The Air Force Achievement Medal is the U.S. Air Force-specific version of the Achievement Medal. The award category was established in order to offer recognition to junior officers and other personnel who do not meet the eligibility criteria for the Meritorious Service Medal or the Commendation Medal; the Air Force version was authorized in 1980 by the Secretary of the Air Force.
Each branch of the military offers a version of the award, and the United States Department of Defense has also authorized a version of the award to recognize joint activity among more than one branch.
The Air Force Achievement Medal recognizes notable achievements and meritorious service within the Air Force. Junior personnel who have committed acts of bravery of a lesser degree than those eligible for the Air Force Commendation Medal may receive this award. The awarding of the medal is at the discretion of local commanders.
The image on the medallion is adapted from the official Air Force Seal and features thunderbolts and wings. The reverse of the medal reads “AIR FORCE MERITORIOUS ACHIEVEMENT” in a circle around the edge. The ribbon is silver gray with three sets of four blue vertical stripes.
Oak leaf clusters may be granted for additional awards, as well as the bronze “V” device in instances of valor.