The Civilian Aerial Achievement Medal was created in 1988 with the intent to honor Air Force personnel who are not eligible to receive the Air Medal. Recipients of the award, which may be granted to military members by wing commanders or to civilians by the Secretary of the Air Force, are those who have demonstrated a continuously high level of achievement in aerial flight that exceeds the normal expectations. The award extends to personnel who operate unmanned aircraft as well. Eligible civilians are those who demonstrate continued exceptional achievement exceeding expectations.
In order to be eligible for the Aerial Achievement Medal, missions and positions must receive approval from MAJCOMs.
The medal is silver and features a right-facing eagle with wings extended. The eagle is grasping six bolts of lightning and appears superimposed in front of two arcing flight paths. Thirteen stars--one larger on each end and in the middle--reach across the upper portion of the medal. The medallion is circular in shape, with a tail shape extending out slightly from the bottom. The tips of the eagle’s wings extend slightly beyond the rim of the medal on the sides. The ribbon is bisected by a thin vertical light blue stripe flanked on either side by a thicker stripe of yellow, dark blue, and light blue proceeding outward.
Subsequent awards may be indicated by oak leaf clusters.