Gallant Unit Citation


In March 2004, the Secretary of the Air Force approved the Gallant Unit Citation to recognize organizations for outstanding heroism in combat.



Awarded to Air Force active duty, Reserve, and Air National Guard units for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force on or after Sept. 11, 2001.


The GUC requires a lesser degree of gallantry, determination and esprit de corps than that required for the Presidential Unit Citation. Nevertheless, the unit must have performed with marked distinction under difficult and hazardous conditions in accomplishing its mission so as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same conflict. The degree of heroism required is the same as that which would warrant award of the Silver Star which is awarded for gallantry and heroism of high degrees, including risk of life in action.


The GUC award will normally be earned by units that have participated in single or successive actions covering relatively brief time spans. Only on rare occasions will a unit larger than a group qualify for GUC. Although units larger than a group may submit, it will be extremely rare that a large organization will receive the GUC due to the degree of valor required. Extended periods of combat duty or participation in a large number of operational missions, either air or ground, is not sufficient.



The GUC shall be worn immediately before the Joint Meritorious Unit Award.  Subsequent awards will be denoted by Oak Leaf Clusters.



Oak Leaf Cluster