Bronze Star Device Criteria: A service star, also referred to as a battle star, campaign star, or engagement star, is an attachment to a military decoration which denotes participation in military ground campaigns and battle engagements or multiple bestowals of the same award. Service stars are typically issued for campaign medals, service medals, ribbon awards, and certain military badges. The United States military issues bronze and silver and gold service stars, with a silver service star issued “in lieu” of five bronze. For instance, six campaigns, served on a campaign medal, would be annotated by one silver and one bronze service star.

Bronze Star Device - service stars are different from award stars, Bronze Star Medal (or BSM) which are issued for multiple awards of meritorious and combat decorations, like awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. A common point of confusion is to confuse bronze and silver service stars with the Silver Star and Bronze Star Medal. The main difference between the two is that the Bronze and Silver Star Medals are individual decorations while service stars are worn on awards and are not individual decorations or medals.

The bronze star represents participation in campaigns or operations, multiple qualifications, or an additional award to any of the various ribbons on which it is authorized. (note, these are much smaller like the circumference of a BB if worn on a ribbon)

The silver star is worn in the same manner as the bronze star, but each silver star is worn in lieu of five bronze service stars. When  worn together on a single ribbon, the silver star(s) will be worn to the wearer's right of any bronze star(s)

Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster - The bronze oak leaf cluster represents second and subsequent of the same decoration or entitlements of awards. Service members do not wear more than one service ribbon on their ribbon rack even when they have received the award more than once. Instead, multiple awards are shown by attaching the oak leaves to the ribbon. (note, these are much smaller like -1/3 inch long if worn on a ribbon or the full size cluster which must be worn on a suspension ribbon which is a little longer)

Walter Gardner