USAF Awards In Order of Precedence

USAF Awards In Order of Precedence

Medals and decorations are suspended from a holding bar and are arranged from the center of the body towards the left shoulder (left to right, top to bottom) in order of precedence. The following is only a guideline since each branch has their own order of precedence.
1. U.S. military personal decorations
2. U.S. military unit awards
3. U.S. non-military personal decorations
4. U.S. non-military unit awards
5. U.S. military campaign awards
6. U.S. military service and training awards
7. U.S. Merchant Marine awards and non-military service awards
8. Foreign military personal decorations
9. Foreign military unit awards
10. Non-U.S. service awards (e.g., United Nations, NATO)
11. Foreign military service awards
12. Marksmanship awards (Navy and Coast Guard)
13. State awards of the National Guard (Army & Air Force)

Ref:

http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/shared/media/epubs/AFI36-2803.pdf
http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134833m.pdf
 

  • Medal of Honor

    Medal of Honor

    is the highest of several awards created specifically for the Air Force.

  • Air Force Cross

    Air Force Cross

    awarded for extraordinary heroism, not justifying the award of a Medal of Honor, 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 US in not a belligerent party.

  • Defense Distinguished Service Medal

    Defense Distinguished Service Medal

    awarded to high ranking military officers (Generals or Admirals).

  • Distinguished Service Medal

    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.

  • Silver Star

    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 US 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 U.S. is not a belligerent party.

  • Defense Superior Service Medal

    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.

  • Legion of Merit

    Legion of Merit

    degrees of Chief Commander, Commander, Officer, and Legionnaire are awarded only to members of armed forces of foreign nations under the criteria outlined in Army Regulation 672-7.

  • Distinguished Flying Cross

    Distinguished Flying Cross

    awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the US, distinguishes himself or herself by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. The performance of the act of heroism must be evidenced by voluntary action above and beyond the call of duty.

  • Distinguished Warfare Medal

    Distinguished Warfare Medal

    awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who distinguish themselves, on or after September 11, 2001, by extraordinary achievement, not involving acts of valor, directly impacting, through any domain, combat operations or other military operations.

  • Airman's Medal

    Airman's Medal

    awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the US or of a friendly nation who, while serving in any capacity with the US 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.

  • Bronze Star Medal

    Bronze Star Medal

    awarded a person in any branch of the military service who, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the US 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.

  • Purple Heart

    Purple Heart

    awarded in the name of the President of the US to any member of an Armed Force who, while serving with the US Armed Services after 5 April 1917, has been wounded or killed.

  • Defense Meritorious Service Medal

    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.

  • Meritorious Service Medal

    Meritorious Service Medal

    awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the US who distinguished themselves by outstanding non-combat meritorious achievement or service to the US subsequent to 16 Jan 1969.

  • Air Medal

    Air Medal

    awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Armed Forces of the United States, shall have distinguished himself/herself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. Awards may be made to recognize single acts of merit or heroism, or for meritorious service.

  • Aerial Achievement Medal

    Aerial Achievement Medal

    awarded 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.

  • Joint Service Commendation Medal

    Joint Service Commendation Medal

    awarded to 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.

  • Air Force Commendation Medal

    Air Force Commendation Medal

    awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the US who, while serving in any capacity with the Air Force after March 24, 1958, shall have distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement and service.

  • Joint Service Achievement Medal

    Joint Service Achievement Medal

    awarded only to members of the Armed Forces of the United States below the grade of O-6 who, after August 3, 1983, distinguished themselves by outstanding performance of duty and meritorious achievement.

  • Air Force Achievement Medal

    Air Force Achievement Medal

    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.

  • Presidential Unit Citation

    Presidential Unit Citation

    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.

  • Gallant Unit Citation

    Gallant Unit Citation

    awarded to Air Force Active Duty, AFRes, ANG units for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy of the US while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force on or after 11 September 2001

  • Joint Meritorious Unit Award

    Joint Meritorious Unit Award

    awarded to Joint Activities of the Armed Forces of the US which have subsequent to January 23, 1979 distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious achievement or service in pursuit of joint military missions of great significance.

  • Meritorious Unit Award

    Meritorious Unit Award

    presented to USAF Active Duty, AFRes, and ANG units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding achievement or service indirect support of combat operations for at least 90 continuous days during the period of military operations against an armed enemy of the US on or after 11 Sep 2001.

