Air Force Combat Action Medal

Air Force Combat Action Medal


Click here to buy this medal/ribbon

Airmen are eligible for the combat action medal if their primary role includes performing duties in a combat zone, either on the ground or from the air, by entering into an unsecured area away from an established installation. While performing their duties, they must have come under fire or fire upon an enemy to qualify. A combat zone is defined as a geographic area for which an Airman receives imminent danger/hostile fire pay.

Aircrew members must be flying in direct support of a combat zone and in combat. They also must be performing official duties and not manifested as a passenger. While performing close air support, taking fire from an enemy is not a prerequisite as long as the Airman is at great risk.

Award eligibility is retroactive to Sept. 11, 2001, through a date to be determined and is available across the total force. Personnel no longer on active duty can submit packages to the Board for Correction of Military Records.

Only one can be awarded during a qualifying period, and for now, operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom count as one eligible time frame. In addition, there are no promotion points for the AFCAM.

The medal is designed to evoke Air Force heritage, scarlet with diagonal yellow stripes - adapted from the art insignia on the aircraft of Gen. Billy Mitchell, who coordinated the first air-to-ground offensive in history. Further, the AFCAM features an eagle grasping arrows in one talon and an olive branch in the other, the arrows reflecting preparedness for war while the olive branch represents a goal of peace, according to official Air Force wear guidance.

For more information, Airmen should contact their local military personnel flight or the Air Force Contact Center at DSN 665-5000 or (800) 616-3775.

Text adopted from