Recognition

"C" Devices

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR COMBAT “C” DEVICE

The "C" device was established to distinguish an award earned for exceptionally meritorious service or achievement performed under combat conditions on or after Jan. 7, 2016 (this is not retroactive prior to this date).

 

The device is only authorized if the service or achievement was performed while the service member was personally exposed to hostile action or under significant risk of hostile action (must have come under fire or engaged with the enemy with direct and lethal fire and are at the risk of grave danger):

  • While engaged 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 foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party

The use of the "C" device is determined solely on the specific circumstances under which the service or achievement was performed. The award is not determined by geographic location. The fact the service was performed in a combat zone, a combat zone tax exclusion area, or an area designated for imminent danger pay, hardship duty pay, or hostile fire pay is not sufficient to qualify for the "C" device. The service member must have been personally exposed to hostile action or under significant risk of hostile action.

 

Rank/Grade will not be a factor in determining whether the "C" device is warranted, nor will any quotas, official or unofficial, be established limiting the number of "C" devices authorized for a given combat engagement, a given operation, or cumulatively within a given expanse of area or time.

Authorized and Unauthorized Decorations

The "C" device is authorized for placement only on the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Air Force Achievement Medal. It cannot be authorized on any other ribbon or medal.

 

The "C" device is not authorized on the Bronze Start Medal. All awards of the BSM for non-valorous achievement or service must satisfy the requirements for personal exposure to hostile action or significant risk of exposure to hostile action.

 

The "C" device is not authorized on the Meritorious Service Medal, as this award is equivalent to the BSM. Accordingly, if the service or achievement was performed under combat conditions, the BSM is the appropriate award

 

"R" Devices

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR REMOTE “R” DEVICE

The "R" device was established to distinguish an award earned for direct hands-on employment of a weapon system that had a direct and immediate impact on a combat operation or other military operation (i.e. outcome of an engagement or specific effects on a target). Other military operations include Title 10, United States Code, support of non-Title 10 operations, and operations authorized by an approved execute order.

 

The action must have been performed through any domain and in circumstances that did not expose the individual to personal hostile action, or place him or her at significant risk of personal exposure to hostile action:

  • While engaged in military operations against an enemy of the United States; or

  • While engaged in military operations involving conflict against an opposing foreign force; or

  • While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in military operations with an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party

Qualifying Career Fields

The "R" device may be awarded to Airmen who, during the period of the act, served in the remotely piloted aircraft; cyber; space; or Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance career fields on or after Jan. 7, 2016 (this is not retroactive prior to this date).

 

Basis for a Decoration

  • The "R" device is only authorized for a specific achievement (i.e. impact awards) and will not be authorized for sustained performance or service (i.e. end-of-tour, separation or retirement decorations)

  • Recognition for direct and immediate impact shall be based on the merit of the individual's actions, the basic criteria of the decoration, and the "R" device criteria

  • Performance of a normal duty or accumulation of minor acts will not justify the "R" device. The act must have been: performed in a manner significantly above that normally expected and sufficient to distinguish the individual above members performing similar acts

  • A decoration should only be recommended in cases where the event clearly merits special recognition of the action (i.e. achieving a strategic objective or saving of lives on the ground)

Authorized Decorations

The "R" device is authorized for placement only on the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Air Force Commendation Medal. It cannot be authorized on any other ribbon or medal.

 

"V" Devices

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR VALOR “V” DEVICE

The "V" device is worn on decorations to denote valor, an act or acts of heroism by an individual above what is normally expected while engaged in direct combat with an enemy of the United States, or an opposing foreign or armed force, with exposure to enemy hostilities and personal risk.

 

Effective Jan. 7, 2016, the “V” device is authorized on the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, and Air Force Commendation Medal. As a reminder, the use of the "V" device on the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award is only authorized for the period of Jan. 11, 1996 to Jan. 1, 2014.

 

(NOTE: The establishment of the Gallant Unit Citation and Meritorious Unit Award warranted the discontinuance of the "V" device being authorized for approved USAF unit awards).

Decorations and Ribbons
Recognition

Decorations and Ribbons

Medal of Honor ribbon

Medal of Honor (MOH)

Air Force Cross ribbon

Air Force Cross (AFC)

Defense Distinguished Service Medal ribbon

Defense Distinguished Service Medal (DDSM)

Distinguished Service Medal ribbon

Distinguished Service Medal (DSM)

Silver Star Medal ribbon

Silver Star Medal (SSM)

Defense Superior Service Medal ribbon

Defense Superior Service Medal (DSSM)

Legion of Merit ribbon

Legion of Merit (LOM)

Distinguished Flying Cross ribbon

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)

Airman's Medal ribbon

Airman's Medal (AmnM)

Bronze Star Medal ribbon

Bronze Star Medal (BSM)

Purple Heart ribbon

Purple Heart (PH)

Defense Meritorious Service Medal ribbon

Defense Meritorious Service Medal (DMSM)

Meritorious Service Medal ribbon

Meritorious Service Medal (MSM)

Air Medal ribbon

Air Medal (AM)

Aerial Achievement Medal ribbon

Aerial Achievement Medal (AAM)

Joint Service Commendation Medal ribbon

Joint Service Commendation Medal (JSCM)

Air Force Commendation Medal ribbon

Air Force Commendation Medal (AFCM)

Joint Service Achievement Medal ribbon

Joint Service Achievement Medal (JSAM)

