Air Force Cross (United States)
The Air Force Cross is the second highest military award that can be given to a member of the United States Air Force. The Air Force Cross is the Air Force decoration equivalent to the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, the Coast Guard Cross; the Air Force Cross is awarded for extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of the Medal of Honor. It may be awarded to any individual who, while serving in any capacity with the U. S. Air Force, herself by extraordinary heroism in combat. Entitled the "Distinguished Service Cross", the Air Force Cross was first proposed in 1947 after the creation of the United States Air Force as a separate armed service; the medal was designed by Eleanor Cox, an employee of the Air Force, was sculpted by Thomas Hudson Jones of the Institute of Heraldry. The Air Force Cross was established by Congress in Public Law 88-593 on July 6, 1960, amending Section 8742 of Title 10, U. S. Code to change the designation of "Distinguished Service Cross" to "Air Force Cross" in case of awards made under Air Force Authority.
Additional awards of the Air Force Cross are annotated by oak leaf clusters, the reverse of every Air Force Cross is engraved with the recipient's name. Title 10, Section 8742. Air Force Cross: Award "The President may award an Air Force Cross of appropriate design, with ribbons and appurtenances, to a person who, while serving in any capacity with the Air Force, distinguishes himself by extraordinary heroism not justifying the award of a Medal of Honor: while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; the Air Force Cross consists of a bronze cross with an oxidized satin finish. Centered on the obverse of the cross is a gold-plated American bald eagle, wings displayed against a cloud formation; this design is encircled by a laurel wreath in green enamel, edged in gold. The reverse of the cross is suitable for engraving; the service ribbon has a wide center stripe of Brittany blue with narrow stripes of white and red at the edges. The ribbon is identical to that of the Distinguished Service Cross, except for the lighter blue center stripe, indicating the close connection of these awards.
The first award of that Air Force Cross was made posthumously to Major Rudolf Anderson, a U-2 pilot, for extraordinary heroism during the Cuban Missile Crisis. As of October 2017, there have been 202 awards of the Air Force Cross to 197 individuals. One award, the first made, was for actions in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Three were retroactively awarded for actions in World War II. One hundred eighty were awarded for heroism in the Vietnam War, four for heroism during the 1975 Mayagüez Incident following. Two were awarded for the 1991 Gulf War. One was awarded to combat controller Zachary Rhyner for actions in the Shok Valley, Afghanistan on April 6, 2008. Another was awarded to USAF Pararescueman MSgt Ivan Ruiz for heroism in Kandahar Province, Dec. 10, 2013. On October 17, 2017, the Air Force Cross was awarded to Staff Sergeant Richard Hunter, for actions against the Taliban in Kunduz province Afghanistan on November 2, 2016. Fifty awards have been posthumous, including 30 to members missing in action.
Twenty-four have been awarded including 12 Pararescuemen. Seventeen graduates of the United States Air Force Academy have been presented the award, 13 were awarded for conduct while a prisoner of war. There have been four multiple recipients: James H. Kasler John A. Dramesi Leland T. Kennedy Robinson Risner Maj Rudolf Anderson, Jr.: First recipient, posthumously awarded for valor during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Gen Charles G. Boyd, POW for 7 years and the only Vietnam-era POW to reach the four-star rank. Lt Col Charlie L. Brown: One of the three recipients of the award for actions during World War II, while serving with the United States Army Air Forces, the predecessor of USAF. MSgt John A. Chapman, awarded posthumously for heroism in the Battle of Takur Ghar, during the War in Afghanistan. Upgraded to the Medal of Honor. Col George E. "Bud" Day: Medal of Honor recipient and Vietnam War POW Capt Charles B. "Chuck" DeBellevue: F-4 weapon systems officer ace, credited with six MiG kills, the most of any U.
