Back to Air Force Commendation Medal
The citation is the text that will be read during the presentation of the award. It can only be 13 lines long so it's not that hard. If the award is for meritorious service (a lengthy period of exemplary service), the EPRs written during the assignment are a good source of material. Below is guidance for writing the Air Force Commendation Medal citation.
Prepare citations on 8-1/2 by 11 inch plain bond paper (landscape) or AF Form 2224, Air Force Commendation Medal.
Use Times New Roman 12 point font.
Use the mandatory opening and closing sentences listed below.
Final text must be perfect with no corrections.
Citations must capture the substance of the decoration with dignity and clarity.
The narrative is a short description of the act, achievement, or service. Be specific on facts and limit to no more than two sentences, if possible. Emphasize the individual's mission contribution and use active voice and forceful verbs.
The use of common exercise or code names (such as Team Spirit, Bright Star, etc.) is acceptable in citations . Do not use any abbreviations other than Jr., Sr., II, etc. Do not use symbols (the exception is the dollar sign) and do not use abbreviations. Even common abbreviations should be spelled out (USAF, DoD, AFB, etc).
Do not use zeros in front of single-digit dates (ex. 1 Jan 06).
For compound grade titles, such as Staff Sergeant and Senior Airman, spell out the complete grade title in the opening sentence and then use the short title (Sergeant, Airman, etc) in the remainder of the citation.
Do not separate the rank from the name. They should be always listed together.
For recognizing a lengthy period of exemplary service (meritorious service) or outstanding achievement:
Staff Sergeant Crystal A. Smith distinguished herself by (meritorious service OR outstanding achievement OR an act of courage) as (duty assignment and office OR while assigned to _____(office/unit) from _____to _____).
For recognizing a shorter period of service, a one-time act or achievement or act of courage:
Staff Sergeant Crystal A. Smith distinguished herself by (outstanding achievement OR an act of courage) (at or near) on (date).
For Service or Achievement: During this period, the professional skill, leadership, and ceaseless efforts of Sergeant Smith contributed to the effectiveness and success of... Here's where you add two or three sentences describing the person's accomplishment.
For an Act of Courage: Example: On that date, Sergeant Smith arrived on the scene of an automobile accident which seriously injured the driver of the vehicle. Without hesitation, Sergeant Smith went to the aid of the injured victim, expertly administered first aid, and remained with him until arrival of professional assistance.
The distinctive accomplishments of Sergeant Smith reflect credit upon herself and the United States Air Force.
Act of Courage. By her prompt action and humanitarian regard for her fellowman, Sergeant Smith has reflected credit upon herself and the United States Air Force.
Retirement Award. The distinctive accomplishments of Sergeant Smith culminate a (long and) distinguished career in the service of her country and reflect credit upon herself and the United States Air Force.
Separation Award. The distinctive accomplishments of Sergeant Smith while serving her country reflect credit upon herself and the United States Air Force.
Posthumous Award. The distinctive accomplishments of Sergeant Smith in the dedication of her service to her country reflect credit upon herself and the United States Air Force.
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