Good Conduct Medal (United States)
The Good Conduct Medal is one of the oldest military awards of the United States Armed Forces. The U. S. Navy's variant of the Good Conduct Medal was established in 1869, the Marine Corps version in 1896, the Coast Guard version in 1923, the Army version in 1941, the Air Force version in 1963; the criteria for a Good Conduct Medal are defined by Executive Orders 8809, 9323, 10444. The Good Conduct Medal, each one specific to one of the five branches of the U. S. Armed Forces, is awarded to any active duty enlisted member of the United States military who completes three consecutive years of "honorable and faithful service"; such service implies that a standard enlistment was completed without any non-judicial punishment, disciplinary infractions, or court martial offenses. If a service member commits an offense, the three-year mark "resets" and a service member must perform an additional three years of service without having to be disciplined, before the Good Conduct may be authorized. During times of war, the Good Conduct Medal may be awarded for one year of faithful service.
The Good Conduct Medal may be awarded posthumously, to any service member killed in the line of duty. Service for the Good Conduct Medal must be performed on active duty; this restriction does not apply to full-time active duty enlisted members in the Reserve Component, such as Army and Air Force personnel in an Active Guard and Reserve status, Navy personnel in a Full Time Support known as Training & Administration of the Reserve, Marine Corps Active Reserve programs. On 1 January 2014, the Navy discontinued the Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal, a de facto Good Conduct Medal for Navy Reserve enlisted personnel. Since that date, all Navy enlisted personnel have received the Navy Good Conduct Medal, whether in a full-time active duty or a part-time drilling reserve status; the various services have established separate Reserve Good Conduct Medals, albeit under various names, as a comparable award available to enlisted Reserve and National Guard members who satisfactorily perform annual training, drill duty and any additional active duty of less than 3 consecutive years duration.
The exception, as stated, is the United States Navy, which discontinued that service's separate award for Reserve Component enlisted personnel as of 1 January 2014. Enlisted Navy Reservists now earn time towards the Navy Good Conduct Medal, the same as the Active Component and any time earned towards an unawarded Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal is automatically carried over to the Navy Good Conduct Medal; the Navy Good Conduct Medal is the oldest Good Conduct Medal, dating back to 26 April 1869. There have been a total of four versions of the Navy Good Conduct Medal, the first version of, issued from 1870 to 1884; the original Navy Good Conduct Medal was not worn on a uniform, but issued with discharge papers as a badge to present during reenlistment. A sailor in the Navy received a new Good Conduct Medal for each honorable enlistment completed; the second version of the Navy Good Conduct Medal was issued between 1880 and 1884. The medal was considered a "transitional decoration" and was the first of the Good Conduct Medals to be worn on a uniform.
The medal was phased out by 1885 and a new medal issued between 1885 and 1961. The new medal was a Good Conduct medallion suspended from an all red ribbon. Enlistment bars, denoting each honorable enlistment completed, were pinned on the ribbon as attachments. There was slight oddity during the Spanish–American War when the Navy created the Specially Meritorious Service Medal which had an all red suspension and service ribbon. There were recorded cases of Navy enlisted personnel who were awarded both the Good Conduct Medal and the Specially Meritorious Service Medal who wore two red service ribbons on their Navy service uniforms; this is one of the rare times in the history of U. S. military awards that two awards had identical ribbons. In the 1950s bronze and silver 3/16 inch stars, with one silver star worn in lieu of five bronze stars, replaced the enlistment bars. Although the medal itself had not changed since 1884, in 1961 a ring suspension for the ribbon and medal combination was adopted, differentiating the suspension from its Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal counterpart and standardizing it with the majority of other service medals.
