The Distinguished Flying Cross, authorized by an Act of Congress of July 2, 1926 (amended by Executive Order 7786 on Jan. 8, 1938), was awarded first to Capt. Charles A. Lindbergh, of the U.S. Army Corps Reserve, for his solo flight of 3,600 miles across the Atlantic in 1927, a feat which electrified the world and made Lindbergh one of America's most popular heroes.
This medal is awarded to any officer or enlisted person of the armed forces of the United States for heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. Both heroism and achievement must be entirely distinctive, involving operations that are not routine. This award is not awarded for sustained operational activities and flights.
The Distinguished Flying Cross was designed by Elizabeth Will and Arthur E. DuBois. It is a bronze cross pattee, with rays between the arms of the cross. On the obverse is a propeller of four blades, with one blade in each arm of the cross and in the re-entrant angles of the cross are rays which form a square. The cross is suspended by a rectangular-shaped bar and centered on this is a plain shield. The reverse is blank and suitable for engraving the recipient's name and rank.
The ribbon has a narrow red center stripe, flanked on either side by a thin white stripe, a wide stripe of dark blue, a narrow white stripe and narrow dark blue at the edge of the ribbon.
Subsequent awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross are indicated by oak leaf clusters for Army and Air Force personnel and by additional award stars for members of the Naval services. Members are also authorized wear of Combat “C” and Valor "V" Devices (as applicable)
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:
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.
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. 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).
WEIGHTED AIRMAN PROMOTED SYSTEM POINT VALUE: 7