The Silver Star traces its history back to the silver Citation Star. The Citation Star was authorized in 1918 as a gallantry award, and worn on the campaign ribbon associated with the gallantry. The Silver Star medal was approved in 1932 for heroism of a lesser degree than that required for the DSM, Navy Cross or AFC.
The Silver Star, section 3746, title 10, United States Code (10 USC 3746), was established by Act of Congress 9 July 1918 (amended by act of 25 July 1963).
The Silver Star is awarded to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Armed Forces, is cited for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The required gallantry, while of a lesser degree than that required for the Distinguished Service Cross, must nevertheless have been performed with marked distinction
Information and image provided by:
The Marine Corps Wives Web Site