It is this 1961 version of the Navy Good Conduct Medal, still in use today. The current Navy Good Conduct Medal is issued to every active duty enlisted sailor who completes three years of honorable and faithful service since 1 January 1996. For prior awards to personnel between 1 November 1963 and 1 January 1996, four years of service were required; the four year requirement applies for award of the Navy Good Conduct Medal from its original establishment until 1 November 1963. Additional awards of the Navy Good Conduct Medal are denoted by bronze and silver 3/16 inch stars; the reverse side of the medal has three words, "FIDELITY ZEAL OBEDIENCE" superimposed in a semicircle. Upon 12 years of honorable and faithful service, sailors are allowed to w
The Commendation Medal is a mid-level United States military decoration, presented for sustained acts of heroism or meritorious service. For valorous actions in direct contact with an enemy, but of a lesser degree than required for the award of the Bronze Star Medal, a Commendation Medal with "V" Device or Combat "V" is awarded. On January 7 2016, The "C" Device or Combat "C” was created and may be authorized for wear on the service and suspension ribbon of the Commendation Medal to distinguish an award for meritorious service or achievement under the most arduous combat conditions. A Commendation Medal with Combat Device is unofficially named the “Combat Commendation” and is considered to be a higher level form of the Commendation Medal, regardless of the Awarding Branch. Retroactive award of the “C” device is not approved for medals awarded before 7 January 2016; each branch of the United States Armed Forces issues its own version of the Commendation Medal, with a fifth version existing for acts of joint military service performed under the Department of Defense.
The Commendation Medal was only a service ribbon and was first awarded by the U. S. Navy and U. S. Coast Guard in 1943. An Army Commendation Ribbon followed in 1945, in 1949, the Navy, Coast Guard, Army Commendation ribbons were renamed the "Commendation Ribbon with Metal Pendant". By 1960, the Commendation Ribbons had been authorized as full medals and were subsequently referred to as Commendation Medals. Additional awards of the Army and Air Force Commendation Medals are denoted by bronze and silver oak leaf clusters; the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Coast Guard Commendation Medal are authorized gold and silver 5/16 inch stars to denote additional awards. The Operational Distinguishing Device is authorized for wear on the Coast Guard Commendation Medal upon approval of the awarding authority. Order of Precedence is following the Air Medal but before the Prisoner of War Medal and all campaign medals; each of the military services awards separate Achievement Medals which are below the Commendation Medals in precedence.
The Joint Service Commendation Medal was authorized on 25 June 1963 and is awarded in the name of the Secretary of Defense to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, after 1 January 1963, distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement or service in a joint duty capacity. This award is intended for senior service on a joint military staff and is senior in precedence to service-specific Commendation Medals; as such, it is worn above the service Commendation Medals on a military uniform. DevicesOak leaf cluster "V" Device The Army Commendation Medal is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States other than General Officers who, while serving in any capacity with the U. S. Army after December 6, 1941, distinguished themselves by heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service; the medal may be awarded to a member of another branch of the U. S. Armed Forces or of a friendly foreign nation who, after June 1, 1962, distinguishes themselves by an act of heroism, extraordinary achievement, or significant meritorious service, of mutual benefit to the friendly nation and the United States.
Criteria and appearanceThe Army Commendation Medal is awarded to American and foreign military personnel in the grade of O-6 and below who have performed noteworthy service in any capacity with the United States Army. Qualifying service for the award of the medal can be for distinctive meritorious achievement and service, acts of courage involving no voluntary risk of life, or sustained meritorious performance of duty. Approval of the award must be made by an officer in the grade of higher; the medallion of the Army Commendation Medal is a bronze hexagon, 13⁄8 inches wide. On the medallion is an American bald eagle with wings spread horizontally, grasping in its talons three crossed arrows. On its breast is a shield paly of thirteen pieces and a chief; the reverse bears a panel for naming between the words FOR MILITARY above and MERIT below, all placed above a laurel sprig. The ribbon is 13⁄8 inches wide of myrtle green, it is edged in white and in the center are five thin white stripes spaced apart.
DevicesOak leaf cluster "V" Device "C" Device "R" Device The U. S. Air Force began issuing its own Air Force Commendation Medal in 1958 with additional awards denoted by oak leaf clusters. Prior to this time, USAF recipients received the Army Commendation Medal, it was not until 1996. On January 7, 2016, the "C" device and "R" device was authorized on the Air Force Commendation Medal as well. For USAF enlisted personnel, the Air Force Commendation Medal is worth three points under the Air Force enlisted promotion system. Criteria and appearanceThe Air Force Commendation Medal is awarded to both American and foreign military personnel of any service branch in the U. S. military grade of O-6 and below
Presidential Unit Citation (United States)
The Presidential Unit Citation called the Distinguished Unit Citation, is awarded to units of the Uniformed services of the United States, those of allied countries, for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after 7 December 1941. The unit must display such gallantry and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under difficult and hazardous conditions so as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same campaign. Since its inception by Executive Order on 26 February 1942, retroactive to 7 December 1941, to 2008, the Presidential Unit Citation has been awarded in conflicts such as World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Iraq War, the War in Afghanistan; the collective degree of valor against an armed enemy by the unit nominated for the PUC is the same as that which would warrant award of the individual award of the Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross or Navy Cross. In some cases, one or more individuals within the unit may have been awarded individual awards for their contribution to the actions for which their entire unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation.
