Air Force Medals and Ribbons
Combat Readiness Medal
Authorized by the Secretary of the Air Force on March 9, 1964, as amended Aug. 28, 1967. Originally created as a personal decoration ranking above the Commendation Medals, Lifesaving Medals and the Purple Heart, its current status has been changed to an achievement/service medal. It is awarded to members of the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve, and to members of other services after Aug. 1, 1960, for sustained individual combat or mission readiness or preparedness for direct weapon-system employment. Specifically, a service member must meet the following criteria: Complete an aggregate 24 months of sustained professional performance as a member of U.S. Air Force combat or mission-ready units subject to combat readiness reporting. Or be individually certified as combat or mission ready and have maintained individual readiness the entire period according to a major headquarters, or subject to an individual positional evaluation program according to a higher headquarters standard. The term "Combat Ready" is defined as being professionally and technically qualified in an aircraft crew position in an aircraft that can be used in combat.
This striking medal (pictured below) 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 world-wide 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.