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Combat Readiness Medal

Combat Readiness Medal
Combat Readiness Medal
Awarded by Department of the Air Force
Type Service medal
Eligibility Members of the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve
Awarded for "Accomplished sustained individual combat mission readiness or undertaken the preparedness for direct weapon-system employment"
Status Current
Established 9 March 1964
Next (higher) Prisoner of War Medal
Equivalent Air Force Good Conduct Medal

Combat Readiness Medal ribbon

The Combat Readiness Medal is an award of the United States Air Force which was first created in 1964. The original Combat Readiness Medal was an award senior to the Air Force Commendation Medal, and it was awarded for superior and meritorious duty to the United States Air Force. The award criteria for the medal were revised in 1967 and the Combat Readiness Medal adopted the designation as a service medal.[1]

The current Combat Readiness Medal is awarded to any member of U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard, or Air Force Reserve, who have accomplished sustained individual combat mission readiness in an Air Force weapon system or who have undertaken the preparedness for direct weapon-system employment. A service member must have completed 24 cumulative months of sustained duty performance for the medal to be received.[1]

The Combat Readiness Medal is given as a service award by an Air Force Major Headquarters. In many cases, those receiving the award have also qualified for the Air Medal, the Aerial Achievement Medal or the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal. For aeronautically rated Air Force officers and enlisted aircrew personnel, it is not to receive one or both of the aforementioned flight crew medals simultaneous with the Combat Readiness Medal.

The medal was designed by the Institute of Heraldry. On the obverse, it has an inverted triangle on top of a delta-swept winglike object, both representing supersonic aircraft. This design is enclosed by a stylized compass rose, with triangles at the points, indicating the worldwide nature of the mission of the Air Force. The reverse of the medal has the inscription, "For Combat Readiness--Air Force" in a circle, near the outer edge of the medal. The ribbon has a wide center stripe of red, flanked on either side by a narrow stripe of light blue, thin stripe of dark blue, narrow stripe of light blue with a stripe of red at the edge.[1]

Multiple presentations of the Combat Readiness Medal are authorized, with additional awards denoted by oak leaf clusters.[1] The Combat crew badge, a qualification accoutrement worn by crew members collecting time towards the medal, is no longer awarded.

If an Air Force member has the Combat Readiness Medal and does the Blue to Green program (Air Force to Army transition) they are still authorized to wear the medal, but unlike in the Air Force, it will be worn as the last medal/ribbon, but before any foreign awards. In the vernacular, the medal is often referred to as the "Jewish Medal," due to the medal's similarity to the Star of David.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Combat Readiness Medal "Combat Readiness Medal" . Air Force Personnel Center. 3 August 2010. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  2. ^ Air Force Times. December 2003. 
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