If you earned a CIB or CMB during WWII, the Chief of Staff of the Army thought you deserved a Bronze Star, too.

If you are an honorably-discharged WWII veteran who earned a CIB or CMB, you are authorized a Bronze Star for Meritorious Service. You must apply to have your records amended and be awarded the medal, orders, and certificate.

Background

In a memorandum to President Roosevelt in February of 1944, the Chief of Staff of the Army, General George C. Marshall, wrote:

The fact that the ground troops, Infantry in particular, lead miserable lives of extreme discomfort and are the ones who must close in personal combat with the enemy, makes the maintenance of their morale of great importance. The award of the Air Medal have had an adverse reaction on the ground troops, particularly the Infantry Riflemen who are now suffering the heaviest losses, air or ground, in the Army, and enduring the greatest hardships.

President Roosevelt authorized the Bronze Star Medal by Executive Order 9419 dated 4 February 1944, retroactive to 7 December 1941. This authorization was announced in War Department Bulletin No. 3, dated 10 February 1944.

In 1947, the policy was implemented that authorized the retroactive award of the Bronze Star Medal to soldiers who had received the Combat Infantryman Badge or the Combat Medical Badge during World War II. The basis for doing this was that the badges were awarded only to soldiers who had borne the hardships which resulted in General Marshall’s support of the Bronze Star Medal. Both badges required a recommendation by the commander and a citation in orders.

What to Do

Make a copy of your discharge or of the general order announcing the authorization of your CIB or CMB and send it along with a letter like the sample that follows:

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100

Dear Sir or Madam,

Under the provisions of AR 600-8-22, paragraph 3-13d, I request authorization of the Bronze Star Medal (BSM) for (insert your name, rank and serial number). Documentary evidence is enclosed to substantiate the award of the (Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge) on (Date) entitling me to the BSM as a conversion award.

Please mail orders and award to the following address: (insert your mailing address).

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Sincerely,

Signature

Enclosure: AGO 55-53 (or, if discharged after 1947, your DD-214) or a copy of the General Order authorizing the award of your CMB or CIB

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