The United States Congress established the Air Force Cross in 1964; it is the second highest military honor that United States Air Force personnel may receive and is granted for exceptional feats of heroism in combat that do not qualify for the higher-ranking Medal of Honor. The Air Force Cross is equivalent in rank and criteria to the Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, and Coast Guard Cross.
The medal is a bronze cross shape and features an eagle in the center against a cloud. A green laurel wreath surrounds the eagle. The ribbon is light blue with a thin white vertical stripe on each edge and a slightly thinner white stripe at the interior of the red.