The unit with the most Presidential Unit Citations is the USS Parche with 9 citations. The Army citation was established by Executive Order 9075 on 26 February 1942, superseded by Executive Order 9396 on Dec. 2, 1943, which authorized the Distinguished Unit Citation. As with other Army unit citations, the PUC is in a larger frame than other ribbons, is worn above the right pocket. All members of the unit may wear the decoration, whether or not they participated in the acts for which the unit was cited. Only those assigned to the unit at the time of the action cited may wear the decoration as a permanent award. For both the Army and Air Force, the emblem is a solid blue ribbon enclosed in a gold frame; the Air Force PUC was adopted from the Army Distinguished Unit Citation after the Air Force became a separate military branch in 1947. By Executive Order 10694, dated Jan. 10, 1957 the Air Force redesignated the Distinguished Unit Citation as the Presidential Unit Citation. The Air Force PUC is the same color and design as the Army PUC but smaller, so that it can be worn in alignment with other Air Force ribbons on the left pocket following personal awards.
As with the Army, all members of a receiving unit may wear the decoration while assigned to it, but only those assigned to the unit at the time of the action cited may wear the decoration as a permanent award or if any member of a receiving unit had it their last duty station prior to being either discharged or retired they may continue to wear the decoration as prescribed. The Citation is carried on the receiving unit's colors in the form of a blue streamer, 4 ft long and 2.75 in wide. For the Army, only on rare occasions will a unit larger than battalion qualify for award of this decoration. Citations "to Naval and Marine Corps Units for Outstanding Performance in Action" was established by Executive Order 9050 on 6 February 1942; the Navy version has navy blue and red horizontal stripes, is the only Navy ribbon having horizontal stripes. To distinguish between the two versions of the Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy version, more referred to as the Presidential Unit Citation, is referred to as the Navy Presidential Unit Citation and sometimes as the "Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation", the Army and Air Force version is referred to by the Army and Air Force as the Army Presidential Unit Citation and Air Force Presidential Unit Citation.
The ribbon is worn by only by those Navy and Marine service members who were assigned to the unit for the "award period" of the award. In the Army, those who join the unit after the "award period" may wear it while assigned to the unit. ALNan 137-43 states that the first award has a blue enameled star on the ribbon and additional stars for subsequent awards. In 1949, the award changed with no star for bronze stars for subsequent awards. To commemorate the first submerged voyage under the North Pole by the nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus in 1958, all members of her crew who made that voyage were authorized to wear their Presidential Unit Citation ribbon with a special clasp in the form of a gold block letter N. Currently, US Navy sailors assigned to the USS Nautilus memorial at the Submarine Force Museum in Groton, are permitted to wear the Navy Presidential Unit Citation; as of 2014, the same device may be awarded for the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal for those personnel who work in direct support of ICBM operations who serve 179 non-consecutive days dispatched to a missile complex.
To commemorate the first submerged circumnavigation of the world by the nuclear-powered submarine Triton during its shakedown cruise in 1960, all members of her crew who made that voyage were authorized to wear their Presidential Unit Citation ribbon with a special clasp in the form of a golden replica of the globe. United States Coast Guard units may be awarded either the Navy or Coast Guard version of the Presidential Unit Citation, depending on which service the Coast Guard was supporting when the citation action was performed; the current decoration is known as the "Department of Homeland Security Presidential Unit Citation". The original Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation was established under the authority of Executive Order 10694, amended by Section 74 of Executive Order 13286 to transfer the award of the USCG PUC to the Secr
Air Force Specialty Code
The Air Force Specialty Code is an alphanumeric code used by the United States Air Force to identify a specific job. Officer AFSCs enlisted AFSCs consist of five characters. A letter prefix or suffix may be used with an AFSC when more specific identification of position requirements and individual qualifications is necessary; the AFSC is similar to the Military Occupational Specialty Codes used by the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps or enlisted ratings and USN officer designators used by the United States Navy and enlisted ratings and USCG officer specialties used by the United States Coast Guard. After the Air Force separated from the Army in 1947, it retained the Army's system of MOS occupation codes, modifying them in 1954; these were 5-digit codes. In October 1993, the Air Force implemented a new system of AFSCs, aligning occupations with the forcewide restructuring, implemented under Merrill McPeak; these reduced officer AFSCs from 216 to 123 and enlisted AFSCs from 203 to 176.
