2004 U. S. Air Force Decorations

Please note this is NOT a complete listing

It only lists current decorations at the time of my retirement (2004)

CLICK HERE to see the official Air Force website for all current Awards & Decorations

 

Medal of Honor - Conferred on those, in the name of Congress, who distinguished themselves by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their lives, above and beyond the call of duty, in action involving actual combat with an armed enemy of the United States.

Congressional Medal of Honor

Air Force Cross - Awarded for extraordinary heroism, not justifying the award of a Medal of Honor, to any person, who while serving with the U.S. Air Force while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in conflict against an opposing Armed Force in which the United States in not a belligerent party.

Air Force Cross

Defense Distinguished Service Medal - Awarded by the Secretary of Defense to high ranking military officers (Generals or Admirals), who perform exceptionally meritorious service in a degree of great responsibility with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Special or outstanding command in a Defense Agency or for any other Joint Activities designated by the Secretary of Defense.

Defense Distinguished Service Medal

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal - Awarded to members of the United States Air Force who distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service to the government in a duty of great responsibility, in combat or otherwise.

Air Force Distinguished Service Medal

Silver Star - Awarded by all branches of the Armed Forces to any person who, while serving in any capacity, is cited for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly forces against an opposing Armed Force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

Silver Star

Defense Superior Service Medal - Awarded by the Secretary of Defense to military officers who perform exceptionally with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, special or outstanding command in a defense agency or any other joint activity designated by the Secretary.

Defense Superior Service Medal

Legion of Merit - Conferred on officers and enlisted men of the Armed Forces of the United States and on nationals of other counties "who shall have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services" since September 8, 1939.

Legion of Merit

Distinguished Flying Cross - Awarded to any member of the U. S. Armed Forces who shall have distinguished himself in actual combat in support of operations by "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight, subsequent to November 11, 1918.

Distinguished Flying Cross

Airman's Medal - Awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or of a friendly nation who, while serving in any capacity with the United States Air Force after the date of the award's authorization, shall have distinguished himself or herself by a heroic act, usually at the voluntary risk of his or her life but not involving actual combat.

Airman's Medal

Bronze Star - Awarded a personnel in any branch of the military service who, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the United States on or after December 7, 1941, shall have distinguished himself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with military operations against an armed enemy.

Bronze Star

Purple Heart - Conferred on any person wounded in action while serving with the Armed Forces of the United States. It is also awarded posthumously to the next of kin of personnel killed or having died of wounds received in action after April 5, 1917.

Purple Heart

Defense Meritorious Service Medal - Awarded to military personnel serving with or assigned to a number of joint activities including The Secretary of Defense, Organizations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Headquarters of Joint Commands. Other joint activities and specified commands such as Military Assistance Advisory Groups and Joint Missions; and jointly manned staffs within Allied Command Europe, Allied Command Atlantic,the NATO Military Committee, and military agencies associated with functions of the military or other joint activities as may be designated by the Secretary are also included.

Defense Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal - Awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who distinguishes themselves by either outstanding achievement or meritorious service to the United States.

Meritorious Service Medal

Air Medal - Awarded to U.S. and civilian personnel for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievments while participating in aerial flight and foreign military personnel in actual combat in support of operations.

Air Medal

Aerial Achievement Medal - Awarded by the Department of the Air Force to U.S. military and civilian personnel for sustained meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. The achievements must be accomplished with distinction above and beyond that normally expected of professional airmen.

Aerial Achievement Medal

Joint Service Commendation Medal - Awarded by the office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other Department of Defense agencies or joint activities reporting through the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Any member of the Armed Forces who distinguishes himself by meritorious achievement or service while serving in any specified activity after January 1, 1965, is eligible for this award.

Joint Service Commendation Medal

Air Force Commendation Medal - Awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving in any capacity with the Air Force after March 24, 1958, shall have distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement and service.

Air Force Commendation Medal

Joint Service Achievement Medal - It is awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense for either outstanding achievement or meritorious service and takes precedence before the Achievement Medals of the Military Services. It may not be awarded for any act or period of service which an Achievement Medal of a military service is awarded, and it should not be awarded for retirement.

