Air Force Commendation Medal
Display Recognition

Site Index

      • Example Display Recognition
      • Display Types
      • Issue Requirements
      • Issue Regulations
      • Who May Apply
      • Administration Processing and Delivery
      • How To Apply For This Display Recognition and/or Medal
      • Mailing Address
      • Questions?
      • Other Display Recognitions
      • Air Force Service Websites
      • Example Display Recognition:
        Actual Size: 8 1/2 x 11



        Who May Apply

        • Veteran recipients
        • Active Duty recipients
        • Family Members of recipients
        • Estate Inheritors

        Display Types

        You have four display types to choose from:
        Black & White (No Color)
        Heavy Bond Enclosure

        Heavy Bond Enclosure
        Colors: Regal, Black, Navy
        Trimmed inAppearance Gold

        Ready for Mantle or Shelf Display

        Issue Requirements
        You must submit the following:

      • An unaltered photocopy of your DD-214, WD AGO, NAVPERS, NG or other military issued document clearly displaying your award of the Air Force Commendation Medal.
      • Contact The War Library if you do not have a DD-214, WD AGO, NAVPERS, NG or other Report of Separation: 1-562-422-4100.
      • NOTICE

        This Display Recognition is available ONLY to authorized recipients who possess orders, or authorization form, or release documentation that confirms award eligibility. (See "Issue Requirements"). To obtain either a Display Medal or a Display Recognition for your authorized award you will be required to provide military-issued documentation authorizing your award. There are no exceptions.

        WARNING!
        You must NOT submit a military issued document or photocopy that:

        • has been altered in any way by you after
          the original's official issue
        • contains information or corrections or
          additions that you entered
        • lists awards or training you knowingly did not receive
        • contains highlighting, colorizing or other markings you entered

        Be advised that on request any knowingly fraudulent document sent by you will be released to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that may result in prosecution and/or fine/imprisonment.

        Email Questions, or Phone / Fax: 1-562-422-4100

        Personnel Branch
        Processing and Delivery

        Style Admin Shipping Total
        Full Color .PDF (Printable) $7.50 Emailed $7.50
        Published Document only (Full Color) $14.00 $8.35 $22.35
        Published Document in Heavy Bond Enclosure (Full Color) $19.00 $8.35 $27.35
        Full Color Printable Certificates
        on CD-Rom (minimum 20 Certificates)
        $7.50 $7.50 By Count

      • Total/Shipping fees, above, apply to 50 U.S. states
      • Contact The War Library for international shipping cost
      • How to Apply

        You may apply for your Display Recognition using a...

      • Check Debit card (* Shipped within 1 week)
      • Charge card (* Shipped within 1 week)
      • Personal, Business, Bank or Cashiers Check ( Shipped in 6 weeks)
      • Money Order (* Shipped within 1 week)
      • (* Upon reception of required documentation)

        Complete and MAIL this APPLICATION FORM.
        Don't forget to include an unaltered COPY of your DD-214, WD AGO 53-55 or other pre-arranged document(s).

        DISPLAY RECOGNITION and/or MEDAL APPLICATION FORM

        Mailing Address

        Records Chief (REC-AMW)
        The American War Library
        817 East Via Carmelitos Ste 319
        Long Beach CA 90805-7549

        Questions?

        Click here for answers to common questions

        Email: Air Force Commendation Medal Display Recognition Inquiry

        Telephone: 1-562-422-4100

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        Issue Regulations


        Air Force Commendation Medal

        Establishing Authority


        Click for larger image

        The Air Force Commendation Medal was established by Secretary of the Air Force James H. Douglas, Jr. and promulgated in Air Force General Orders Number 16 of March 28, 1958.

        Effective Dates

        The Air Force Commendation Medal has been in effect since March 24, 1958 (earlier awards used the Army Commendation Medal).

        Criteria

        The Air Force Commendation Medal may be awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States below the grade of Brigadier General who, while serving in any capacity with the Air Force, distinguish themselves by heroism, outstanding achievement, or by meritorious service not of a sufficient nature to justify a higher award.

        Order of Precedence

        The Air Force Commendation Medal is worn after the Joint Service Commendation Medal and before the Joint Service Achievement Medal.

        Devices

        Additional awards of the Air Force Commendation Medal are denoted by oak leaf clusters. Effective January 11, 1996 the bronze V device may be worn on Commendation Medals awarded for heroic actions that do not qualify for a Bronze Star provided the action occurs during a contingency operation that the Joint Chiefs of Staff has declared as a "hostile environment." Single heroic acts performed during terrorist acts and isolated combat incidents may also qualify, but the device may not be authorized for heroic acts that take place during peacetime.

