This medal is awarded to members of the United States Air Force who participate in or directly support a significant United States military operation designated by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. The medal is awarded only to personnel who provide direct support of combat operations from outside a geographic area determined by the Joints Chiefs of Staff.
Service members must be assigned or attached to a unit engaged in the operation. Personnel must be engaged in direct support for at least thirty consecutive days or for sixty non-consecutive days. For this medal, "direct support" is defined as (1) deploying in support of an operation, or (2) if at a home station, performing functions or missions that historically were deployed forward, or entirely new and future missions, which due to technological advances, are no longer constrained by geographic location. This includes, but is not limited to, sortie generation, intelligence, surveillance, targeting, computer network attack operations, etc.