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Submitting someone for a medal is one of the most satisfying things a supervisor can do. The results are so positive and far-reaching that it's almost magic. Not only do you get to express your appreciation for someone who deserves it, the person who was recommended is even happier than you. They're ecstatic that someone recognized their efforts and took the time to make the recommendation. And the promotion points are an added bonus. And...recommending someone for an award makes you look good. It demonstrates that you're taking care of your troops. And finally, the Commander is happy --both with you for being a top-notch NCO and about being able to hand out an award. Commanders love to present awards. It makes them look good and they're happy to have an opportunity to show their appreciation for their troops. The judicious award of medals is good for morale all around.
The easy way to create award citations.
How to Submit Someone For a Medal
The Air Force Achievement Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal are probably the most commonly submitted and awarded decorations in the Air Force. The Air Force has streamlined the process over the last few years and it's easier than ever to submit someone for a medal. All it takes is:
Request a DECOR-6 for the nominee from either your Orderly Room/CSS or MSS/DPMPE. Check with the CSS first. Most units also require that copies of the recipient's last 3 EPRs be submitted along with the completed DECOR-6 as justification. If yours does, you might want to get them now while you're at the MSS to save yourself a trip.
Fill out the Decor 6. This document takes only a few minutes to fill in and it can be handwritten.
Write the citation. This is the text that will be read during the presentation of the award. It can only be 11 - 13 lines so it's not that hard. The introduction and ending must be as directed by AFI 36-2803 so the only part left to write is the narrative, two or three sentences describing the accomplishment between the standard opening and closing statements.
Give the package (the citation text, the completed and signed DECOR 6, and the EPR copies if necessary) to your supervisor. Note that, in the past, in addition to the above, most units required separate written justification for the recommended awards. This usually meant a single sheet of bond paper or AF Form containing bullet statements illustrating how deserving the recommended troop was. Most units no longer require this --the prior EPRs serve the same purpose. (Ref AFI 36-2803, para 126.96.36.199: "You may use copies of EPR/OPRs, covering the award period, to justify the AFCM or the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM).")
If your unit does require additional justification, use AF Form 642 or AF Form 2274 for documenting justification for an Achievement Medal. Use AF Form 642 or bond paper for documenting justification for a Commendation Medal. Use bond paper for justifying an MSM. Note that DISA has its own submission requirements and requires justification for an MSM on a DISA Form 530.
Instructions & Examples
If you've never submitted someone for a decoration before it might seem a little complicated but it's not really that hard. All awards follow a prescribed format which is outlined in the applicable AFI (AFI 36-2803, The Air Force Awards and Decorations program). All that needs to be done is to fill in the details. But sometimes, when you're trying to write the citation, it's hard to get your thoughts flowing, to accurately convey what you want to say. That's what this site is for. We're in the process of collecting awards and decoration examples to make the job easier. Please check back often as this is a work in progress.
How to prepare a recommendation for the:
A collection of over 1,300 common Air Force award and performance report phrases. (uncategorized) 93 pages.
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