This award was authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force on Oct. 20, 1980. It is awarded to Air Force personnel for outstanding achievement or meritorious service rendered specifically on behalf of the Air Force. It may also be awarded for acts of courage lesser than for award of the AFCM. The distinctive outer border of this medal (pictured below) is composed of 11 "cloudlike" shapes, centered on the obverse a medallion portraying thunderbolts and wings, signifying striking power through aerospace, adapted from the Seal of the Air Force. This striking medal was designed by Capt. Robert C. Bonn, Jr., USAF. On the reverse of the medal in raised letters is the circular inscription, "Air Force Meritorious Achievement."
The ribbon has three sets of four vertical stripes of ultramarine blue on a silver gray background.
A bronze oak leaf cluster is awarded for each additional award of the AFAM. Award of the "V" device for a contingency deployment operation will be dependent upon the area of responsibility (AOR) being declared a hostile environment by the JCS, or hostile acts identified by the unified commander or higher authority. Award of the "V" device is authorized only for events or situations which occured on or after 11 Jan 96. Authorized Device: Oak leaf Cluster