10/10/2014 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force officials released nomination criteria for the new Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal, following Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James' May 27, 2014, authorization.
The medal will be awarded to individuals for their direct support of nuclear deterrence operations.
"This service medal provides a clearly visible way to recognize the
dedication and professionalism of our Airmen who are the guardians of
our nation's nuclear deterrence. Because of our success, often times
nuclear deterrence operations can be overlooked as a critical function,"
said Col. Zannis Pappas, the missile operations career field manager.
"The medal acknowledges the special challenges faced by those Airmen
charged with supporting the nuclear enterprise and will be a point of
pride by all who wear it."
Service members may be awarded the nuclear deterrence medal if they were
assigned, deployed or mobilized to a wing, center or below in support
of the nuclear enterprise for 120 consecutive days or 179 nonconsecutive
days. Subsequent awards will only be authorized when a permanent change
of station to a qualifying unit has occurred.
"The Air Force continues to demonstrate its support to the most vital
part of the nuclear enterprise - the Airmen," said Maj. Gen. Garrett
Harencak, Air Force assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence
and nuclear integration. "This medal exists as a tangible way to
acknowledge the importance of this mission and the dedication and pride
that the men and women in the nuclear community show to their country.
Having secretary of the Air Force-level interest testifies to the
importance of this decoration and impact on nuclear operations."
The medal will be worn with an "N" device for those who dispatched to a
missile complex for 179 nonconsecutive days in direct support of
intercontinental ballistic missile operations or are in direct support
of nuclear laden aircraft. Only one "N" device will be worn, regardless
of the number of qualifying assignments. An oak leaf cluster will be
worn for subsequent awards, which will only be authorized when a PCS has
Eligibility for the medal is retroactive to Dec. 27, 1991. Nominations
for currently serving Airmen will be processed through their respective
chain of command.
A member's current group commander is considered the awarding authority
for the medal. Retired or separated Airmen can submit a request
submitted to the Air Force Personnel Center recognition section for
validation. The award can be presented posthumously, as well, so family
members of deceased Airmen can also contact AFPC for information.
The medal is currently under development with a projected date of availability through the Defense Supply System of March 2015.
For more information and full eligibility criteria, go to myPers by clicking here.
Guard, Reserve, retired and separated Airmen and their family members
may contact the Air Reserve Personnel Center at 800-525-0102, for
(Information courtesy of the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Office)