The Bronze Star Medal (BSM or BSV) is an award presented to United States Armed Forces personnel for bravery, acts of merit or meritorious service. When awarded for combat heroism it is awarded with a V device for Valor. It is the fourth highest combat award of the Armed Forces.
Originally created in February of 1944, this medal was retroactively awarded to many WWII veterans. During 1947, policy was put into place that authorized the retroactive award of the Bronze Star Medal to any serviceman who had received the Combat Infantryman Badge or the Combat Medical Badge. Both of these badges required the recommendation of a commander and had to be accompanied with a citation. Additional awards of the Bronze Star Medal are represented by Oak Leaf Clusters in the Army and Air Force while 5/16th inch Gold Stars are used by the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Foreign Service Personnel are eligible for the award if they are serving with US Armed Forces.