The enlisted AFSC consists of five alphanumeric characters: Career group Operations Logistics & Maintenance Support Medical Professional Acquisition Special Investigations Special Duty Identifiers used for Airmen chosen for specialized jobs Reporting Identifiers used for Airmen in transitive status: trainees, awaiting retraining, etc. Career field Career field subdivision Skill level1 – Helper 3 – Apprentice 5 – Journeyman 7 – Craftsman 9 – Superintendent 10 – Chief Enlisted Manager Specific AFSC For example, in the AFSC 1N371: The career group is 1 The career field is N The career field subdivision is 3 The skill level is 7 The specific AFSC is 1 For some specialties, an alpha prefix is used to denote a special ability, qualification or system designator not restricted to a single AFSC. Additionally, an alpha suffix denotes positions associated with particular equipment or functions within a single specialty. Using the above example, the AFSC X1N371E would refer to a Germanic Cryptologic Linguist, aircrew qualified and specializes in Afrikaans.
Here is an extended listing of AFSC groups. Most categories have numerous actual AFSCs in them. 1A – Aircrew Operations 1A0X1 – In-Flight Refueling 1A1X1 – Flight Engineer 1A2X1 – Aircraft Loadmaster 1A3X1 – Airborne Mission Systems Operator 1A4X1 – Airborne Operations 1A6X1 – Flight Attendant 1A7X1 – Aerial Gunner 1A8X1 – Airborne Cryptologic Language Analyst 1A8X2 – Airborne Intelligence and Reconnaissance Operator 1A9X1 – Special Missions Aviator 1B – Cyber Warfare 1B4X1 – Cyber Warfare Operations 1C – Command and Control Systems Operations 1C0X2 – Aviation Resource Management 1C1X1 – Air Traffic Control 1C2X1 – Combat Control 1C3X1 – Command and Control Operations 1C4X1 – Tactical Air Control Party 1C5X1 – Command & Control Battle Management Ops 1C6X1 – Space Systems Operations 1C7X1 – Airfield Management 1C8X3 – Radar, Airfield & Weather Systems 1N – Intelligence 1N0X1 – All Source Intelligence Analyst 1N1X1 – Geospatial Intelligence 1N2X1 – Signals Intelligence Analyst 1N3X1 – Cryptologic Language Analyst 1N4X1 – Fusion Analyst 1N7X1 – Human Intelligence Specialist 1P – Aircrew Flight Equipment 1P0X1 – Aircrew Flight Equipment 1S – Safety 1S0X1 – 1S – Safety 1T – Aircrew Protection 1T0X1 – Survival, Evasion and Escape 1T2X1 – Pararescue 1U – Remotely Piloted Aircraft 1U0X1 – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Sensor Operator 1U1X1 – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Pilot 1W – Weather 1W0X1 – Weather 1W0X2 – Special Operations Weather 2A Aerospace Maintenance2A0X1 – Avionics Test Station and Components 2A2X1 – Special Operations Forces/Personnel Recovery Integrated Communication/Navigation/Mission Systems 2A2X2 – Special Operations Forces/Personnel Recovery Integrated Instrument and Flight Control Systems 2A2X3 – Special Operations Forces/Personnel Recovery Integrated Electronic Warfare Systems 2A3X3 – Tactical Aircraft Maintenance 2A3X4 – Fighter Aircraft Integrated Avionics 2A3X5 – Advanced Fighter Aircraft Integrated Avionics 2A3X7 – Tactical Aircraft Maintenance 2A3X8 – Remotely Piloted Aircraft Maintenance 2A5X1 – Airlift/Special Mission Aircraft Maintenance 2A5X2 – Helicopter/Tiltrotor Aircraft Maintenance 2A5X3 – Mobility Air Forces Electronic Warfare Systems 2A5X4 – Refuel/Bomber Aircraft Maintenance 2A6X1 – Aerospace Propulsion 2A6X2 – Aerospace Ground Equipment 2A6X3 – Aircrew Egress Systems 2A6X4 – Aircraft Fuel Systems 2A6X5 – Aircraft Hydraulic Systems 2A6X6 – Aircraft Electrical and Environmental Systems 2A7X1 – Aircraft Metals Technology 2A7X2 – Nondestr
Awards and decorations of the United States Air Force
Awards and decorations of the United States Air Force are military decorations which are issued by the Department of the Air Force to Air Force service members and members of other military branches serving under Air Force commands. Of all five branches of the United States Armed Forces, the United States Air Force maintains the highest number of active awards and decorations, including many without equivalent in any other service. United States Air Force awards were first created in 1947. At that time, Air Force members were eligible to receive most U. S. Army decorations and Air Force veterans of World War II were entitled to continue displaying World War II campaign medals. In 1962, following the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Air Force began a concentrated effort to create its own array of awards and Air Force members could no longer receive decorations of the United States Army as a matter of course. By the end of the Vietnam War, most of the modern day Air Force decorations had been established and Air Force members were entitled to receive and wear all inter-service awards and decorations.