        Designer/Sculptor

        The Air Force Commendation Medal was designed and sculpted by Thomas Hudson Jones (1892-1969) of the Army's Institute of Heraldry.

        First Recipient

        The first recipient of the Air Force Commendation Medal is unknown.

        Description and Symbolism

        Obverse

        The medal is a bronze hexagon (one point up) one and three-eighths inches wide with a raised border. The medal is finished in a light brown patina. In the center is the Air Force Coat of Arms. Above the Coat of Arms is an eagle with its wings displayed so that its wingtips are in front of the raised border. Behind the eagle is a cloud formation.

        Reverse

        In the same hexagon and towards the bottom of the medal, a plaque for inscribing the recipient's name. Above the plaque (in three lines), the inscription FOR MILITARY MERIT in raised letters, with the word MILITARY slightly arched.

        Ribbon

        The ribbon to the Air Force Commendation Medal is predominantly yellow, with its center bisected by a stripe of Air Force Blue. This center stripe is edged in yellow which is followed on both sides by a blue pinstripe. The outer portion of the ribbon is also edged in blue. The yellow and blue were selected because they are the Air Force colors.

        1. Description: (Front) The medal is a bronze hexagon (one point up) one and three-eighths inches wide with a raised border. The medal is finished in a light brown patina. In the center is the Air Force Coat of Arms. Above the Coat of Arms is an eagle with its wings displayed so that its wingtips are in front of the raised border. Behind the eagle is a cloud formation.

        (Reverse Side) In the same hexagon and towards the bottom of the medal, a plaque for inscribing the recipient's name. Above the plaque (in three lines), the inscription FOR MILITARY MERIT in raised letters, with the word MILITARY slightly arched.

        2. Ribbon: The ribbon to the Air Force Commendation Medal is predominantly yellow, with its center bisected by a stripe of Air Force Blue. This center stripe is edged in yellow which is followed on both sides by a blue pinstripe. The outer portion of the ribbon is also edged in blue. The yellow and blue were selected because they are the Air Force colors.

        3. Criteria: The Air Force Commendation Medal may be awarded to members of the Armed Forces of the United States below the grade of Brigadier General who, while serving in any capacity with the Air Force, distinguish themselves by heroism, outstanding achievement, or by meritorious service not of a sufficient nature to justify a higher award.

        4. Components: Additional awards of the Air Force Commendation Medal are denoted by oak leaf clusters. Effective January 11, 1996 the bronze V device may be worn on Commendation Medals awarded for heroic actions that do not qualify for a Bronze Star provided the action occurs during a contingency operation that the Joint Chiefs of Staff has declared as a "hostile environment." Single heroic acts performed during terrorist acts and isolated combat incidents may also qualify, but the device may not be authorized for heroic acts that take place during peacetime.

        5. Background: The Air Force Commendation Medal was established by Secretary of the Air Force James H. Douglas, Jr. and promulgated in Air Force General Orders Number 16 of March 28, 1958. The Air Force Commendation Medal was designed and sculpted by Thomas Hudson Jones (1892-1969) of the Army's Institute of Heraldry.

        This medal was authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force on March 28, 1958, for award to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving in any capacity with the Air Force after March 24, 1958, shall have distinguished themselves by meritorious achievement and service. The degree of merit must be distinctive, though it need not be unique. Acts of courage which do not involve the voluntary risk of life required for the Soldier's Medal (or the Airman's Medal now authorized for the Air Force) may be considered for the AFCM.

        The medal (pictured below) is a bronze hexagon, with one point up, centered upon which is the seal of the Air Force, an eagle with wings spread, facing left, perched upon a baton. There are clouds in the background. Below the seal is a shield bearing a pair of flyer's wings and a vertical baton with an eagle's claw at either end; behind the shield are eight lightning bolts.

        An example of the citation that usually accompanies the award of the Air Force Commendation follows, "Captain Evans A. Kerrigan distinguished himself by meritorious service as Instructor Navigator and Standardization/Evaluation Instructor, KC-135, 509th Air Refueling Squadron, 509th Bombardment Wing, SAC, Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire, February 19, 1984 to May 16, 1988. During this period, Captain Kerrigan's superior performance and outstanding dedication led to significant improvements in the unit's combat readiness, contributing immeasurably to the performance of its worldwide missions. The distinctive accomplishments of Captain Kerrigan reflect credit upon himself and the United States Air Force."

        A bronze oak leaf cluster is awarded for each additional award of the AFCM. Award of the "V" device for a contingency deployment operation will be dependent upon the area of responsibility (AOR) being declared a hostile environment by the JCS, or hostile acts identified by the unified commander or higher authority. Award of the "V" device is authorized only for events or situations which occured on or after 11 Jan 96.