AIR FORCE COMMENDATION

The Air Force Commendation Medal is awarded to Air Force personnel whose level of service or achievements is distinctive (though not necessarily unique). It is also bestowed for courageous act which do not rise to the level necessary for the Airman's Medal, which requires the voluntary risk of life.
 
The medal may be given more than once, with subsequent awards marked by bronze oak leaves. Silver oak leaves are awarded in lieu of five bronze. A “V” device  signifying valor was authorized 1996, and twenty years later the Department of Defense approved two more attachments for wear on the medal: the “C” and “R” devices. The “C” was created to recognize meritorious service under combat conditions (though direct exposure to hostile action is not required), while the “R” device was established to denote that the recipient’s hands-on employment of a weapon system while not exposed (or at significant risk of exposure) to hostile enemy action had a “direct and immediate impact” on a combat or military operations. With the addition of these authorized devices, the Air Force Commendation became one of just five medals for which the "V," "C," and "R" devices may be issued.

The medal is a bronze hexagon with one point up inscribed with the seal of the Air Force: an eagle is superimposed over a circle symbolizing clouds. The eagle's wings are spread, and it is perched on a baton. Below the eagle is a shield featuring a pair of flyer's wings and a vertical baton with an eagle's claw at either end. The shield is superimposed over eight lightning bolts.
 
The medal hangs from a ribbon with a wide yellow stripe flanked by blue stripes.
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