ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Infantrymen who served in ground combat during World War II between December 7, 1941 and September 2, 1945, are eligible to apply for a Bronze Star Medal (BSM), according to the U.S. Army Human Resources Command. Approval is virtually guaranteed for those recipients of the Combat Infantryman’s Badge (CIB) or the Combat Medic’s Badge (CMB). Army regulations that govern this award may be found in AR 600-8-22, Military Awards.
Next of kin may apply for the posthumous award(s). If the veteran has previously received a BSM during combat for a specific act of bravery, he or his next of kin is still eligible to apply for a BSM.
Only those attached to a brigade or smaller infantry unit, with the correct Military Occupation Speciality (MOS) of Infantryman, are qualified for the BSM under this regulation. Any member of Merrill’s Marauders who was awarded a CIB is also eligible, in addition to the BSM, to receive the Ranger Tab.
The War Department established the CIB on October 27, 1943, and then-Secretary of War Henry Stinson declared, “It is high time we recognize in a personal way the skill and heroism of the American infantry.”
WWII infantrymen suffered the most casualties, continuously operated under the worst conditions and performed the most hazardous missions of a nature not assigned to other soldiers or units. This special recognition is unique to the infantryman—the only soldier whose daily mission was to close with and destroy the enemy and to seize and hold terrain.
Veterans or next of kin meeting the above criteria should send a letter requesting the BSM and include 1) the veteran’s full name; 2) authority to access veteran’s file; 3) veteran’s service (or serial) number; 4) veteran’s social security number to
Ms. Kathleen E. Miller
Army Human Resources Command
200 Stovall Street, Suite 3567, Hoffman II
Alexandria, VA 22332-0474
Alternatively, please contact:
415 Russell Ave., #1005
Gaithersburg, MD 20877