Joint Service Achievement Medal

Air Force Achievement Medal - This award was authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force on Oct. 20, 1980. It is awarded to Air Force personnel for outstanding achievement or meritorious service rendered specifically on behalf of the Air Force. It may also be awarded for acts of courage lesser than for award of the AFCM. The distinctive outer border of this medal (pictured below) is composed of 11 "cloudlike" shapes, centered on the obverse a medallion portraying thunderbolts and wings, signifying striking power through aerospace, adapted from the Seal of the Air Force. This striking medal was designed by Capt. Robert C. Bonn, Jr., USAF. On the reverse of the medal in raised letters is the circular inscription, "Air Force Meritorious Achievement."

Air Force Achievement Medal

Presidential Unit Citation - Executive Order 9075 on Feb. 26, 1942, created this award and was superseded by Executive Order 9396 on Dec. 2, 1943, which authorized the Distinguished Unit Citation, and this executive order was superseded by Executive Order 10694, on Jan. 10, 1957 which redesignated the Distinguished Unit Citation as the Presidential Unit Citation. It is conferred on units of the armed forces of the United States and of cobelligerent nations, for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after Dec. 7, 1941. The unit must display such gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same campaign. The degree of heroism required is the same that which would warrant award of the Distinguished Service Cross to an individual.

Presidential Unit Citation

Joint Meritorious Unit Award - Authorized by the Secretary of Defense on June 10, 1981, this award was originally called the Department of Defense Meritorious Unit Award. It is awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense to joint activities for meritorious achievement or service, superior to that which is normally expected, for actions in the following situations; combat with an armed enemy of the United States, a declared national emergency, or under extraordinary circumstances that involve national interests.

Joint Meritorious Unit Award

AF Outstanding Unit Award - Awarded by the Secretary of the Air Force to numbered units which have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service or outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units, the services include; performance of exceptionally meritorious service, accomplishment of a specific outstanding achievement of national or international significance, combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States, or military operations involving conflict with or exposure to hostile actions by an opposing foreign force.

AF Outstanding Unit Award

Air Force Organizational Excellence Award - The Secretary of the Air Force authorized this award on Aug. 26, 1969. The Air Force Organizational Excellence award recognizes the achievements and accomplishments of U.S. Air Force organizations or activities. It is awarded to Air Force internal organizations that are entities within larger organizations. They are unique, unnumbered organizations or activities that perform functions normally performed by numbered wings, groups, squadrons, etc.

Air Force Organizational Excellence Award

Prisoner of War Medal - This medal (pictured below) was authorized by Congress and signed into law by President Reagan in 1986. The medal may be awarded to any person who was a prisoner of war after April 5, 1917, (the date of the United States entry into World War One). It is awarded to any person who was taken prisoner or held captive while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing Armed Force; or while serving with friendly forces engaged in armed conflict against an opposing Armed Force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The person's conduct, while in captivity, must have been honorable. This medal may be awarded posthumously to the surviving next of kin of the recipient.

Prisoner of War Medal

Combat Readiness Medal - Authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force on March 9, 1964, as amended Aug. 28, 1967. Originally created as a personal decoration ranking above the Commendation Medals, Lifesaving Medals and the Purple Heart, its current status has been changed to an achievement/service medal. It is awarded to members of the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve, and to members of other services after Aug. 1, 1960, for sustained individual combat or mission readiness or preparedness for direct weapon-system employment. Specifically, a service member must meet the following criteria: Complete an aggregate 24 months of sustained professional performance as a member of U.S. Air Force combat or mission-ready units subject to combat readiness reporting. Or be individually certified as combat or mission ready and have maintained individual readiness the entire period according to a major headquarters, or subject to an individual positional evaluation program according to a higher headquarters standard. The term "Combat Ready" is defined as being professionally and technically qualified in an aircraft crew position in an aircraft that can be used in combat.

Combat Readiness Medal

Air Force Good Conduct Medal - This medal (pictured below) was authorized by Congress on July 6, 1960, with the creation of the other medals of the Air Force. The medal was not created until June 1, 1963 when the Secretary of the Air Force established it. It is awarded to Air Force enlisted personnel for exemplary conduct during a three-year period of active military service, (or for a one-year period of service during a time of war). Persons awarded this medal must have had character and efficiency ratings of excellent or higher throughout the qualifying period, including time spent in attendance at service schools, and there must have been no convictions of court martial during this period. Air Force personnel who were previously awarded the Army Good Conduct Medal and after June 1, 1963 qualified for the Air Force Good Conduct Medal could wear both medals.

