How to look up Bronze Star awards

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

  • Mike,

    Typically when medals were issued they were issued by the higher command and the HQ level. They were issued in General Orders. If you have more information people here have other resources to help you. But if you have not done so you can request your relatives military records and the citation or GO# will be listed on their discharge papers.

    Hope this helps,


  • Which soldier?  Which war?  Do you have his or her unit information?

  • Dear Mr. Keane,


    Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


    Unfortunately, there is no name index for Bronze Star awards. The citations are issued at various levels of the military hierarchy. The Official Military Personnel File of a U.S. soldier will list the general order citation that includes the unit or command that issued the award. We suggest you begin there.


    Several non-official websites list Bronze Star recipients such as Wall of Valor, American War Library,, and Wikipedia Commons but they are incomplete.


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

  • If for US Army Air Forces or US Air Force, between the dates 1942 - 1963 - take a look at the link below.

    You can search to see if there is a digital copy of the service member's "Award Card". Some are digitized, some are not, but it's worth checking.

    Good luck

  • If the Bronze Star Medal was for Meritorious Service this example shows you the kind of information which would be available in a typical US Army General Order for WWII

    Bronze Star List

    And this example shows you the information which would be available for a Bronze Star Medal for Gallantry (Valor) for US Army in WWII.  Garcia Bronze Star


    Lisa Sharik

    Deputy Director

    Texas Military Forces Museum

  • Also note that the Bronze Star Medal has always been awarded for either valor or achievement/service.  Some websites, particularly Wall of Valor, only focus on the awards for valor, and won't list those awarded for achievement or service.  And the vast majority of Bronze Star Medals are awarded for achievement or service.

    Also, following World War II, the Army awarded anyone who had been awarded a Combat Infantry Badge or a Combat Medical Badge a Bronze Star Medal for service.  I don't know how those are documented (or if, for veterans, unless they applied for them).  Keep that in mind as well.

    I presume you know this Mr. Keane, so I'll state it for other readers, but the Bronze Star Medal is the award.  Family members often see a campaign ribbon listed "with two bronze stars" (for example).  So, a Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars means that the veteran participated in two campaigns during the war--not that they were awarded two Bronze Star Medals.  I've seen a number of obituaries where family members make that mistake.

  • If the soldier served in the U.S. Army during WWII, their discharge papers should list the Bronze Star Medal, if one was awarded.  Attached is an example. See line number 33 "decorations and citations".  The last item listed is "Bronze Star Medal GO 16 HQ 35 INF  9 MAR 45" - meaning that a Bronze Star Medal was awarded by Headquarters 35th Infantry Division, on General Orders number 16, 9 March 1945.  Once you identify the issuing unit and specific General Orders, you should be able to request a copy of that document from NARA Textual Reference in College Park MD.

    I have indexed by name and posted 35th Infantry Division General Orders for 1944 and 1945, plus some General Orders for the 134th, 137, and 320 Infantry Regiments; the 9th, 12th, 41st, 91st, and 106th Evac Hospitals; and the III, XII, and XVI Corps. Bronze and Silver Star Medals were typically issued at the Division level or higher.  Here is a link to those General Orders:

    Good luck with your research.Krantz Honorable Discharge

  • Thank you for this info. I looked again at my dads discharge paper to see if the dates are listed after the bronze star award and they are not.

    Im trying to find out what he did to earn it? I only remember him talking about it once, seems it had to do with sneaking into an occupied city and driving a fuel truck out to refuel the army efforts as they were running low on fuel.

    Im not sure this is accurate since I was a young teen at the time. He only spoke of the war a handful of times.

  • If you know the unit he served with, you might check to see if there is a published unit history, or a regimental/divisional organization. A published history may have the incident described in it, and an organization may have copies of old records (sometimes even on-line), or a historian who may be helpful.

  • Regarding Bronze stars, it looks like they are awarded to units for achievement/ service. Where can you find the criteria that was met in which action or operation and generally what happened. I’m speaking of the Vietnam War 1969-1970 , the 1st Cavalry Div (airmobile). Thank you.