President Roosevelt received a memorandum from General George C. Marshall, dated 3 February 1944, stating that: "The fact that the ground troops, Infantry in particular, lead miserable lives of extreme discomfort and are the ones who must close in personal combat with the enemy, makes the maintenance of their morale of great importance. The award of the Air Medal have had an adverse reaction on the ground troops, particularly the Infantry Riflemen who are now suffering the heaviest losses, air or ground, in the Army, and enduring the greatest hardships." Two years earlier, the Air Medal had been created to raise the morals of airmen.
In an announcement in the War Department Bulletin No. 3, dated 10 February 1944, President Roosevelt gave by Executive Order 9419 dated 4 February 1944, retroactive to 7 December 1941, the authorization for the Bronze Star Medal. President Kennedy, per Executive Order 11046 dated 24 August 1962, amended the Executive Order to also include individuals serving with friendly military forces.
Per a study done in 1947, the guideline was put into action that gave the retroactive award of the Bronze Star Medal to those who had been awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge or the Combat Medical Badge during World War II. The decision for this action was based on the fact that the badges were awarded only to soldiers that had suffered the hardships which had produced the support of the Bronze Star Medal by General Marshall. Both of these badges required approval by the commander and a citation in orders.