Air Force Good Conduct Medal

Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal - This award was originally established as a ribbon bar by the Secretary of the Air Force on April 1, 1964 and was amended on May 1, 1973 when the medal (pictured below) was created. It is awarded for exemplary behavior, efficiency and fidelity during a four-year period while serving in an enlisted status in the U.S. Air Reserve Forces, (Air Force Reserve). This circular bronze medal was designed by the Institute of Heraldry. In the center of the obverse is an American eagle, wings outstretched perched on a wide circle containing a five-pointed star with a disk in the center, (like the symbols on early U.S. Aircraft). Above the eagle and between its wing tips is a banner with the words, "Meritorious Service." Around the edge to the left are the words, "Air Reserve" and to the right, the word "Forces" with delta wing shapes on either side of the word. Behind this design are thirteen rays or lines from the center. The reverse of the medal has a cloud design in the center and within this at the top are the wings and thunderbolts of the Air Force Coat of Arms. Below this is the word, "To," and encircling the outer edge of the medal is the inscription, "Exemplary Behavior--Efficiency--Fidelity."

Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal

Outstanding Airman of the Year - This ribbon is awarded to airman nominated by the MAJCOMs, FOAs, and DRUs to HQ AFPC/DPPPRS for competition in the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year (12 OAY) Program. Only one ribbon is awarded. A bronze oak leaf cluster is worn on the ribbon to denote each past or subsequent award. The 12 members selected as the Air Force Outstanding Airmen of the Year wear the bronze service star, retroactive to June 1970. The bronze service star is worn to the wearer's right side of the oak leaf clusters. Authorized Device: Oak leaf Cluster, and Service Star

Outstanding Airman of the Year

Air Force Recognition Ribbon - This ribbon was authorized by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force on Oct. 12, 1980. It is awarded to named individual Air Force recipients of special trophies and awards except the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year nominees. Bronze oak-leaf clusters will be worn on the ribbon bar to indicate subsequent awards.

Air Force Recognition Ribbon

Army of Occupation Medal - This medal (pictured below) was established in 1946 and the order has been amended several times to cover areas not originally authorized. It is awarded for thirty consecutive days at a normal post of duty on assignment to the armies of occupation.

Army of Occupation Medal

National Defense Service Medal - Awarded for honorable active military service as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States including the Coast Guard, between June 27, 1950 and July 27, 1954, (Korean War Period), between January 1, 1961 and August 14, 1974, (Vietnam War Period), between 2 August 1990 to 30 November 1995 (Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM Period), and currently from 11 September 2001 to a date to be determined (Terrorism Attacks on the US).

National Defense Service Medal

Antarctica Service Medal - Established by an Act of Congress on July 7, 1960. The ribbon was authorized in 1961, and the design of the medal (pictured below) received final approval in 1963. It is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States, U.S. citizen, or resident alien of the United States, who after Jan. 1, 1946 to a date to be announced, served on the Antarctic continent or in support of U.S. operations there. The first recipients of this award were members of the U.S Navy operation "High Jump" under the late Admiral R.E. Byrd in 1946 and 1947. Deserving civilians including scientists and polar experts can also be awarded this medal.

Antarctica Service Medal

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal - This medal was established on Dec. 4, 1961, to be awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who, after July 1, 1958, have participated in a United States military operations and encountered foreign armed opposition, or were in danger of hostile action by foreign Armed Forces.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Southwest Asia Service Medal - This award, authorized by Executive Order 12754, 12 March 1991, is awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who served in support of Operation DESERT SHIELD or DESERT STORM between 2 August 1990 and 30 November 1995 in one or more of the following areas: Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, that portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees N latitude and west of 68 degrees E longitude, and the land areas of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates; or individuals serving in Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Syria, and Jordan (including territorial airspace and waters) directly supporting combat operations between 17 January 1991 and 30 November 1995. Refer to DoD 1348.33-M for specific individual eligibility requirements.  This award came with three distinct campaign periods: Defense of Saudi Arabia, 2 August 1990 - 16 January 1991; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait, 17 January 1991 - 11 April 1991; Southwest Asia Cease Fire Campaign, 12 April 1991 to 30 November 1995. A bronze service star is worn for participation in each respective campaign period.

