Seeking information about Bronze Star awards

How do I look up award ribbons, specifically Bronze star for soldiers?

  • Chris,

    I'm guessing your referring to the miniature stars on the campaign ribbons those were called battle stars or campaign stars.

    If you know the unit I can try and send the information.

  • Dear Mr. Pat,


    Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


    There are two awards commonly referred to as bronze stars in the context of military ribbons.  One is the ribbon device variously known as the service star, campaign stars, or battle star which Mr. Schneider references.  These come in bronze and silver colors.

    The term usually refers to the Bronze Star Medal (BSM). We presume this is what you are referencing.  There is no single source that lists all recipients of the medal.  There are some websites such as the Hall of Valor Project that list some recipients, however these are not in any way comprehensive.


    If you are trying to determine which awards a specific service member earned, we suggest that you request a copy of his or her Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs for those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and who were separated from the service before October 2002 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. In many cases where Army and Air Force personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Navy and Marine Corps OMPFs were not affected by the fire. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002. If there is any information requested by the form that you do not know, you may omit it or provide estimates (such as for dates), but the more information you provide, the easier it will be to locate the correct file if it survived the fire.  Veterans and their next of kin also may use eVetRecs to request records. See eVetRecs Help for instructions.


    Military personnel records are completely opened to the public 62 years after the veteran leaves the military. If less than 62 years have passed since the veteran’s discharge date (to include any reserve time), certain information in the records is not available to the general public without the written consent of the veteran or his next of kin. For more information see Request Military Service Records and Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Holdings.


    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NPRC is closed except for emergencies. Currently, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, and homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels. Please check for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for any inconvenience.

    There also may be unit or other organization records that include copies of the general order for awarding the BSM to a service member.  However, the nature and availability of these records varies greatly by time period and organization. We would need more information to make specific suggestions.


    We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!