Air Force Achievement Medal
Service: Air Force
Criteria: Outstanding achievement or meritorious service not warranting award of the Air Force Commendation Medal
Devices: Bronze, Silver Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Letter “V”
The Air Force Achievement Medal was established by the Secretary of the Air Force on October 12, 1980 and may be awarded to U.S. military personnel below the rank of colonel for meritorious service or outstanding achievement. This medal is the first decoration established for Air Force personnel under Air Force authority. The primary use of the medal has been to recognize specific individual achievements or accomplishments rather than continuing periods of service such as might be associated with a change in permanent assignment, although it has been used for end of tour recognition for some junior ranking personnel. A bronze letter “V” was authorized retroactive to January 11, 1996 for those receiving the award for actions during combat conditions, hostile acts or single acts of terrorism. The first instances of the “V” device being awarded with the medal were to airmen who received the medal for actions during the 1996 terrorist bombing of an Air Force dormitory in Saudi Arabia. The front of the medal has eleven cog-like shapes on the outer border; within the medal are a set of wings with four thunderbolts crossing through them. The reverse of the medal bears the circular inscription, “AIR FORCE MERITORIOUS ACHIEVEMENT” around its outer edge.