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Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal

U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons

U.S. Air Force graphic by Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons


The Secretary of the Air Force approved the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal on May 27, 2014 to recognize direct support to nuclear deterrence operations. The medal is authorized for Airmen who directly impacted the Nuclear Enterprise. The NDOSM may be awarded retroactively to Dec. 27, 1991 to fully-qualified Airmen.


Order of Precedence: The NDOSM shall be worn immediately after the Air and Space Campaign Medal and before the Overseas Ribbon Short tour.



The NDOSM (basic) may be awarded to Airmen who, while assigned, attached, deployed or mobilized to a unit (wing, center or below), provided support to the Nuclear Enterprise for 120 consecutive or 179 non-consecutive days, and one of the following:


-Were subject to a Nuclear Inspection

-Performed duties in nuclear operations to include nuclear weapon storage facilities, nuclear command, control, and communication (NC3), cyber surety, security, safety, transportation, maintenance, facility management and maintenance, explosive ordnance disposal, aircrew certified for support to nuclear operations, weapons loaders, warning and attack assessment, personnel reliability program (PRP) management, or research, development and acquisition of nuclear systems.


The medal may be awarded posthumously and may be presented to appropriate representatives of the deceased.



the front of the NDOSM has a laurel wreath surmounted by a nuclear symbol with a star bearing a disc in the center. The reverse has a circular inscription, "NUCLEAR DETERRENCE OPERATIONS SERVICE," a triangle between the first and last words, the U.S. Air Force "Hap Arnold" symbol and between its wings, the inscription "U.S. AIR FORCE."



The ribbon is predominantly blue with yellow, green and red stripes from left to right and right to left within each edge.



Authorized devices are the “N” device and the Oak Leaf Cluster.


An “N” device will be worn on the NDOSM for Airmen who for 179 non-consecutive days performed duties:


Within the missile complex in direct support of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile operations in Missile Maintenance (21MX, 2M0XX), Munitions and Maintenance (2W0XX, 2W1XX, 2W2XX), Security Forces (31PX, 3P0XX), Services (3M0XX), Fuels (2F0XX), Transportation (2T1XX, 2T3XX), Civil Engineering (32EX, 3EXXX), Cyberspace Support (3D1X1, 3D1X2, 3D1X3, 3D100), Operations (11HXC, 13NX, 1A9X1, and13SX officers on or before Feb. 9, 2013) or Missile Facility Manager (8S000) in direct support of nuclear laden aircraft to include nuclear certified aircrew, aircraft maintenance technicians, munitions maintenance technicians, combat crew communications, nuclear certified controllers, and security forces performing guard duties.



Airmen currently serving in, or no longer in, a qualifying unit will submit an AF Form 104, Service Medal Award Verification to the current Group commander (colonel or civilian leader equivalent) and above. Once approved, the completed AF Form 104will be routed to the servicing Military Personnel Section (MPS) for update in member’s record.




Active Duty

All requests must be submitted on a Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records and sent to: AFPC/DPSIDR, 550 C Street, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, TX 78150 and be accompanied by supporting documentation. The primary next of kin of deceased Airmen will submit requests in accordance with the guidance provided in this paragraph. Proof of one day of eligibility may qualify the retired, separated or deceased Airmen for the NDOSM (basic); all other criteria must be met to qualify for the “N” device. Applications will be validated by Air Force Personnel Center Recognitions Section.


Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve

Submit applications through the Total Force Service Center. Ensure Category is "Recognition" and Subject includes "NDOSM". Documents can also be mailed to: Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center 18420 E. Silver Creek Ave, Bldg 390, MS68, Buckley AFB CO 80011. Applications will be validated by Air Reserve Personnel Center Recognitions Branch.



Supporting documents may consist of Contingency Exercise Deployment orders, pay travel vouchers, evaluations, decoration citation, AF Form 286, Personnel Reliability Program Qualification/Certification Action documents, Letter of Evaluation, and/or DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty or DD Form 215, Correction to DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.