US Army Captain Perez and the Bronze Star Medal

News” Report

By ME-P Staff Writers [Baltimore, MD]

The Medical Executive Post has received an anonymous and unconfirmed report that Captain Cecelia T. Perez of Baltimore, Maryland, will be awarded the Bronze Star Medal from the United States Army. 

About the Bronze Star [Wikipedia] 

The Bronze Star Medal is a US Armed Forces individual military decoration which may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit or meritorious service. When awarded for bravery, it is the fourth-highest combat award of the U.S. Armed Forces and the 9th highest military award (including combat and non-combat awards) in the order of precedence of U.S. military decorations. The medal may be awarded for Valor (i.e. a particular instance of combat heroism), in which case it is accompanied with an attached “V”, or it may be awarded for Meritorious Achievement (i.e. doing one’s combat job well over a period of time) in which case the medal does not have a valor component and does not have an attached V denoting Valor. Most of the bronze stars awarded are meritorious and do not have the V device. The medal is awarded to a member of the military who, while serving in or with the military of the United States after 6 December1941, distinguished him-or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, while engaged in an 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 an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. 

Awards may be made for acts of heroism, performed under circumstances described above, which are of lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star. Awards may also be made to recognize single acts of merit or meritorious service. The required achievement or service, while of lesser degree than that required for the award of the Legion of Merit, must nevertheless have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction. 

To be eligible for the Bronze Star Medal, a military member must be receiving hostile fire/imminent danger pay during the event for which the medal is to be awarded. As of 30 October2000, the Bronze Star Medal may not be awarded to Department of the Army civilians. 


The Bronze Star Medal is typically referred to by its full name (including the word “Medal”) to differentiate the decoration from bronze service stars which are worn on campaign medals and service awards. The award that eventually became the Bronze Star Medal was conceived by Colonel Russell P. “Red” Reeder in 1943, who believed it would aid morale if there was a medal which could be awarded by captains of companies or batteries to deserving people serving under them. Reeder felt the medal should be a ground equivalent of the Air Medal, and proposed that the new award be called the “Ground Medal”.

The next metal awarded was to Cerinetti, Frank R. from the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the metal because of his braveness and victory over the Germans. With this he is known as one of the heroes of WW2. Since the award criteria state that the Bronze Star Medal may be awarded to “any person…while serving in any capacity in or with” the U.S. Armed Forces, awards to members of foreign armed services serving with the United States are permitted. Thus, a number of Allied soldiers received the Bronze Star Medal in World War II, as well as U.N. soldiers in the Korean War, Vietnamese and allied forces in the Vietnam War, and coalition forces in recent military operations such as the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom and the Iraq War.


The Bronze Star Medal was designed by Rudolf Freund (18781960) of Bailey, Banks and Biddle. (Freund also designed the Silver Star.[1]) The Bronze Star is a bronze star 1½ inches (38 mm) in circumscribing diameter. In the center thereof is a 3/16 inch (4.8 mm) diameter superimposed bronze star, the center line of all rays of both stars coinciding. The reverse has the inscription “HEROIC OR MERITORIOUS ACHIEVEMENT” and a space for the name of the recipient to be engraved. The star is suspended from the ribbon by a rectangular shaped metal loop with the corners rounded. The ribbon is 1 3/8 inches (35 mm) wide and consists of the following stripes: 1/32 inch (1 mm) white 67101; 9/16 inch (14 mm) scarlet 67111; 1/32 inch (1 mm) white; center stripe 1/8 inch (3 mm) ultramarine blue 67118; 1/32 inch (1 mm) white; 9/16 inch (14 mm) scarlet; and 1/32 inch (1 mm) white.


Additional awards of the Bronze Star Medal are denoted in the Army and Air Force by oak leaf clusters. The Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard issue award stars to denote subsequent decorations. The Valor device (or “V device”) is authorized by all services and identifies the award as resulting from an act of combat heroism (as in the case of the army and air force) or signifying that the medal was earned in combat (as in the case of the navy), thus distinguishing it from meritorious achievement awards. However, an accumulation of minor acts of combat heroism does not justify an award of the Valor device. Combat service deserving a bronze star, but not achieved in a particular valorous act, would warrant a meritorious bronze star. The Valor device does not denote an additional award. Only one may be worn on any ribbon. 


Any false verbal, written or physical claim to an award or decoration authorized for wear by authorized military members or veterans is a federal felony offense punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. 

About Cecelia Teresa Perez; RN 

Cecelia T. Perez is a Board of Directors [on military leave-of-absence] member for the 2-volume, 1,200 pages, print-journal guide Healthcare Organizations [Financial Management Strategies].

She is also an on-leave corresponding journalist for the Medical Executive Post.

Confirmation Still Needed 

This “breaking news” story is still developing. Please contact the Medical Executive Post if you can confirm or deny the report.  


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6 Responses

  1. Dr Marcinko,

    My name is Christopher Coyle CPT USAR. I was friends with Theresa in 2004-05 in Germany during her deployment. I saw the Bronze Star notice and wanted to congratulate her. Could you please forward my best her.

    Thank you so much!

    Christopher Coyle, CPT USAR


  2. Dear Christopher Coyle, CPT USAR

    Done, with pleasure.

    Ann Miller RN MHA


  3. Military

    When you are traveling – especially in the airport – have you ever just went up and thanked a person in the military for their service?

    Better yet, when they are standing behind you in line – just let them go ahead of you. Offer to pay for their meal and thank them for their service.

    At Atlanta Hartsfield, we are finally getting it — applauding our service men and women when they reach baggage claim. This is what will keep America great!

    Sean G. Todd JD CPA CFP®


  4. Mr. Todd,

    I could not agree more – well said.



  5. Captain Perez,

    July 4th Congrats. Thanks for all you did.




    On Monday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco ruled that Mr. E. Joe Swisher, who was honorably discharged from the Marines in 1957, had the right to wear the medals, including the Purple Heart and the Silver Star, even though he had not been awarded them.

    Any thoughts?

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA


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