Bronze Star Medal Recipients

The Bronze Star Medal is a military decoration for those serving in or with the U.S. Armed Forces who distinguish themselves with heroism, meritorious achievement or service against an enemy of the United States. Bronze Star Medal recipients come from all walks of life and every corner of the globe.

Some were common laborers and others were famous entertainers. Bronze Star Medal recipients represent every nation and culture. From the allied forces in WWII to the coalition forces in the post 9-11 military operations, many foreign armed service members have received the award.

It was Colonel Russell Reeder who first proposed the “Ground Medal” as the equivalent of the Air Medal. He wanted to improve the morale of those involved in ground operations.

The first woman to receive the Bronze Star Medal was Lieutenant Cordelia E. Cook. She served in the Army Nurse Corps during WWII. Some other notable Bronze Star Medal recipients are mentioned here.

• Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller was one of the most decorated U.S. Marines in history. He was recognized for his actions at Guadalcanal during WWII.

• Major General Charles “Chuck” Yeager was the first pilot to fly faster than the speed of sound. He helped a severely injured airman escape across the Pyrenees.

• General of the Army Douglas McArthur was one of WWII’s most highly decorated soldiers. He was recognized for his actions in the Admiralty Islands Campaign.

• Hollywood actor Mickey Rooney was recognized for repeatedly flying into combat zones during WWII to entertain the troops.

• Captain John McCain was recognized for missions flown over North Vietnam. He is the senior U.S. senator from Arizona.

Bronze Star Medal recipients now include personnel serving with friendly forces engaged in combat with enemies who are not at war with the U.S.