Southwest Asia Service Medal

Kosovo Campaign Medal - Recognizes the accomplishments of military service members participating or in direct support of Kosovo operations within established areas of eligibility.

Kosovo Campaign Medal

Armed Forces Service Medal - This award, authorized by Executive Order 12985, 11 January 1996, is awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the U.S. who, after 1 June 1992: (1) participate, or have participated, as members of U.S. military units, in a U.S. military operation that is deemed to be a significant activity by the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and (2) encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent threat of hostile action. Refer to DoD 1348.33-M for specific individual eligibility requirements and announced operations.

Armed Forces Service Medal

Humanitarian Service Medal - This medal (pictured below) was authorized by Executive Order 11965, Jan. 19, 1977. It was established to honor personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States who distinguished themselves by meritorious direct participation (hands on) in a significant military act or operation of a humanitarian nature, or have rendered a service to mankind. Specifically excluded from eligibility are service members or elements remaining at a geographically separated location or to a location and did not make a direct contribution to influence the action. The medal was designed by Jim Hammond and sculptured by Jay Morris of the Institute of Heraldry.

Humanitarian Service Medal

Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal - This award, authorized by Executive Order 12830, 9 January 1993, may be awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their Reserve Components, who subsequent to 31 December 1992, perform outstanding volunteer community service of a sustained, direct and consequential nature. Refer to DoD 1348.33-M for specific individual eligibility requirements and recommendation procedures and format.

Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal

Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short Tour - Before January 6, 1986, the ribbon was awarded to Air Force and Air Force Reserve members credited with completion of an overseas tour on or after September 1, 1980. Air Force and Air Force Reserve members serving as of January 6, 1986, or later are entitled to reflect all Air Force overseas tours credited during their career. A Service member may wear both ribbons, if appropriate. The short tour ribbon takes precedence over the long-tour ribbon when both are worn. Authorized Device: Oak leaf Cluster.

Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short Tour

Air Force Overseas Ribbon Long Tour - Before January 6, 1986, the ribbon was awarded to Air Force and Air Force Reserve members credited with completion of an overseas tour on or after September 1, 1980. Air Force and Air Force Reserve members serving as of January 6, 1986, or later are entitled to reflect all Air Force overseas tours credited during their career. A Service member may wear both ribbons, if appropriate. The short tour ribbon takes precedence over the long-tour ribbon when both are worn. Authorized Device: Oak leaf Cluster.

Air Force Overseas Ribbon Long Tour

 Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon - Awarded by the Department of the Air Force for Active duty, Reserve, and Guard personnel completing a contingency deployment after 1 Oct 99

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon

 Air Force Longevity Service Award - The Department of the Air Force General Order 60, Nov. 25, 1957 authorized this ribbon. It is awarded to all service members of the U.S. Air Force who complete four years of honorable active or reserve military service with any branch of the United States Armed Forces. The Air Force Longevity Service Award is a ribbon that replaces the Federal Service Stripes previously worn on the uniform.

Air Force Longevity Service Award

USAF Basic Military Training Instructor Ribbon - The Secretary of the AF established the Air Force Military Training Instructor Ribbon on 7 December 1998. This ribbon is designed to acknowledge past, present, and future Military Training Instructors who display commitment and dedication to the training of our Air Force personnel. This ribbon is intended for MTIís (AFSC 8B000) at AF Basic Military Training (BMT) and AF Officer Training School (OTS).

USAF Basic Military Training Instructor Ribbon

Air Force Recruiting Ribbon - Air Force Recruiter Ribbon: On 21 Jun 00, the Secretary of the Air Force established the Air Force Recruiter Ribbon to recognize those officer and enlisted personnel who perform the challenging duty of Air Force recruiting. The ribbon was designed to acknowledge past, present, and future Air Force recruiters who display the extraordinary commitment and dedication required to perform this important function.

