Air Force Combat Action Ribbon
The Combat Action 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.
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. This will apply to posthumous awards as well.
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.
In addition, while encampments, compounds and protected areas aren't normally qualifying locations for the AFCAM, Airmen augmenting a defensive fighting position could be eligible should they meet the award criteria. 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.
This Air Force Combat Action Ribbon is manufactured by the same government contractor that supplies the U.S. Army, Air Force and Army/Air Force Post Exchanges, it's quality is guaranteed.
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