S. aviator during the Vietnam War. Maj Urban L. Drew: One of the three recipients of the award for actions during World War II, while serving with the United States Army Air Forces, the predecessor of USAF. CMSgt Richard Etchberger: USAF Airman who died in the Battle of Lima Site 85. Award upgraded to Medal of Honor. A2C Duane D. Hackney: Pararescueman decorated for valor in Vietnam. Maj Gen Paul Johnson: an A-10 pilot during the Gulf War, helped rescue a downed pilot behind enemy lines. Lt Col James H. Kasler: Vietnam War fighter pilot and POW. Capt Leland T. Kennedy: Vietnam War rescue helicopter pilot. Brig Gen Robin Olds: World War II and Vietnam War fighter pilot, triple ace. Col Ralph Parr: Korean War fighter ace a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross. A1C William H. Pitsenbarger: Pararescueman and the f
Army and Navy Union of the United States of America
The Army and Navy Union of the United States of America is the oldest veterans' organization in America. It was conceived in 1841 and the concept came from nineteenth-century war fighting groups that had the same common interests, its name changed over time from just a soldier's union to take account for all sailors and soldiers in all branches of the United States Armed Forces. Its membership is open to all those who had served honorably or are serving members of the US Armed Forces; the mission and purpose of the organization is to alleviate suffering of veterans or active duty personnel by providing needed services with the help of fraternal comradeship. The basis of the organization came in 1841; the organization transmuted further from other war fighting groups like The General Society of the War of 1812, The Grand Army of the Republic and The Order of Indian Wars. All these had the same general philosophy, so had a common ground. By 1886, it was realized that these organizations would become extinct due to deaths of the veterans if something wasn’t done to give them new life.
The idea came about to restructure all these individual organizations into one permanent organization. These fighting group organizations founded the Army and Navy Union of the United States of America, open to all who had served honorably or are serving in the United States Armed Forces. A bill was introduced on July 17, 1985 in ninety-ninth Congress to recognize the Army and Navy Union of the United States of America, it was signed by US President Ronald Reagan to be put into force from November 6, 1986. This patriotic organization was formed in Ohio by 30 men as "The Regular Soldiers' Union" on March 31, 1888; the organization's name was amended to "Regular Army and Navy Union of the United States of America" on November 11, 1891 It was reincorporated under the laws of Ohio on October 15, 1897. It was made official throughout the United States on October 19, 1899; the federally chartered corporation is an organization under U. S. Code Title 36, Subtitle II of Part B as chapter 229. In February 1897, it was announced in the San Francisco Call newspaper that a stone monument to the memory of dead soldiers and sailors was to be raised at the United States national cemetery, located in the Presidio of San Francisco, California.
It was placed northeast of the Officer's Circle and finished on May 30. The veteran monument was dedicated on the following day, the Memorial Day, to the memory of past soldiers and marines of the United States by the Army and Navy Union. There is an inscription on the front; the 17.2 feet monument has on top of the base an 8.4 feet statue of a soldier defending the flag. On the base is displayed the coat of arms of the United States and a stack of arms. There is an image of light artillery on the front bottom. On the right cap is a flaming shell, on the die the American flag and jack and cannonballs; the initiative to provide the monument was by 11 California garrison. The Wisconsin department of the Army and Navy Union announced that it was on record as of August 1930 as favoring the state option of repealing the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; the department was planning to pass on their commitment to the national convention at Buffalo, New York, in October that they favored individual state laws instead on liquor control.
The Army and Navy Union awarded publisher William Randolph Hearst the Gold Medal of Honor for distinguished service in June 1945. The Kings County division of the Union was awarded a plaque for outstanding service to convalescent sailors by the Brooklyn Naval Hospital on May 24, 1946; the Brooklyn Navy Yard garrison sponsored a reception at their headquarters on May 25, 1946, for Lieutenant Charles W. Shea, the recipient of Medal of Honor, Colonel Richard E. Cole who had just returned from overseas duty; the Union through their Cincinnati, division adopted a resolution on August 13, 1948, asking the government to provide a bonus for World War II veterans. A district supreme court chief justice decided at the end of 1906 that a higher organization body cannot confiscate the property of one of the Union's garrisons; the decision did not restrict admitting someone and/or their funds they were entitled to, to be admitted into a particular garrison. The Army and Navy Union of the United States of America provided medals of honor to certain union soldiers in 1905, who volunteered for duties above and beyond the call of duty.