Air Force Recruiting Ribbon

Armed Forces Reserve Medal - Awarded to any service member or former service member of the Reserve components of the U.S. Armed Force who completes or has completed a total of 10 years of honorable and satisfactory military service in one or more Reserve component of the Armed Forces. This service does not need to be consecutive as long as service occurs within a period of 12 consecutive years. The hourglass device denotes each additional 10-year period of service. (Creditable service is when members accumulate a minimum of 50 retirement points during each anniversary year according to Title 10, U.S.C., Section 1332. Determine eligibility for the AFRM from AF Form 526, ANG/USAFR Point Credit Summary. Do not credit service as a Regular officer, warrant officer, or enlisted person.)

Armed Forces Reserve Medal

Air Force NCO PME Graduation Ribbon - This award, authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force, 28 August 1962, is awarded to graduates of the following certified NCO PME schools (NCO Preparatory Course, Airman Leadership School, NCO Leadership School, NCO Academy, SRNCO Academy. Graduation from each successive level of PME entitles the member to an oak leaf cluster. Do not award the ribbon to members who only complete the correspondence courses or similar training conducted by other military services except for in-residence completion of the U.S. Army Sergeant Major Academy, Navy Senior Enlisted Academy, or Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Academy. Authorized Device: Oak Leaf Cluster

Air Force NCO Professional Military Education Graduation Ribbon

BMT Honor Graduate - Authorized by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force on April 3, 1976, this ribbon is awarded to honor graduates of Basic Military Training who, after July 29, 1976, have demonstrated excellence in all phases of academic and military training and limited to the top 10 percent of the training flight. The USAF BMT Honor Graduate Ribbon was designed by the Institute of Heraldry, and is awarded to basic training graduates only.

Basic Military Training Honor Graduate

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon - This ribbon was authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force on Aug. 28, 1962. It is awarded to all U.S. Air Force service members who, after Jan. 1, 1963, qualify as "expert" in small-arms marksmanship with either the M-16 rifle or issue handgun. These rules will apply to the Air Force standard service small arms weapon selected. Qualifications as "expert" in both weapons after June 22, 1972, shall be denoted by a bronze service star worn on the ribbon.

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon

Air Force Training Ribbon - This ribbon was authorized by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force on Oct. 12, 1980. It is awarded to U.S. Air Force service members on completion of initial accession training after Aug. 14, 1974. The ribbon was designed by the Institute of Heraldry. The ribbon has a wide center stripe of red, flanked on either side by a wide stripe of dark blue and a narrow yellow stripe edged by a narrow dark blue stripe. Authorized Device: Oak Leaf Cluster.

Air Force Training Ribbon

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation - This unit award was presented to units of the United Nations Command for service in Korea under the same conditions as would be required for the award of the Presidential Unit Citation of the United States, and it is awarded in the name of the President of the Republic of Korea. It is a ribbon award with accompanying citation.

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation

United Nations Medal - Awarded to service members who are or have been in UN service with one of the following: UN Observation Group in Lebanon; UN Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine; UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan; UN Security Forces, Hollandia; UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia; UN Advance Mission in Cambodia; UN Protection Force in Yugoslavia; UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara or UN Operations in Somalia, to include US Quick Reaction Force members; UN Iraq/Kuwait Observation Group; and UN Mission in Haiti.

United Nations Medal

NATO Medal (Kosovo) - This award is authorized by the Secretary General of NATO for specific NATO operations relating to Kosovo. In accordance with Executive Order 11446, 16 January 1969, the Secretary of Defense has approved acceptance and wear by U.S. Serive members who meet criteria specified by the Secretary General of NATO effective 13 October 1998 - Date to Be Determined (DTBD).

NATO Medal

Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia) - Authorized by the Government of Saudi Arabia to members of the Coalition Forces who participated in Operation DESERT STORM and the Liberation of Kuwait. The Deputy Secretary of Defense Memorandum, 7 October 1991, authorized the acceptance and wearing of the Kuwait Liberation Medal by members of the Armed Forces of the U.S.

Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia)

Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) - Authorized by the Government of Kuwait to members of the U.S. military who participated in Operation DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM and the Liberation of Kuwait. The Secretary of Defense Memorandum, 16 March 1995, authorized the acceptance and wearing of the Kuwait Liberation Medal by members of the Armed Forces of the U.S.

Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

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