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Ref: AFI 36-2803 Air Force Awards and Decorations Program



How to Write the Meritorious Service Medal Citation



The citation is the text that will be read during the presentation of the award. The text is limited to 15 lines. Below is guidance for writing the Meritorious Service Medal citation.


General Instructions:

Prepare citations on 8-1/2 by 11 inch plain bond paper (landscape) or AF Form 2228.

Use Times New Roman 10 or 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 Roving Sands, 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 Master Sergeant and Staff Sergeant, spell out the complete grade title in the opening sentence and then use the short title (Sergeant) in the remainder of the citation.

Do not separate the rank from the name. They should be always listed together.



Opening Sentence:

Use one of the two Opening Sentence formats shown below. An award for a period of service (PCS, etc) should use format 1. An award for a specific achievement should use format 2.

(1)  Master Sergeant Joe B. Smith distinguished himself in the performance of outstanding service to the United States as (duty title)   OR   (while assigned to the (office or unit) from _________to___________).

OR

(2)  Master Sergeant Joe B. Smith distinguished himself by outstanding achievement as (duty title)  OR   (while assigned to the (office or unit),   (on ___________)  OR   (from ________to________).



Narrative Description:

Use one of the two Narrative formats shown below. An award for a period of service (PCS, etc) should use format 1. An award for a specific achievement should use format 2.

(1)   During this period, the outstanding professional skill, leadership, and ceaseless efforts of Sergeant Smith resulted in major contributions to the effectiveness and success of Air Force (programs). Add a couple of sentences here that describe the problems resolved or calamity prevented.

OR

(2)   In this important assignment, Sergeant Smith’s outstanding leadership and devotion to duty were instrumental factors in the resolution of many problems of major importance to the Air Force. Add a couple of sentences here that describe the problems resolved or calamity prevented.



Closing Sentence:

Use the top/standard Closing Sentence format shown below for all purposes except for Retirement, Separation, or Posthumous award. In those cases, use the formats below.

(Standard)   The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Sergeant Smith reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

OR

Retirement Award. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Sergeant Smith culminate a (long and) distinguished career in the service of his country and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

OR

Separation Award. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Sergeant Smith while serving his country reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

OR

Posthumous Award. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Sergeant Smith in the dedication of his service to his country reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.







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