  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

    Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

    awarded to units which have outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above 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.

  • Air Force Organizational Excellence Award

    Air Force Organizational Excellence Award

    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.

  • Prisoner of War Medal

    Prisoner of War Medal

    medal is issued only to those U.S. military personnel who were taken prisoner and held captive after 5 April 1917.

  • Combat Readiness Medal

    Combat Readiness Medal

    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.

  • Air Force Good Conduct Medal

    Air Force Good Conduct Medal

    awarded to Airmen 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).

  • Army Good Conduct Medal

    Army Good Conduct Medal

    awarded for exemplary behavior, efficiency, and fidelity in active Federal Military service.

  • Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal

    Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal 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).

     

  • Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon

    Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon

    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. Device: Oak leaf Cluster, and Service Star.

  • Air Force Recognition Ribbon

    Air Force Recognition Ribbon

    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.

  • The American Defense Service Medal

    The American Defense Service Medal

    was awarded to personnel for active duty service from 8 September 1939 to 7 December 1941 for a period of twelve months or longer.

  • American Campaign Medal

    American Campaign Medal

    awarded to personnel for service within the American Theater 7 Dec 1941 - 2 March 1946 under particular conditions.

  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal

    European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal

    awarded to personnel service in the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater 7 Dec 1941 - 8 Nov 1945, under the same conditions described under those for the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal. Same applies, Bronze Service Star and Arrowhead device.

  • The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal

    The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal

    was awarded to personnel for service within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater 7 December 1941 - 2 March 1946 under particular conditions.

  • World War II Victory Medal

    World War II Victory Medal

    awarded for any service period 7 Dec 41 - 31 Dec 46.

  • Army of Occupation Medal

    Army of Occupation Medal

    awarded for thirty consecutive days at a normal post of duty on assignment to the armies of occupation.

  • Medal for Humane Action

    Medal for Humane Action

    medal commemorates military service in direct support of the Berlin Airlift. It was awarded to members of the Armed Forces for 120 consecutive days of service in, or in direct support of, the Berlin airlift, 26 June 1948 - 30 Sep 1949.

  • National Defense Service Medal

    National Defense Service Medal

    (Korean War), 27 June 1950 - 27 July 1954, (Vietnam War) 1 January 1961 - 14 August 1974, (Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM) 2 August 1990 - 30 November 1995, and currently (Global War on Terrorism ) 11 September 2001 to DTBD).

  • Korean Service Medal

    Korean Service Medal

    United States Armed Forces for service in Korea, 30 consecutive or 60 nonconsecutive days between June 27, 1950, and July 27, 1954.

  • Antarctica Service Medal

    Antarctica Service Medal

    Military, U.S. citizen, or resident alien of the United States, who after Jan. 1, 1946 to (DTBD), served on the Antarctic continent or in support of U.S. operations there.

  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

    U.S. military operations, 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.

  • Vietnam Service Medal

    Vietnam Service Medal

    service members of the Armed Forces who between July 4, 1965 and March 28, 1973.

  • Southwest Asia Service Medal

    Southwest Asia Service Medal

    served in support of Operation DESERT SHIELD or DESERT STORM between 2 August 1990 and 30 November 1995.

  • Kosovo Campaign Medal

    Kosovo Campaign Medal

    direct support of Kosovo Air Campaign (24 March 1999 - 10 June 1999) and Kosovo Defense Campaign (11 June 99 - Date to be Determined).

  • Afghanistan Campaign Medal

    Afghanistan Campaign Medal

    awarded to members of the US uniformed services who serve or have served in Afghanistan or contiguous air space, as defined by such regulations, on or after 24 October 2001 to a date to be determined as prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.

  • Iraq Campaign Medal

    Iraq Campaign Medal

    awarded to US Service members who directly supported Operation IRAQI FREEDOM and were assigned, attached, or mobilized to units operating in the area of eligibility for 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days.

  • Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

    Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

    awarded to Active Duty, ANG, and AFRes personnel as recognition for their service in the Global War on Terrorism.

  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

    Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

    awarded to US Air Force Active Duty, ANG, and AFRes personnel as recognition for their service in the Global War on Terrorism.

