The Aerial Achievement Medal was established on February 3, 1988 and has been in effect since January 1, 1990. It is awarded to U.S. Air Force personnel for sustained meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. It is not awarded for single event flights. In contrast to the normal procedure for award of all other military decorations, the individual performance which may qualify for the Aerial Achievement Medal can vary based on the requirements and criteria established by each Major Air Force Command. This is due to the many variations posed by each Command’s location, mission, environment, available aircraft types, local political conditions and the general world situation.
The American bald eagle is depicted on the front of the Aerial Achievement Medal just below 13 stars symbolic of the original colonies and in front of two intercepting arcs symbolic of flight paths. The eagle is clutching six lightning bolts which represent the U.S. Air Force. The reverse contains the words “FOR MILITARY MERIT” surrounding a space for engraving the awardees name. Additional awards of the Aerial Achievement Medal are denoted by bronze and silver oak leaf clusters.
Service: Air Force
Criteria: Sustained meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight
Devices: Bronze, Silver Oak Leaf Cluster
Notes: Considered on a par with the Air Medal but more likely to be awarded for peacetime actions