“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 has 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.”
- General George C. Marshall, in a memorandum to President Roosevelt dated February 3, 1944
On February 4, 1944, President Roosevelt authorized the Bronze Star Medal by Executive Order 9419. The Bronze Star Medal is an individual military award of the United States Armed Forces. It may be awarded for acts of heroism, acts of merit, or meritorious service in a combat zone. When awarded for acts of heroism, the medal is awarded with the “V” device. The Bronze Star is the fourth-highest combat decoration. Foreign soldiers, as well as officers from the other federal uniformed services are also eligible to receive the decoration when serving with or alongside a service branch of the United States Armed Forces.