Gold Star Lapel Button
A Gold Star Lapel Button in the United States is an official decoration authorized by an Act of Congress that is issued to the direct next of kin family members of service members who lost their lives in World War I and World War II and subsequent armed hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States has been engaged.
The Gold Star Lapel Button was established by Act of Congress, Public Law 80-306, in August 1947 for the public identification of the direct next of kin of military members of the Armed Forces of the United States who lost their lives of World War and World War II and subsequent armed hostilities of the United States.
The issuance of the Gold Star Lapel Button for the next of kin consists the following time periods: (1) World War I, April 6, 1917, to March 3, 1921; (2) World War II, September 8, 1939, to July 25, 1947; (3) United Nations action in Korea, June 27, 1950, to July 27, 1954; (4) After June 30, 1958 (a) while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; (b) while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; (c) while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict in which the United States is not a belligerent party against an opposing armed force.
The Department of Defense recognizes the following operations subsequent to June 30, 1958
- Lebanon, July 1, 1958, to November 1, 1958
- Republic of Vietnam, July 1, 1958, to March 28, 1973
- Quemoy and Matsu Islands, August 23, 1958, to June 1, 1963
- Taiwan Straits, August 23, 1958, to January 1, 1959
- U.S. operations in direct support of the United Nations in the Congo, July 14, 1960, to September 1, 1962
- U.S. operations of assistance to the Republic of Laos, April 19, 1961, to October 7, 1962
- Berlin, August 14, 1961, to June 1, 1963
- Cuba, October 24, 1962, to June 1, 1963
- Congo, November 23, 1964, to November 27, 1964
- Dominican Republic, April 28, 1965, to September 21, 1966
- Korea, October 1, 1966, to June 30, 1974
- Cambodia, March 29, 1973, to August 15, 1973
- Thailand, March 29, 1973, to August 15, 1973
- Cambodia, April 11, 1975, to April 13, 1975
- Mayaguez Operation, May 15, 1975
- Lebanon, June 1983 to
- Grenadan Operation, October 23, 1983, to November 21, 1983
- Operation Eldorado Canyon, April 2, 1986, to April 17, 1986
- Panama, December 20, 1989, to January 31, 1990
- Desert Shield/Desert Storm, August 2, 1990, to November 30, 1995
- Haiti, September 16, 1994, to March 31, 1995
- Somalia, December 5, 1992, to March 31, 1995
- Operations in the Persian Gulf, November 30, 1995, to (to be determined)
- Operations in and around the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, December 20, 1996, to June 20, 1998, and any subsequent operations as may be announced by the Secretary of Defense.
One Gold Star Lapel Button will be furnished, without cost, to the widow, widower and to each of the parents (mother, father, stepmother, stepfather, mother through adoption, father through adoption and foster parents), children (step children and children through adoption), brothers, sisters, half brothers, and half sisters.
The Gold Star Lapel Button consists of a gold star on a purple circular background, bordered in gold and surrounded by gold laurel leaves. On the reverse is the inscription "United States of America, Act of Congress, August 1966" with space for engraving the initials of the recipient.
- Blue Star Mothers Club
- American Gold Star Mothers
- Gold Star Wives of America
- Purple Heart
- Service flag
- Yellow ribbon