Service: Air Force
Criteria: Heroism involving voluntary risk of life under conditions other than those of actual conflict with an armed enemy
Devices: Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Authorized on August 10, 1956 and instituted on July 6, 1960, the authorizing directive was an amendment to the same order which created the Soldier’s Medal (prior to that time, USAF personnel qualifying for such an award were awarded the Soldier’s Medal).
The Airman’s Medal is awarded for actions involving voluntary risk of life under conditions other than combat. A successful voluntary heroic act or the saving of a life is not essential to the award of this decoration.
The American bald eagle is depicted on the face of the medal along with the Greek god Hermes, herald and messenger of other gods. Around the edge of the medal is the curved inscription, “AIRMAN’S” on the left and “MEDAL” on the right. The reverse contains space for engraving just below the inscription, “FOR VALOR.”