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SOURCE: §§ 878.1 to 878.35 appear at 19 F. R. 2175, Apr. 15, 1954, except as otherwise noted.
§ 878.1 Purpose. Sections 878.1 to 878.35 describe the military decorations awarded by the Department of the Air Force with the requirements therefor, and administrative procedures for processing recommendations. These sections also describe certain decorations awarded to civilians by or upon recommendation of the Department of the Air Force.
§ 878.2 Policy. The decorations described in §§ 878.1 to 878.35 recognize outstanding deeds of heroism, meritorious achievements or services by persons in behalf of the United States. The decorations system provides for recognition of varying degrees of heroism and merit.
§ 878.3 Eligibility. (a) Eligibility for a military or civilian-type decoration depends upon the individual's status at the time the heroic deed or meritorious service was performed.
(b) Members of the Reserve components not on active duty with the Air Force are eligible for award of the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Soldier's Medal, the Air Medal, and the Commendation Ribbon, provided that the requirements are otherwise fulfilled.
(c) In order for an award to be made, the military service of a person must have been honorable subsequent to the time he distinguished himself.
(40 Stat. 871, secs. 11, 12, 44 Stat. 789, as amended; 10 U. S. C. 1409, 1428, 1429; E. O. 9158, May 11, 1942, 7 F. R. 3541, 3 CFR, 1943 Cum. Supp., as amended by E. O. 9242-A, Sept. 11, 1942, 7 F. R. 7874, 3 CFR, 1943 Cum. Supp.)
§ 878.4 Repetitive awards. (a) Only one decoration will be awarded for a single act of heroism, a single meritorious achievement, or one continuous period of meritorious service.
(b) Only one basic award of any decoration will be made unless otherwise specified in §§ 878.1 to 878.35. Oak-Leaf Clusters are awarded in lieu of additional awards of the same medal. Awards of Oak-Leaf Clusters to the same individual for the same decoration will be numbered progressively and will be worn on the ribbon bar. A silver OakLeaf Cluster will be worn in lieu of five bronze clusters.
§ 878.5 Posthumous, missing in action, and prisoners of war awards. (a) Next of kin of deceased persons are entitled to receive decorations earned but not presented because of death. The next of kin eligible for posthumous presentation of decorations will be selected from one of the following, in the order listed: Widow, widower, eldest son, eldest daughter, father, mother, eldest brother, eldest sister, eldest grandchild.
(b) All elements of decorations earned but not presented to personnel who later become missing or prisoners of war will be forwarded to the Director of Military Personnel, Headquarters USAF, Washington 25, D. C. Awards of this nature will not be publicized until final determination of recipient's status is officially announced.
(40 Stat. 871, as amended, secs. 11, 12, 44 Stat. 789. as amended; 10 U. S. C. 1409, 1411, 1428, 1429. E. O. 9158, May 11, 1942, 7 F. R. 3541, 3 CFR, 1943 Cum. Supp.; as amended by E. O. 9242-A, Sept. 11, 1942, 7 F. R. 7874, 3 CFR. 1943 Cum. Supp.; E. O. 9419, Feb. 4, 1944, 9 F. R. 1495, 3 CFR, 1944 Supp.; E. O. 9586, July 6, 1945, 10 F. R. 8523, 3 CFR, 1945 Supp.; E. O. 9734, June 6, 1946, 11 F. R. 6225, 3 CFR, 1946 Supp.)
§ 878.6 Decorations carrying additional pay-(a) Retired pay. The retired pay authorized by section 4 of the Armed Forces Voluntary Recruitment Act of 1945, as amended will be increased by 10 percent for any airman who is credited with extraordinary heroism in line of duty. The determination of the Secretary of the Air Force as to extraordinary heroism for purposes of receiving such increases in pay will be final and conclusive.
(b) Medal of Honor Roll. Persons who have been honorably discharged from service and who were awarded the Medal of Honor are, upon reaching the age of 65, entitled to receive a special tax-free pension of 10 dollars a month for life. Upon application to Headquarters USAF and approval by the Secretary of the Air Force, such holders of the Medal of Honor may have themselves placed on the Medal of Honor Roll. Payment of pensions is through the Veterans Administration.
(Secs. 1-4, 39 Stat. 53, 54, as amended, sec. 4, 59 Stat. 539, as amended; 10 U. S. C. 948, 38 U. S. C. 391–394).
§ 887.7 Recommendations. (a) A recommendation for award of any decoration may be initiated by any person
(d) Recommendations placed in official channels, but, through circumstances, lost or not acted upon may be resubmitted with supporting evidence. (40 Stat. 871; 10 U. S. C. 1409)
§ 878.9 Foreign decorations. (a) Decorations tendered by a foreign government to members of the Air Force may not be accepted or worn without the express consent of Congress (Clause 8, Section 9, Article I, of the Constitution).
(1) Authority to accept and wear World War II awards tendered by governments of cobelligerent nations, neutral nations, or other American Republics was expressly delegated by law. That authority terminated as of July 24, 1948, and all awards for World War II or peacetime service made after that date must be forwarded in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section.
(2) Authority to approve the acceptance and wearing of awards tendered by coparticipant nations for services in the Berlin airlift, June 26, 1948 to September 30, 1949, was delegated to the Secretary of the Air Force only for the period from May 5, 1950, to September 30, 1951.
