The authors have compiled this stirring collection of profiles in courage to honor the Sailors and Marines awarded the Silver Star by the U.S. Navy while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. It documents the extraordinary, award-winning actions of young American men in the war against global terrorism. A companion volume to The Navy Cross (Naval Institute Press, 2007), this book also includes selected profiles of Silver Star recipients from previous wars whose stories stand out as the best among an elite group. It is the first book to recognize and preserve for future generations the selfless dedication shown by Silver Star medalists in their fight for freedom.
The Silver Star Medal (SSM) is the successor award to the “Citation Star” (3⁄16 silver star) which was established by an Act of Congress on July 9, 1918, during World War I. On July 19, 1932, the Secretary of War approved the conversion of the “Citation Star” to the SSM with the original “Citation Star” incorporated into the center of the medal.
Authorization for the Silver Star Medal was placed into law by an Act of Congress for the U.S. Navy on August 7, 1942, and an Act of Congress for the U.S. Army on December 15, 1942. The current statutory authorization for the medal is Title 10 of the United States Code, 10 U.S.C. § 7276 for the U.S. Army, 10 U.S.C. § 8294 for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, and 10 U.S.C. § 9276 for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force.
The U.S. Army awards the medal as the “Silver Star”. The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard award the medal as the “Silver Star Medal”. Since 21 December 2016, the Department of Defense (DoD) refers to the decoration as the “Silver Star Medal”.
James E. Wise Jr., author, is a former naval aviator, intelligence officer, and Vietnam veteran, retired from the U.S. Navy in 1975 as a captain. He became a naval aviator in 1953 following graduation from Northwestern University. He served as an intelligence officer aboard the USS America and later as the commanding officer of various naval intelligence units. Since his retirement, Captain Wise has held several senior executive posts in private sector companies. His books include Dangerous Games: faces, incidents and casualties of the Cold War, The Silver Star, The Navy Cross, Stars in Blue, and U-505: The Final Journey. He is also the author of many historical articles in naval and maritime journals. Captain Wise lives in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.