Gold Star Lapel Pin
Display Recognition

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Site Index

      • Example Display Recognition
      • Applicable Military Branches
      • Display Types
      • Issue Requirements
      • Issue Regulations
      • Who May Apply
      • Administration Processing and Delivery
      • How To Apply For This Display Recognition and/or Medal
      • Mailing Address
      • Questions?
      • Other Display Recognitions
      • Military Resource Guides
      • Example Display Recognition:
        Actual Size: 8 1/2 x 11
        Displayed: Air Force.
        All Five (Wartime) Service Branches, Army, Coast Guard,
        Marine and Navy are Applicable.

        Military Branches

        All Military Service branches are applicable:
        Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy

        Who May Apply

          Documentation of relationship is required:

        • Spouse of serviceperson
        • Parent of serviceperson
        • Sibling of serviceperson
        • Child of serviceperson

        Display Types

        You have four display types to choose from:
        Black & White (No Color)
        Heavy Bond Enclosure

        Heavy Bond Enclosure
        Colors: Regal, Black, Navy
        Trimmed in Appearance Gold

        Ready for Mantle or Shelf Display

        Issue Requirements
        If the veteran's name is not listed as a wartime casualty in the American War Library Personnel Database you must submit the following:

      • An unaltered photocopy of the veteran's casualty report, or death certificate.
      • Contact The War Library if you have other documentation different than the above: 1-562-422-4100 (Pacific Time Zone) or Gold Star Lapel Pin Display Recognition Inquiry.
      • NOTICE

        This Display Recognition is available ONLY to authorized recipients who possess orders, or authorization form, or release documentation that confirms award eligibility. (See "Issue Requirements"). To obtain either a Display Medal or a Display Recognition for your authorized award you will be required to provide military-issued documentation authorizing your award. There are no exceptions.

        You must NOT submit a military issued document or photocopy that:

        • has been altered in any way by you after
          the original's official issue
        • contains information or corrections or
          additions that you entered
        • lists awards or training you knowingly did not receive
        • contains highlighting, colorizing or other markings you entered

        Be advised that on request any knowingly fraudulent document sent by you will be released to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that may result in prosecution and/or fine/imprisonment.

        Email Questions, or Phone: 1-562-422-4100 (Pacific Time Zone)

        Personnel Branch
        Processing and Delivery

        Style Admin Shipping Total
        Full Color .PDF (Printable) $7.50 Emailed $7.50
        Published Document only (Full Color) $14.00 $10.50 USPS $24.50
        Published Document in Heavy Bond Enclosure (Full Color) $19.00 $10.50 USPS $29.50
        Full Color Printable Certificates
        on CD-Rom (minimum 20 Certificates)
        $7.50 $7.50 By Count

      • *** USPS USPS Shipping fee based on 1 Certificate shipped to any U.S. state, FPO or APO
      • ** USPS USPS Shipping fee based on 1 Certificate shipped to any U.S. state, FPO or APO
      • Contact The War Library for international shipping cost
      • How to Apply

        You may apply for your Display Recognition using a...

      • Check Debit card (* Shipped within 1 week)
      • Charge card (* Shipped within 1 week)
      • Personal, Business, Bank or Cashiers Check ( Shipped in 6 weeks)
      • Money Order (* Shipped in 6 weeks)
      • (* Upon reception of required documentation)

        Complete and MAIL this APPLICATION FORM.
        Don't forget to include an unaltered COPY of your DD-214, WD AGO 53-55 or other pre-arranged document(s).


        Mailing Address

        Records Chief (REC-AMW)
        The American War Library
        817 East Via Carmelitos Ste 319
        Long Beach CA 90805-7549


        Click here for answers to common questions

        Email: Gold Star Lapel Pin Display Recognition Inquiry

        Telephone: 1-562-422-4100 (Pacific Time Zone)

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        Issue Regulations
        Gold Star Lapel Pin

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        Gold Star Lapel Button

        The lapel pin was established by Congress in 1965 (Public Law 534 - 89th Congress) to identify widows, parents and next of kin of service members killed in combat. While enacted during the Vietnam War, the award authority is retroactive to World War I, and includes most subsequent conflicts.

      • 1. During World War I, April 6, 1917 to March 3, 1921;
      • 2. During World War II, September 8, 1939 to July 25, 1947;
      • 3. During any subsequent period of armed hostilities in which the United States was engaged before July 1, 1958 (United Nations action in Korea, June 27, 1950 to July 27, 1954);
      • 4. After June 30, 1958
        • while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States;
        • while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force;
        • 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.

        Operations subsequent to June 30, 1958 which are recognized by the Department of Defense in establishing eligibility for the Gold Star Lapel Button include:
        • 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
        • Vietnam, April 29, 1975 to April 30, 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

        Under the recent change in policy, the pin is authorized for wear on the dress (Class A) uniforms of military personnel who have lost a spouse, mother, father, child or step-child to combat. (An interim change to Army Regulation 670-1 (Wear and Appearance of Army Uniforms), requires enlisted soldiers to wear the pin centered vertically and horizontally on the left lapel of the green uniform. Officers should wear the pin centered on the left lapel one-quarter of an inch below their branch insignia.)