Their service, of which they did not receive pay for, was done in Maryland and Pennsylvania in 1863 during the American Civil War. On May 30, 1906 US President, Theodore Roosevelt, delivered a memorial address to thousands at Portsmouth, Virginia under the auspices the Army and Navy Union that concluded with the unveiling of a monument erected at the local Naval Cemetery; the Union began its thirteenth biennial convention in the GAR Hall on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D. C. on July 17, 1907. It was the ninth anniversary of the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, they sent a telegram of fraternal greetings to President Roosevelt that morning. A few hours they received a telegram back from the President's secretary of thanks and best wishes for success of the Union. On September 8, 1909, the Army and Navy Union began its fourteenth biennial convention in Erie, Pennsylvania, at the local Chamber of Commerce. There were over 200 delegates that attended the opening session, among who were veterans of the American Civil War.
The assembly sang The Star Spangled Banner at the beginning. There were some women that attended, that were members of the Auxiliary to the Navy Union, it was proposed at this assem
A Marksmanship Ribbon is a United States Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard award, issued to its members who pass a weapons qualification course and achieve an above-average score. Additionally, there are select State National Guard organizations that award marksmanship ribbons for high placement in state-level marksmanship competitions; the U. S. Navy has issued these two marksmanship awards since 1920: the Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon, awarded for qualification on the Beretta M9 9mm pistol, the Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon, awarded for qualification on the M14 and M16 rifle variants; the Navy issues the marksmanship ribbon in three levels of precedence: Expert and Marksman. The basic ribbon is awarded for the Marksman level while the specific ribbon device is awarded for qualification as a Sharpshooter or Expert; those receiving an Expert qualification receive Marksmanship Ribbon. The Navy issued Distinguished Marksmanship Ribbons between 1942 and 1960 which were declared obsolete by 1965; the U.
S. Air Force awards a single ribbon, known as the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, for an expert qualification on either the M16 rifle, M4 carbine or the individual's AFSC designated pistol; the ribbon is issued in only one degree. The ribbon was authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force on Aug. 28, 1962, was awarded to all Air Force members who qualified after Jan. 1, 1963. Prior to the conception of a ribbon, Air Force members were awarded with the United States Air Force Small Arms Marksmanship Certificate of Achievement; the U. S. Coast Guard Marksmanship Ribbons are issued under the same criteria as the U. S. Navy, but Coast Guardsmen use a.40 cal SIG Sauer P229R DAK pistol instead of the Navy's M9 pistol. The Coast Guard issues two ribbons, known as the Coast Guard Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon and the Coast Guard Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon; the ribbon device is awarded for qualification at the higher levels of expert. Like the Navy, for those who receive an expert qualification, the Marksmanship Medal is awarded instead of the Marksmanship Ribbon.
Once a year, thousands of U. S. Army and Air National Guard shooters compete against each other at the Winston P. Wilson Rifle and Pistol Championships. In the Missouri National Guard, the top twelve guardsmen selected to represent their state at the Winston P. Wilson matches are awarded the Governor's Twelve Ribbon, worn on dress uniforms. In addition, these guardsman are awarded the Governor's Twelve Tab for wear on the combat uniform; the Adjutant General of Missouri awards the Adjutant General's Twenty Ribbon to soldiers and airmen who qualify among the top twenty competitors at the Missouri State Combat Matches conducted each year. In addition to this ribbon, these guardsman are awarded the Adjutant General's Twenty Combat Badge for wear on the combat uniform. Guardsmen are authorized to wear these ribbons as a permanent decoration on service dress uniforms, to the left of federal awards, when operating under Title 32 status; when federalized, guardsman can not wear these ribbons. The U. S. Army and U.
S. Marine Corps provide weapons qualification badges instead of a marksmanship ribbon. For the services that award the marksmanship ribbon, re-qualification is not necessary once a service member has obtained the award, the ribbon may be worn throughout an individual's career. In the Navy and Coast Guard, the marksmanship ribbon may be upgraded with a specific ribbon device if a higher qualification is achieved. Marksmanship Device Marksmanship Medal Marksmanship Badge Awards and decorations of the United States military
Bronze Star Medal
The Bronze Star Medal, unofficially the Bronze Star, is a United States decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious achievement, or meritorious service in a combat zone. When the medal is awarded by the Army and Air Force for acts of valor in combat, the "V" Device is authorized for wear on the medal; when the medal is awarded by the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard for acts of valor or meritorious service in combat, the Combat "V" is authorized for wear on the medal. Officers from the other Uniformed Services of the United States are eligible to receive this award, as are foreign soldiers who have served with or alongside a service branch of the United States Armed Forces. Civilians serving with U. S. military forces in combat are eligible for the award. For example, UPI reporter Joe Galloway was awarded the Bronze Star with "V" Device during the Vietnam War for rescuing a badly wounded soldier under fire in the Battle of la Drang, in 1965.
