Aerial Achievement Medal

Aerial Achievement Medal

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The Aerial Achievement Medal is awarded to U.S. military and civilian personnel for sustained meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. The achievements must be accomplished with distinction above and beyond that normally expected of professional Airmen.

The medal is a bronze disc with an eagle and outstretched wings facing to its right, about one and three-eighths inches in diameter,. The tips of the eagle's wings extend beyond the edge bringing the medal to an overall width of one and three-quarters inches. Above the eagle, and following the contour of its upper quarter (but just inside its raised edge) are13 five-pointed stars with points up. The stars on either end of this array and the one in the center are larger than the remaining ten.

Behind the eagle are two intersecting arcs which cross behind the eagle's head. The eagle is clutching a cluster of six lightning bolts in its talons, and the bottom two extend beyond the rim of the medal forming a triangular configuration of which the bottom leg is the lower rim of the medal.

The eagle is the American bald eagle, a symbol of the United States, and its wings extending beyond the boundaries of the medal allude to freedom. The13 stars allude to the 13 original colonies and thereby to all of the United States; the arcs represent the flight paths of aircraft, while the lightning bolts represent the Air Force.

On the reverse of the medal, a raised plaque appears in the center of the reverse. Above the plaque are the words, FOR MILITARY and below the plaque, MERIT.

The ribbon is predominately colored "bird blue" bordered on either side by stripe of "golden yellow" and edged with "flag blue."

The medal was established by the Secretary of the Air Force on Feb. 3, 1988, and is awarded by the Department of the Air Force. Major commands will identify the missions and positions that qualify for this award. Headquarters Air Staff must certify MAJCOM criteria. Approval or disapproval authority is delegated to wing commanders for military and Secretary of the Air Force for civilians.