Silver StarSilver Star - Other Conflicts - Grenada 1983

The Silver Star Medal is the United States' third highest award exclusively for combat valor, and ranks fifth in the precedence of military awards behind the Medal of Honor, the Crosses (Distinguished Service Cross/Navy Cross/Air Force Cross), the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (awarded by DOD), and the Distinguished Service Medals of the various branches of service. It is the highest award for combat valor that is not unique to any specific branch; it has been bestowed by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marines. It may be given by any one of the individual services to not only their own members, but to members of other branches of service, foreign allies, and even to civilians for "gallantry in action" in support of combat missions of the United States military.

Operation Urgent Fury

Operation Urgent Fury 1983In October 1983, revolution broke out in the Caribbean Island of Grenada when Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard deposed Prime Minister Maurice Bishop. With Cuban support, Grenadaian rebels fermented anti-American sentiments that threatened the security of U.S. Citizens on the island, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States appealed to the United States, Barbados, and Jamaica for assistance.

On October 25, U.S. Forces parachuted onto the island to begin what was ultimately a brief battle to liberate the people and protect American citizens. Over a period of several days the American presence grew to 7,000 Army Rangers, Navy SEALS, Airmen and Marines who engaged rebels and their Cuban advisors in action that resulted in 19 American combat deaths and 116 American wounded.

The crash of a U.S. Marine helicopter on the opening day of the invasion resulted in awards of the Navy Cross and SIX Silver Stars to U.S. Marines (three of them Posthumously.) At least one Navy SEAL earned the Silver Star, as did one U.S. Army (Ranger) Medic.

* Indicates Killed in Action (KIA), Missing in Action (MIA), Prisoner of War (POW), or Died Non-Battle (DNB)