By the start of the 21st century, the Air Force had created several new ribbons as well as an Air Force specific campaign medal known as the Air and Space Campaign Medal. In February 2006, the United States Air Force ceased issuing new awards of the Good Conduct Medal, the medal was reinstated in February 2009; the AFGCM has been back-awarded to those who were in service during the three-year break in new awards. By retroactively awarding those who deserved the medal, it is as if the medal had never been taken away. Air Force members are eligible to receive approved foreign awards and approved international decorations; the issued active Air Force decorations are as follows: Air Force Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service: similar to the military Distinguished Service Medal. A gold-colored medal bearing the Air Force coat of arms with a wreath of laurel leaves. Ribbon is dark-blue silk with three dotted golden-orange lines in the center. Air Force Valor Award: similar to the Airman's Medal.
Gold-colored medal design bearing the Air Force thunderbolt on an equilateral triangle surmounted by the Air Force eagle perched on a scroll inscribed "Valor" within an olive wreath. Ribbon is light blue with four yellow stripes, two dark blue stripes, one red stripe in the center. Air Force Outstanding Civilian Career Service Award: similar to the military Legion of Merit. Bronze medal bearing the Air Force coat of arms with a wreath of laurel leaves. Ribbon is white trimmed in maroon with three maroon stripes in the center. Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award: similar to the military Meritorious Service Medal. Sterling silver medal and lapel emblem bearing the Air Force coat of arms with a wreath of laurel leaves. Lapel emblem with ruby indicates receipt of more than one Meritorious Civilian Service Award. Air Force Command Award for Valor: similar to the military Meritorious Service Medal when awarded for heroism. Sterling silver medal of the same design as the Air Force Valor Award.
Ribbon is one red stripe in the center. Air Force Exemplary Civilian Service Award: For outstanding service supporting a command mission for at least one year or a single act that contributed to command mission. Similar to the military Commendation Medal. Air Force Civilian Achievement Award: For outstanding service for a single, specific act or accomplishment in support of the unit’s mission or goals. Similar to the military Achievement Medal. Secretary of the Air Force Distinguished Public Service Award: For distinguished public service to the Air Force which translates into substantial contributions to the accomplishment of the Air Force mission; this is the highest public service award bestowed to private citizens by the Secretary of the Air Force. Chief of Staff of the Air Force Award for Exceptional Public Service: For Sustained unselfish dedication and exceptional support to the Air Force. Air Force Exceptional Service Award: For exceptional service to the United States Air Force or for an act of heroism involving voluntary risk of life.
Air Force Scroll of Appreciation: For meritorious achievement or service that are voluntary and performed as a public service or patriotic in nature. Air Force Commander's Award for Public Service: For service or achievements which contribute to the accomplishment of the mission of an Air Force activity, command, or staff agency. In 2018, as part of the Air Force's initiative to reduced directive publications, the eight-page AFI 36-2805 was released, superseding 30 previous AFIs. Guidance for special awards was moved to a website at https://access.afpc.af.mil/. Cheney Award Mackay Trophy 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year Lance P. Sijan USAF Leadership Award USAF First Sergeant of the Year Award General and Mrs. Jerome F. O'Malley Award Joan Orr Air Force Spouse of the Year Award Koren Kolligian Jr. Trophy General Thomas D. White USAF Space Trophy General Wilbur L. Creech Maintenance Excellence Award Dr. James G. Roche Sustainment Excellence Award General Lew Allen, Jr. Trophy Lieutenant General Leo Marquez Award Brigadier General Sarah P.
