Stars authorized for actual combat in operations and engagements, as authorized by the Chief of Naval
Operations, will be worn on the ribbon bar and suspension ribbon of the respective Area Campaign medals and will be known as engagement stars. For the
purpose of this order the following definitions are applicable:
a. An "Operation" is a series of connected military actions occupying a specific area and time and may involve many
clashes with the enemy.
b. An "Engagement" is an action with the enemy taking place within a restricted time and area, and of sufficient intensity and significance to justify recognition.
c. An "Area" is one of the three geographical areas, viz: American Area, European-African-Middle Eastern Area, Asiatic-Pacific Area.
The prerequisite to the wearing of a star on an area service ribbon shall be honorable service in a ship, aircraft
unit or shore-based force at the time it participated in actual combat with the enemy. In instances in which the duty performed did not result in actual combat with the enemy but is
considered equally hazardous, the Chief of Naval Operations may award an operation or engagement star to the units concerned. Not more that one star will be awarded for a single
operation or engagement. Units supporting
an engagement or operation, but subject only to the ordinary hazards of war, do not merit an award.
(NOTE: Any ship which has been awarded a Presidential Unit Citation or Navy Unit Commendation for meritorious participation in an action or campaign for which a combat star has been
authorized is entitled to that combat star.)