Another civilian recipient was writer Ernest Hemingway. The Bronze Star Medal was established by Executive Order 9419, 4 February 1944; the Bronze Star Medal may be awarded by the Secretary of a military department or the Secretary of Homeland Security with regard to the Coast Guard when not operating as a service in the Navy, or by such military commanders, or other appropriate officers as the Secretary concerned may designate, to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, or Coast Guard of the United States, after 6 December 1941, distinguishes, or has distinguished, herself or himself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight— while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States. The acts of heroism are of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star; the acts of merit or acts of valor must be less than that required for the Legion of Merit but must have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction.
The Bronze Star Medal is awarded only to service members in combat zones who are receiving imminent danger pay. The Bronze Star Medal may be awarded to each member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, after 6 December 1941, was cited in orders or awarded a certificate for exemplary conduct in ground combat against an armed enemy between 7 December 1941 and 2 September 1945. For this purpose, the US Army's Combat Infantryman Badge or Combat Medical Badge award is considered as a citation in orders. Documents executed since 4 August 1944 in connection with recommendations for the award of decorations of higher degree than the Bronze Star Medal cannot be used as the basis for an award under this paragraph. Effective 11 September 2001, the Meritorious Service Medal may be bestowed in lieu of the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in a designated combat theater; the Bronze Star Medal was designed by Rudolf Freund of the jewelry firm Banks & Biddle. The medal is a bronze star 1 1⁄2 inches in circumscribing diameter.
In the center is a 3⁄16 inch diameter superimposed bronze star, the center line of all rays of both stars coinciding. The reverse bears the inscription "HEROIC OR MERITORIOUS ACHIEVEMENT" with a space for the name of the recipient to be engraved; the star hangs from its ribbon by a rectangular metal loop with rounded corners. The suspension ribbon is 1 3⁄8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes: 1⁄32 inch white 67101; the Bronze Star Medal with the "V" device to denote heroism is the fourth highest military decoration for valor. Although a service member may be cited for heroism in combat and be awarded more than one Bronze Star authorizing the "V" device, only one "V" may be worn on each suspension and service ribbon of the medal; the following ribbon devices must be authorized in the award citation in order to be worn on the Bronze Star Medal, the criteria for and wear of the devices vary between the services: Oak leaf cluster – In the Army and Air Force, the oak leaf cluster is worn to denote additional awards.
5/16 inch star – In the Navy and Marine Corps and Coast Guard, the 5/16 inch star is worn to denote additional awards. "V" device – In the Army, the "V" is worn to denote "participation in acts of heroism involving conflict with an armed enemy.". Combat "V" – In the Navy and Marine Corps and Coast Guard, the "V" is worn to denote combat heroism or to recognize individuals who are "exposed to personal hazard during direct participation in combat operations". Colonel Russell P. "Red" Reeder conceived the idea of the Bronze Star Medal in 1943. Reeder felt another medal was needed as a ground equivalent of the Air Medal, suggested calling the proposed new award the "Ground Medal"; the idea rose through the military bureaucracy and gained supporters. General George C. Marshall, in a memorandum to President Franklin D. Roosevelt dated 3
A service ribbon, medal ribbon, or ribbon bar is a small ribbon, mounted on a small metal bar equipped with an attaching device, issued for wear in place of a medal when it is not appropriate to wear the actual medal. Each country's government has its own rules on what ribbons can be worn in what circumstances and in which order; this is defined in an official document and is called "the order of precedence" or "the order of wearing." In some countries, some awards are "ribbon only," having no associated medal. According to the Defense Logistics Agency, the U. S. military's standard size for a ribbon bar is 1 3/8 in wide, 3/8 inches tall, with a thickness of 0.8mm. The service ribbon for a specific medal is identical to the suspension ribbon on the medal. For example, the suspension and service ribbon for the U. S. government's Purple Heart medal is purple with a white vertical stripe at each end. However, there are some military awards that do not have a suspension ribbon, but have an authorized ribbon and unit award emblem.
