramarine blue.
The Silver Star is awarded for gallantry not justifying the award of one of the next higher valor awards: the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, or the Air Force Cross. The gallantry displayed must have taken place while in 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.