(3) Authority to accept and wear awards tendered by governments of foreign nations whose personnel participated with or under the United Nations Command in Korea was expressly granted by law (Pub. Law 354, 83d Cong.; 68 Stat. 79). Such awards, in recognition of heroism, achievement or service, performed after June 26, 1950, while assigned or attached to a unit credited with participation in the Korean Campaign, may be accepted until July 27, 1955. To qualify, awards must be those conferred by such governments upon members of their own military forces. Persons tendered awards under these provisions will forward all elements of the awards as indicated in paragraph (e) of this section for evaluation. Those awards which meet the requirements of the law will be returned to the recipients with authorization for acceptance and wear. The Commander, Far East Air Forces, is delegated authority to approve the acceptance and wear of awards tendered to persons under his command as prescribed by this paragraph.
(b) The approval of the Congress is not required to accept any foreign decoration tendered or awarded for services while the recipient was a bona fide member of the Armed Forces of the respec
tive foreign nation and provided the award is duly accepted in accordance with the regulations of the nation making the award prior to the recipient's entrance into active Federal service of the Armed Forces of the United States.
(c) Members of the Air Force Reserve components, while not on active duty and while not holding an office of profit or trust under the Government, may, without specific consent of the Congress, accept a foreign decoration and may, as authorized by Air Force uniform regulations, wear such decoration on his uniform, provided the award is not in recognition of service performed while the recipient was on active duty with the United States Air Force. While on inactive status the mere holding of a reserve commission is not considered as placing the holder in an office of profit or trust.
(d) The approval of the Congress is not required to accept any foreign decoration tendered or awarded posthumously to a former member of the United States Air Force.
(e) Recipients of foreign decorations may participate in presentation ceremonies and receive the awards, notwithstanding the absence of the consent of the Congress. The receipt of a foreign award at such ceremony will not constitute an acceptance of the award. Immediately following such ceremony, the recipient will advise the Department of the Air Force, by letter to the Director of Military Personnel, Headquarters USAF, Attention: Personnel Services Division, of the proffered award, setting forth all circumstances and inclosing all elements of the award, to include the medal and/or appurtenances, and original copies of certificates and allied documents. When presentation is made without prior notification, the appropriate representative of the foreign nation concerned will be advised of the above provisions of the Constitution.
(f) Except as indicated in paragraph (g) of this section, members of the Air Force are not authorized to receive decorations from foreign governments for duties performed in connection with the Military Assistance Program. Such personnel will not participate in presentation ceremonies.
(g) Personnel of Military Assistance Advisory Groups and Aid Missions are authorized to receive awards, in the
person serving in any capacity with the Air Force who distinguishes himself by exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility. Responsibility means the exercise of authority or judgment in duties which decide the successful outcome of any major military operation. In peacetime, awards are limited to recognizing services of national or international significance.
(c) Civilians and foreign nationals are eligible for this award only under exceptional circumstances.
(40 Stat. 870; 10 U. S. C. 1407)
§ 878.16 Silver Star. (a) The Silver Star is a small silver star within a wreath centered on a larger star of gold-colored metal. The ribbon has a center band of red flanked by equal bands of white between equal bands of blue bordered by white lines with blue edging.
(b) The Silver Star, established by law, is awarded to any person, military, civilian, or foreign, who, while serving in any capacity with the Air Force, distinguishes himself by gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States. Gallantry means heroism of high degree involving risk of life.
(c) Authority to award the Silver Star may be delegated during wartime down to include commanders of numbered air forces.
(40 Stat. 871, as amended; 10 U. S. C. 1412)
$ 878.17 Legion of Merit. (a) The Legion of Merit is a five-rayed white enamel pronged star on a green wreath with crossed arrows. The cloud and stars from the coat of arms of the United States are displayed in an enamel center. The ribbon is red-purple with white edges.
(b) The Legion of Merit, established by law, is awarded to personnel of armed forces who distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the United States. In peacetime, awards of the decorations generally are limited to recognizing services of national or international significance.
(c) The Legion of Merit is awarded without degree to members of the Armed Forces of the United States.
(d) Awards to members of foreign armed forces are made in the degrees of Chief Commander, Commander, Officer, and Legionnaire varying the design re
spectively for a breast decoration, a collar decoraton, and two chest decorations. The Chief Commander and Commander degrees are comparable to awards of the Distinguished Service Medal for United States personnel and usually are reserved for foreign heads of states and commanders of armed forces respectively. The other degrees are comparable to awards of the Legion of Merit without degree to United States personnel. Subsequent awards are never in a lower degree. Duplicate awards in such instances are made in all degrees, except that of Legionnaire for which oak-leaf clusters are employed.
(e) Authority to award the Legion of Merit to United States personnel may be delegated during wartime to commanders of major air commands, but awards to foreign persons are reserved to the Department of the Air Force. (Sec. 2, 56 Stat. 662; 10 U. S. C. 1408b)
§ 878.18 Distinguished Flying Cross. (a) The Distinugished Flying Cross is a bronze cross with rays on which is displayed a propeller. The ribbon is predominantly blue with a narrow red band center bordered by white lines. The edges are outlined with equal bands of white inside blue.
(b) The Distinguished Flying Cross, established by law, is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States and to any member of the Armed Forces of friendly foreign nations, who, while serving in any capacity with the Air Force, distinguishes himself by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight. Both heroism and achievement must be entirely distinctive, involving operations that are not routine.
(c) The Distinguished Flying Cross may be awarded by special act of Congress to outstanding pioneers of aviation regardless of status.
(d) Authority to award the Distinguished Flying Cross may be delegated during wartime down to include commanders of numbered air forces.
(Sec. 12, 44 Stat. 789, as amended; 10 U. S. C. 1429)
§ 878.19 Soldier's Medal. (a) The Soldier's Medal is a bronze octagon displaying an eagle in relief with fasces and stars. The ribbon centers thirteen narrow stripes, seven white and six red, edged by broad bands of blue.