Service: Air Force
Criteria: Awarded for specific periods of qualifying service in a combat or mission-ready status
Devices: Bronze, Silver Oak Leaf cluster
Authorized on March 9, 1964. Awarded for periods of qualifying service in a combat or mission ready status for direct weapon system employment. Direct weapon system employment is defined as:
(1) An aircrew whose wartime mission places them into enemy territory or in the threat envelope of ground enemy defenses
(2) A missile operation which could employ weapons to destroy enemy targets and
(3) Individuals who directly control in-flight manned aircraft whose wartime mission is to seek and destroy enemy targets.
An individual must be a member of a unit subject to combat readiness reporting under Joint Chiefs of Staff requirements, must have completed all prerequisite training and be certified as combat or mission ready in performing the unit’s mission and must be subject to a continuous individual positional evaluation program.