Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A Service star is an attachment to a military decoration which denotes participation in military campaigns or multiple bestowals of the same award. Service stars are typically issued for campaign medals, ribbon awards, and certain military badges. Service stars are different from award stars, which are issued for multiple awards of meritorious and combat decorations.
The United States military issues bronze and silver service stars, with a silver service star issued “in lieu” of five bronze. For instance, six campaigns, served on a campaign medal, would be annotated by one silver and one bronze service star. In some situations, service stars are only issued after the second award of a decoration. For instance, three awards of a Sea Service Ribbon would be annotated by the ribbon with two bronze service stars. The United States Army also occasionally issues award numerals, instead of service stars, to denote multiple awards of certain ribbon decorations.
A common point of confusion is to confuse bronze and silver service stars with the Silver Star and Bronze Star Medal. The main difference between the two is that the Bronze and Silver Star Medals are individual decorations while service stars are worn on awards and are not individual decorations or medals.
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