The Silver Star is a military award which is awarded "for distinguished gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States or while serving with friendly forces against an opposing enemy force." It is the third highest award in the US military forces, and is awarded in all branches. The Silver Star is designated only for heroism in combat.

Established in 1918 as the Citation Star, it was later redesignated in 1932 and was then allowed to be awarded retroactively back to the Spanish-American War for gallant actions.

The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide, and is symmetrical, with (in from the sides) 1/16 in. ultramarine stripe, 3/64 in. of white, 7/32 in. ultramarine stripe, 7/32 in. white stripe, and a center 7/32 in. stripe of red. The medal itself is shaped like a gold five-pointed. In the center of a wreath on that star is a 3/16 in. diameter silver star. On the reverse are the words, "FOR GALLANTRY IN ACTION" in all caps.

Depending upon the branch of the recipient, the awardee of multiple silver stars will not receive an extra medal, but a bronze cluster or star, or wears a silver cluster or star in lieu of five of the bronze variant if so many should be attained.

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