  • Korean Defense Service Medal

    Korean Defense Service Medal

    USAF Active Duty, ANG, AFRes personnel for military service in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and surrounding waters after 28 Jul 1954 to a Date to Be Determined by the Secretary of Defense.

  • Armed Forces Service Medal

    Armed Forces Service Medal

    awarded to personnel assigned to operations in an area designated by the (DOD).

  • Humanitarian Service Medal

    Humanitarian Service Medal

    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.

  • Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal

    Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal

    who subsequent to 31 December 1992, perform outstanding volunteer community service of a sustained, direct and consequential nature.

  • Air and Space Campaign Medal

    Air and Space Campaign Medal

    The medal will be awarded to personnel assigned to specific operations.

  • Air Force Overseas Ribbon Short Tour

    Air Force Overseas Ribbon

    - Short Tour

  • Air Force Overseas Ribbon Long Tour

    Air Force Overseas Ribbon

    - Long Tour

  • Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon

    Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon

    90 nonconsecutive days in a deployed status. Awarded with gold frame to represent "Combat Zone" second and subsequent entitlements of the award.

  • Air Force Longevity Service Award

    Air Force Longevity Service Award

    who complete four years of honorable active or reserve military service.

  • Air Force Basic Military Training Instructor Ribbon

    Air Force Basic Military Training Instructor Ribbon

     

  • Air Force Recruiter Ribbon

    Air Force Recruiter Ribbon

    The authorization to wear the ribbon is retroactive for any individual who has successfully completed 36 months of duty as an Air Force recruiter and is currently on active duty or a member of a reserve component as of the establishment date of 21 June 2000.

  • Armed Forces Reserve Medal

    Armed Forces Reserve Medal

    10 years of honorable and satisfactory military service.

  • USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon

    USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon

    awarded to graduates of the following certified NCO PME schools (NCO Preparatory Course, Airman Leadership School, NCO Leadership School, NCO Academy, SRNCO Academy.

  • USAF Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon

    USAF Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon.

     

  • Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon

    Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon

     

  • Air Force Training Ribbon

    Air Force Training Ribbon

     

  • Philippine Defense Ribbon

    Philippine Defense Ribbon

    served from 8 Dec 41 to 15 Jun 42.

  • Philippine Liberation Ribbon

    Philippine Liberation Ribbon

    served from 17 Oct 44 to 3 Sep 45.

  • Philippine Independence Ribbon

    Philippine Independence Ribbon

    It is awarded to personnel who are recipients of both the Philippine Defense and Philippine Liberation ribbons.

  • Philippine Presidential Unit Citation

    Philippine Presidential Unit Citation

    participation in the war against the Japanese Empire during the periods 7 Dec. 1941 and 10 May 1942, and 17 Oct. 1944 to 4 July 1945, inclusive.

  • Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation

    Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation

     

  • Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation

    Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation

    U.S. Armed Forces for valorous combat achievement during the Vietnam War, 1 Mar 61 to 28 Mar 73.

  • United Nations Service Medal

    United Nations Service Medal

    awarded to officers and enlisted men of the armed forces of the United States who participated in the action in Korea between June 27, 1950, and July 27, 1954

  • United Nations Medal

    United Nations Medal

    is awarded to service members who are or have been in UN service.

  • NATO Medal-Former Republic of Yugoslavia

    NATO Medal-Former Republic of Yugoslavia

    from 1 July 1992 - 12 October 1998.

  • NATO Medal for Kosovo

    NATO Medal for 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 -(DTBD).

  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

    Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

    Served for 6 months in South Vietnam 1 Mar 61 and 28 Mar 73; and who served a minimum of 60 calendar days in Vietnam during 29 Jan 73 to 28 Mar 73.

  • Kuwait Liberation Medal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    Kuwait Liberation Medal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    served in support of Operation DESERT STORM between 17 January 1991 and 28 February 1991.

  • Kuwait Liberation Medal Government of Kuwait

    Kuwait Liberation Medal Government of Kuwait

    served in support of Operation DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM between 2 August 1990 and 31 August 1993.

  • Republic of Korea Korean War Service Medal

    Republic of Korea Korean War Service Medal

    military veterans must have served in the country of Korea, its territorial waters, or airspace within the inclusive period of 25 June 1950 - 27 July 1953.

02/17/13 Added Distinguished Warfare Medal.

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