Air Force Achievement Medal ribbon

Air Force Achievement Medal (AFAM)

Air Force Combat Action Medal ribbon

Air Force Combat Action Medal (AFCAM)

Presidential Unit Citation ribbon

Presidential Unit Citation (PUC)

Joint Meritorious Unit Award ribbon

Joint Meritorious Unit Award (JMUA)

Gallant Unit Citation ribbon

Gallant Unit Citation (GUC)

Meritorious Unit Award ribbon

Meritorious Unit Award (MUA)

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award ribbon

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (AFOUA)

Air Force Organizational Excellence Award ribbon

Air Force Organizational Excellence Award (AFOEA)

Prisoner of War Medal ribbon

Prisoner of War Medal (POWM)

Combat Readiness Medal ribbon

Combat Readiness Medal (CRM)

Air Force Good Conduct Medal ribbon

Air Force Good Conduct Medal (AFGCM)

Army Good Conduct Medal ribbon

Army Good Conduct Medal (AGCM)

Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal ribbon

Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal (ARFMSM)

Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon

Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon (OAYR)

Air Force Recognition Ribbon

Air Force Recognition Ribbon (AFRR)

American Defense Service Medal ribbon

American Defense Service Medal (ADSM)

American Campaign Medal ribbon

American Campaign Medal (ACM)

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal ribbon

Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (APCM)

Euro-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal ribbon

Euro-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal (EAMECM)

World War II Victory Medal ribbon

World War II Victory Medal

Army of Occupation Medal ribbon

Army of Occupation Medal (AOM)

Medal for Humane Action ribbon

Medal for Humane Action

National Defense Service Medal ribbon

National Defense Service Medal (NDSM)

Korean Service Medal ribbon

Korean Service Medal

Antarctica Service Medal ribbon

Antarctica Service Medal

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal ribbon

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM)

Vietnam Service Medal ribbon

Vietnam Service Medal (VSM)

Southwest Asia Service Medal ribbon

Southwest Asia Service Medal (SWASM)

Kosovo Campaign Medal ribbon

Kosovo Campaign Medal (KCM)

Afghanistan Campaign Medal ribbon

Afghanistan Campaign Medal (AfgCM)

Iraq Campaign Medal ribbon

Iraq Campaign Medal (ICM)

INHERENT RESOLVE Campaign Medal Ribbon

Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal (IRCM)

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal ribbon

Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWOT-E)

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal ribbon

Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (GWOT-S)

Korean Defense Service Medal ribbon

Korean Defense Service Medal (KDSM)

Armed Forces Service Medal ribbon

Armed Forces Service Medal (AFSM)

Humanitarian Service Medal ribbon

Humanitarian Service Medal (HSM)

Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal ribbon

Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (MOVSM)

Air and Space Campaign Medal ribbon

Air and Space Campaign Medal (ASCM)

Nuclear Deterence Operations Service Medal

Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal

Air Force Overseas Ribbon - Short Tour

Air Force Overseas Ribbon - Short Tour (AFOR-ST)

Air Force Overseas Ribbon - Long Tour

Air Force Overseas Ribbon - Long Tour (AFOR-LT)

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon

Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon (AFESR)

Air Force Longevity Service Award ribbon

Air Force Longevity Service Award (AFLSA)

Air Force Special Duty Ribbon (AFSDR)


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Air Force Basic Military Training Instructor Ribbon (AFBMTIR)

Air Force Recruiter Ribbon

Air Force Recruiter Ribbon (AFRecR)

Armed Forces Reserve Medal ribbon

Armed Forces Reserve Medal (AFResM)

USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon

USAF NCO PME Graduate Ribbon (NCOPMEGR)

USAF Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon

USAF Basic Military Training Honor Graduate Ribbon (BMTHGR)

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon

Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon (SAEMR)

Air Force Training Ribbon

Air Force Training Ribbon (AFTR)

Philippine Defense Medal ribbon

Philippine Defense Medal

Philippine Liberation Medal ribbon

Philippine Liberation Medal

Philippine Independence Medal ribbon

Philippine Independence Medal

 

Philippine Presidential Unit Citation ribbon

Philippine Presidential Unit Citation

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation ribbon

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation

RVN Gallantry Cross with Palm ribbon

RVN Gallantry Cross with Palm

United Nations Service Medal ribbon

United Nations Service Medal

United Nations Medal ribbon

United Nations Medal

NATO Meritorious Service Medal ribbon

NATO Meritorious Service Medal (NO KA)

NATO Medal for Yugoslavia ribbon

NATO Medal for Yugoslavia

NATO Medal for Kosovo ribbon

NATO Medal for Kosovo

Article 5 NATO Medal - Eagle Assist ribbon

Article 5 NATO Medal - Eagle Assist

Article 5 NATO Medal - Active Endeavour ribbon

Article 5 NATO Medal - Active Endeavour

 

Non Article 5 NATO Medal - Balkans ribbon

Non Article 5 NATO Medal - Balkans

Non Article 5 NATO Medal - International Security Assistance Force ribbon

Non Article 5 NATO Medal - International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Kuwait Liberation Medal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ribbon

Kuwait Liberation Medal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Kuwait Liberation Medal Government of Kuwait ribbon

Kuwait Liberation Medal Government of Kuwait

 

 

 

Republic of Korea Korean War Service Medal ribbon

Republic of Korea Korean War Service Medal