The Soviet Order of Victory is a badge, worn on the military parade uniform. However, a ribbon bar representing the Order of Victory was worn on a military field uniform. Ribbon bars come in a variety of colors. In the case of the U. S. military, it maintains a specific list of colors used on its ribbons, based on the Pantone Matching System and Federal Standard 595 color systems: There is a variety of constructions of service ribbons. In some countries, service ribbons are mounted on a "pin backing", which can be pushed through the fabric of a uniform and secured, with fasteners, on the inside edge; these ribbons can be individually secured and lined up, or they can be all mounted on to a single fastener. After the Second World War, it was common for all ribbons to be mounted on a single metal bar and worn in a manner similar to a brooch. Other methods of wearing have included physically sewing each service ribbon onto the uniform garments. "Orders of wearing" define which ribbons may be worn on which types of uniform in which positions under which circumstances.
For example, miniature medals on dinner dress, full medals on parade dress, ribbons on dress shirts, but no decorations on combat dress and working clothing. Some countries maintain a standard practice of wearing full service ribbons on combat utility clothing. Others prohibit this; these regulations are similar to the regulations regarding display of rank insignia and regulations regarding saluting of more senior ranks. The reasoning for such regulations is to prevent these displays from enabling opposing forces to identify persons of higher rank and therefore aid them in choosing targets which will have a larger impact on the battlefield. In times of war, it is not uncommon for commanders and other high value individuals to wear no markings on their uniforms and wear clothing and insignia of a lower ranking soldier. Service medals and ribbons are worn in rows on the left side of the chest. In certain commemorative and/ or memorial circumstances, a relative may wear the medals or ribbons of a dead relative on the right side of the chest.
Medals and ribbons not mentioned in the "Order of wear" are generally worn on the right side of the chest. Sequencing of the ribbons depends on each country's regulations. In the United States, for example, those with the highest status—typically awarded for heroism or distinguished service—are placed at the top of the display, while foreign decorations are last in the bottom rows; when medals are worn, ribbons with no corresponding medals are worn on the right side. The study and collection of ribbons, among other military decorations, is known as phaleristics. Keith Payne, VC, OAMHis Excellency General The Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, AK, MC Sir Hans Jesper Helsø former General and Chief of Defence. Ecuadorian General of the Army Paco Moncayo Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel Admiral of the Fleet Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma In the U. S. military, the different services have different methods of wearing ribbon bars. In the U. S. Navy, they are worn in rows of three with no spacing between rows.
For U. S. Navy members who have three or more ribbons, they can elect to wear only their three highest-ranked ones instead of all of them. In the U. S. Marine Corps, they can be worn with optional staggering. In the U. S. Army staggered with spacing in between rows. A U. S. serviceman's complete ribbon display is referred to colloquially as a "ribbon rack" or "rack" for short. Field Marshal S. H. F. J. Manekshaw Phaleristics Order List of military decorations List of prizes and awards Awards and decorations of the United States military Danish service ribbons
The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the president to those wounded or killed while serving, on or after April 5, 1917, with the U. S. military. With its forerunner, the Badge of Military Merit, which took the form of a heart made of purple cloth, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U. S. military members – the only earlier award being the obsolete Fidelity Medallion. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New York; the original Purple Heart, designated as the Badge of Military Merit, was established by George Washington – the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army – by order from his Newburgh, New York headquarters on August 7, 1782. The Badge of Military Merit was only awarded to three Revolutionary War soldiers by Gen. George Washington himself. General Washington authorized his subordinate officers to issue Badges of Merit as appropriate. From on, as its legend grew, so did its appearance. Although never abolished, the award of the badge was not proposed again until after World War I.
On October 10, 1927, Army Chief of Staff General Charles Pelot Summerall directed that a draft bill be sent to Congress "to revive the Badge of Military Merit". The bill was withdrawn and action on the case ceased January 3, 1928, but the office of the Adjutant General was instructed to file all materials collected for possible future use. A number of private interests sought to have the medal re-instituted in the Army. On January 7, 1931, Summerall's successor, General Douglas MacArthur, confidentially reopened work on a new design, involving the Washington Commission of Fine Arts. Elizabeth Will, an Army heraldic specialist in the Office of the Quartermaster General, was named to redesign the newly revived medal, which became known as the Purple Heart. Using general specifications provided to her, Will created the design sketch for the present medal of the Purple Heart; the new design, which exhibits a bust and profile of George Washington, was issued on the bicentennial of Washington's birth.
