USAF Details Eligibility for New Remote Ops Medal

Remote Combat Effects Campaign Medal. Air Force graphic by SSgt. Sahara Fales.

The Air Force this week detailed who will be eligible for a new award aimed at recognizing those who participated in combat operations from afar.

The Remote Combat Effects Campaign Medal, first announced in May, will be awarded to airmen in remotely piloted aircraft, cyber, space, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance career fields who “create direct combat effects from remote locations and lead to strategic outcomes or the delivery of lethal force,” according to an Oct. 28 Air Force release. Airmen from other career fields can also be considered for the award on a case-by-case basis.

To receive the award, servicemembers must meet certain conditions:

  • Assigned or attached to a unit directly in support of a Defense Department combat operation.
  • Served in one of the named career fields.
  • Personally provided “hands-on employment” of a weapon system that directly impacted combat operations.
  • Was not physically exposed to hostile actions.

Qualifying operations include Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Nomad Shadow, Freedom’s Sentinel, Inherent Resolve, Odyssey Lightning, and Pacific Eagle—Philippines. Airmen who have already received a medal or ribbon for a certain campaign or expedition cannot receive another award for the same service, according to the release.

“Our remote operations community makes vital contributions to our national security and the security of our allies,” USAF Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said. “These airmen play a crucial role in every campaign we undertake, and this medal is for them.”