Meritorious Unit Award


In March 2004, the Secretary of the Air Force approved the Meritorious Unit Award to recognize organizations for outstanding heroism in combat as well as outstanding achievement or service in direct support of combat operations.



The MUA is awarded to Air Force active duty, Reserve, and Guard units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding achievement or service in direct support of combat operations for at least 90 continuous days during the period of military operations against an armed enemy of the United States on or after Sept. 11, 2001.


The unit must display such outstanding devotion and superior performance of exceptionally difficult tasks as to set it apart and above other units with similar missions. The degree of achievement required is the same as that which would warrant award of the Legion of Merit. Superior performance of normal mission will not alone justify award of the MUA. Service in a combat zone is not required, but service must be directly related to the combat effort. Squadrons, groups, and wings may be recommended for this award.


The MUA is not awarded to any unit or unit component previously awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, or unit awards from other service components for the same act, achievement, or service. The component commander will automatically consider all disapproved MUAs for the AFOUA.


Approval authority for the MUA will be awarded by the major command (MAJCOM) commander; however, approval authority is delegated in cases when Numbered Air Force commanders are serving as Air Component commanders such as United States Central Air Forces (USCENTAF/CC). The MUA elements will include the citation, certificate, special order, and streamer. The MUA ribbon shall be worn immediately before the AFOUA. Subsequent awards will be denoted by Oak Leaf Clusters.



Oak Leaf Cluster