Will's obituary, in the edition of February 8, 1975 of The Washington Post newspaper, reflects her many contributions to military heraldry. The Commission of Fine Arts solicited plaster models from three leading sculptors for the medal, selecting that of John R. Sinnock of the Philadelphia Mint in May 1931. By Executive Order of the President of the United States, the Purple Heart was revived on the 200th Anniversary of George Washington's birth, out of respect to his memory and military achievements, by War Department General Order No. 3, dated February 22, 1932. The criteria were announced in a War Department circular dated February 22, 1932, authorized award to soldiers, upon their request, awarded the Meritorious Service Citation Certificate, Army Wound Ribbon, or were authorized to wear Wound Chevrons subsequent to April 5, 1917, the day before the United States entered World War I; the first Purple Heart was awarded to MacArthur. During the early period of American involvement in World War II, the Purple Heart was awarded both for wounds received in action against the enemy and for meritorious performance of duty.
With the establishment of the Legion of Merit, by an Act of Congress, the practice of awarding the Purple Heart for meritorious service was discontinued. By Executive Order 9277, dated December 3, 1942, the decoration was applied to all services; this executive order authorized the award only for wounds received. For both military and civilian personnel during the World War II era, to meet eligibility for the Purple Heart, AR 600-45, dated September 22, 1943, May 3, 1944, required identification of circumstances. After the award was re-authorized in 1932 some U. S. Army wounded from conflicts prior to the first World War applied for, were awarded, the Purple Heart: "...veterans of the Civil War and Indian Wars, as well as the Spanish–American War, China Relief Expedition, Philippine Insurrection were awarded the Purple Heart. This is because the original regulations governing the award of the Purple Heart, published by the Army in 1932, provided that any soldier, wounded in any conflict involving U.
S. Army personnel might apply for the new medal. There were but two requirements: the applicant had to be alive at the time of application and he had to prove that he had received a wound that necessitated treatment by a medical officer."Subject to approval of the Secretary of Defense, Executive Order 10409, dated February 12, 1952, revised authorizations to include the Service Secretaries. Dated April 25, 1962, Executive Order 11016, included provisions for posthumous award of the Purple Heart. Dated February 23, 1984, Executive Order 12464, authorized award of the Purple Heart as a result of terrorist attacks, or while serving as part of a peacekeeping force, subsequent to March 28, 1973. On June 13, 1985, the Senate approved an amendment to the 1985 Defense Authorization Bill, which changed the precedence of the Purple Heart award, from above the Good Conduct Medal to above the Meritorious Service Medals. Public Law 99-145 authorized the award for wounds received as a result of friendly fire.
Public Law 104-106 expanded the eligibility date, authorizing award of the Purple Heart to a former prisoner of war, wounded after April 25, 1962. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998 changed the criteria to delete authorization for award of the Purple Heart to any non-military U. S. national s
Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon
The Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon is a military award of the United States Air Force, created on February 21, 1968 by order of Secretary of the Air Force Harold Brown. The first presentation of the award was in June 1970; the Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon is the highest personal ribbon award of the United States Air Force. The Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon is awarded to any enlisted member of the U. S. Air Force, nominated by their Major Command, Field Operating Agency, or Direct Reporting Unit for competition in the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year Program; the Outstanding Airman of the Year program recognizes 12 enlisted members from a cross section of Air Force Career fields. Nominated personnel compete in one of three categories Airman, Non-commissioned Officer, Senior Non-commissioned Officer. Nominations are based only on the member's achievement for the prior calendar year. Though only the prior year is used for nominations, nominees must pass a certain level of scrutiny for their total life and career since nominees are expected to be the most outstanding representatives of the Air Force enlisted force.
The Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon is light blue with a center stripe of white, flanked on either side by thin stripes of dark blue and red. Airmen selected as one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year are authorized to wear the Outstanding Airman badge for one year, are awarded the ribbon with a bronze service star. All other nominated competitors are authorized to wear the ribbon without the service star. Subsequent awards of the ribbon are represented by oak leaf clusters, with the service star being worn to the wearers right. 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year Program Complete listing of all recipients since the Award's inception Link