New ribbon available for deployed airmen
October 1, 2003
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air Force has a new ribbon for active-duty, Reserve and Guard members who have served in support of an air expeditionary force deployment.
Called the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon, the multicolored decoration will be awarded to any airman who has completed a contingency deployment after Oct. 1, 1999, and who was deployed for either 45 consecutive days or a total of 90 nonconsecutive days, according to officials at the Air Force’s Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.
Deployments that qualify towards the 90 days would have had OIF [Operation Iraqi Freedom], OEF [Operation Enduring Freedom] or CEM [Contingency Exercise and Mobility] on the airman’s orders or travel voucher, said Staff Sgt. Matt Miller, a spokesman from the Personnel Center.
Any contingency deployment qualifies, regardless of the duty, destination or location of the temporary duty — including those within the continental United States, officials said.
“We have a lot of Guard types doing contingency operations [in the United States] in support of the home front,” Miller said.
To get credit for days toward the award, airmen should bring a copy of their deployment orders and completed travel voucher to their military personnel flight office. Any citations or certificates received while deployed may also help prove entitlement, officials said.
Airmen whose orders don’t identify the trip as a contingency deployment, but think it should qualify, can ask their squadron commanders to decide, and then to give the personnel flight office a memo that validates the deployment and says how many days of the trip should be eligible to count for the ribbon.
There is no time limit to accumulate the 90 nonconsecutive days, and airmen can accumulate more than one ribbon: once the first ribbon is awarded, every consecutive 45 days of deployment counts towards the devices, such as the oak leaf cluster, that signify multiple awards.