On June 18, 2003, the Secretary of the Air Force approved the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon as recognition for deployed status. The Air
Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon (AFESR) is awarded to Air Force active duty, Reserve and Guard personnel who complete a contingency deployment after Oct. 1, 1999.
This is an Air Force achievement award and consists of a ribbon-only (there
is no medal).
-- The Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon is awarded to military
members of the Air Force who are credited with completion of a contingency deployment.
-- Deployment is defined as either deployment on contingency, exercise, deployment orders or members sourced in direct support (in-theater or out) of expeditionary operations with an overnight away-from-home station, destination or location of the temporary duty.
-- There is no time limit to accumulate the 90 non-consecutive days (members keep accumulating contingency temporary duty days until they reach 90 days).
-- The intent of this ribbon is one Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon
for each deployment (provided the required deployment days are met). It is
not intended to be awarded in multiples corresponding to each 45 consecutive days deployed.
-- Permanent party personnel assigned to air expeditionary units also are
eligible to receive the Air Force Expeditionary Ribbon (AFESR) after
Oct. 1, 1999. Permanent party members assigned to Air Expeditionary Task Force units may qualify to receive both the Air Force Expeditionary Ribbon (AFESR) and the Overseas Short/Long Tour Ribbon by meeting the 45 consecutive day requirement without adjustment to tour status. Permanent
party members assigned to AETF units also qualify for the combat Gold Border.
-- Members on an overseas short tour may receive both the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon and the Overseas Short Tour ribbon, provided they meet the requirements of both
-- To qualify for this ribbon, individuals must have deployed for 45
consecutive days or 90 nonconsecutive days on a deployed status.
-- Any contingency deployment qualifies, overseas or stateside, regardless
of the duty,.
Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border
In April 2004, the secretary of the Air Force approved authorizing a gold
border to be worn on the air force expeditionary service ribbon to represent participation in combat operations. Award of the gold border is authorized
for wear on the AFESR by individuals who were engaged in conducting or supporting combat operations in a designated combat zone.
A combat zone is defined as a geographic area designated by the president
via executive order, or a qualified hazardous duty area in which a member is receiving imminent danger/hostile fire pay. Combat action is defined as when
a member is subject to hostile fire, explosion or is engaged in employing lethal weapons (kinetic/non-kinetic).
For award of the Air Force Expeditionary Ribbon (AFESR) w/GB, members must be/have been assigned to an Air Expeditionary Force plan identification
or on contingency, exercise, deployment orders and have been receiving imminent danger or hostile fire pay. Aircrew members who engage in
combat action must be assigned on aeronautical orders in direct support
of a combat zone.
Prior to the award of the gold border, members must have met the eligibility requirement for award of the basic Air Force Expeditionary Ribbon (AFESR). The Air Force Expeditionary Ribbon (AFESR) w/GB may be awarded to
current and former Air Force Active Duty, Reserve and Guard personnel
who since Oct. 1, 1999 meet the requirements of paragraphs 2 and 3.
The time eligibility criteria for award of the basic Air Force Expeditionary Ribbon (AFESR) w/GB can be waived if the member meets one of the
-- Be engaged in actual combat against the enemy and under circumstances involving grave danger of death or serious bodily injury from enemy actions.
-- While participating in a designated operation, be killed, wounded or
injured requiring medical evacuation from the combat zone.
-- Be a regularly assigned crew member flying combat/combat support sorties into, out of, within or over a combat zone.
-- Employ a kinetic or non-kinetic weapon from outside the designated
combat zone, in a combat operation.
Order of precedence
The Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon is worn between the Air Force Overseas Service Ribbon (Long Tour) and the Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon.
This ribbon is arranged in eleven stripes in a symmetrical pattern. The center stripe is light blue and stands for Air Force capability. From this center stripe outward on each side, the narrow white stripe stands for integrity; ultramarine blue represents worldwide deployment; Air Force yellow stands for
excellence and the last two stripes (scarlet and blue) stand for the United States.
Authorized Devices: Bronze Oak Leaf, Silver Oak Leaf, Gold Frame