Wells Award Aviator Valor Award General John P. Ju
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
Deborah Lee James
Deborah Roche Lee James served as the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force. She is the second woman, after Sheila Widnall, to hold this position. James was confirmed as 23rd Secretary of the Air Force on December 13, 2013, started her tenure on December 20, 2013. In her position she was responsible for the affairs of the United States Department of the Air Force, including organizing, training and providing for the welfare of its more than 690,000 active-duty, Guard and civilian Airmen and their families, as well as disbursing the Air Force's annual budget. At the beginning of her tenure she dealt with the issues stemming from the USAF budget sequestration in 2013, continued troubles with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, Congressional investigation of the USAF for its handling of sexual assaults, a drug and cheating scandal inside the Air Force Global Strike Command. James was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, in 1958, she grew up in nearby Rumson and graduated from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School in 1976.
She earned her B. A. in Comparative Area Studies from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, earned her Masters Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York City. From 1983 to 1993, James worked as a professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee, where she served as a senior adviser to the Military Personnel and Compensation Subcommittee, the NATO Burden Sharing Panel, the Chairman’s Member Services team. During the administration of President Bill Clinton, from 1993 to 1998, James served in the Pentagon as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. In that position, she was the Secretary of Defense’s senior adviser on all matters pertaining to the 1.8 million National Guard and Reserve personnel worldwide. She supervised a 100-plus-person staff. Prior to her Senate confirmation in 1993, she served as an assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs. For the better part of a decade, James held a variety of positions with Science Applications International Corporation and from 2000 to 2001, she was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Business Executives for National Security.
From 1998 to 2000 she was Vice President of International Operations and Marketing at United Technologies. Prior to being named Secretary of the Air Force, she served as President of SAIC's Technical and Engineering Sector with 8,700 employees. Overall, James has 30 years of senior homeland and national security experience in the U. S. federal government and the private sector. Three weeks after assuming her duties as Secretary, the news came that there were morale problems in the ranks of the AFGSC; the Air Force Office of Special Investigations was looking into alleged use of synthetic drugs by the airmen and uncovered during the probe facts of cheating on monthly proficiency exams at the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. Altogether, 92 officers were identified as involved in cheating scandal. James responded by saying, "this was a failure of some of our Airmen. Over the next year, James visited the three Air Force bases that operate intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, to work with both airmen and senior Air Force officers to provide fixes to the challenges faced.
James has cited USAF's inattention to the nuclear mission, to the point of using a simple test score as, "a top differentiator, if not the sole differentiator on who gets promoted," as one of the reason of morale's deterioration in the ICBM force. She helped to establish the Force Improvement Program, a grass-roots-type feedback program designed to locate actionable recommendations for positive change through one-on-one interviews and surveys, identified more than 300 recommendations for improvement; some of the immediate improvements included funds to upgrade launch control centers, the underground bunkers where airmen and support staff serve 36-hour shifts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Additionally, James oversaw the establishment of the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal, awarded for providing effective nuclear deterrence for the nation. Addressing the 2011–2013 Malmstrom Air Force Base debacle two years at Aspen Security Forum, James said that, "We never found evidence of cheating beyond that one base, but we did find evidence of systemic problems across the board," which were addressed by increasing training and creating development opportunities.
With a congressional mandate to reduce the size of the Air Force, James decided to make cuts to meet the mandated end strength in one-two fiscal years versus over five years, in order to alleviate some uncertainty for Airmen. James addressed concerns, she confirmed that the Air Force was able to achieve force size and shape goals in fiscal year 2014 alleviating the need to conduct involuntary force management programs in fiscal year 2015. This was announced during her online town hall meeting when she told airmen that she heard their concerns with regards to involuntary force management boards; the Air Force began 2014 fiscal year with 330,700 active-duty airmen, by November 6, 2014 its end strength had dropped to 316,500 becoming the smallest it has been since its establishment in 1947. James acknowledged that the Air Force is a force under strain and one of the most impacted forces are those that support remotely p