(Air Force)


The Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal was established by Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James on May 27, 2014.


The Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal may be awarded for qualifying service from June 1, 1992 until a date to be determined.


The Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal may be awarded to Air Force Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard personnel for service in support of Air Force nuclear deterrence operations who have performed duties in any of the Air Force Specialty Codes and to all Airmen assigned to nuclear missile and bomb wings, regardless of career field:

  • Nuclear Operations

  • Nuclear weapons storage facilities

  • Nuclear command, control, and communications (NC3)

  • Security

  • Transportation

  • Maintenance

  • Facility management / maintenance

  • Nuclear certified aircraft operations

  • Explosive ordnance disposal

  • Installation Personnel Reliability Program management

The required length of service is 120 consecutive days or 179 non-consecutive days attached, deployed, assigned, or mobilized to a unit supporting the nuclear deterrence mission. After completion of the requirements are certified by the individuals squadron commander, the group commander may approve the award of the medal. Subsequent awards may only be earned by completing the same service and requirements after a permanent change of station from the last assignment when the medal was earned.


The Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal is worn after the Air and Space Campaign Medal and the service ribbon is worn before the Air Force Overseas Service Ribbon (Short Tour).


For each succeeding operation that justifies award of the NDOM, an oak leaf cluster is worn on the ribbon.

Those personnel who work directly in support of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile operations and dispatch to missile complexes may be further recognized with the award of a gold colored letter N device attached to the suspension and service ribbons. Personnel must have served 179 non-consecutive days dispatched to a missile complex. Individuals in the follow Air Force Specialty Codes are eligible:

  • Missile Maintenance (21MX, 2MOXX)

  • Munitions and Weapons (2WOXX, 2W1XX, 2W2XX)

  • Security Forces ((31PX, 3POXX)

  • Services (3MOXX)

  • Fuels (2FOXX)

  • Transportation (2T1XX, 2T3XX)

  • Civil Engineering (32EX, 3EXXX)

  • Cyberspace Support (3DEX, 3EXXX)

  • Operations (11HXC, 13NX, 1A9XX)

  • 13SX Officers on or before February 9, 2013


The Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal was designed by the Department of the Air Force.



On a bronze disc with a narrow border one and a quarter inches in diameter, a laurel wreath surmounted by an atomic symbol. In the center of the atomic symbol is a five-pointed star bearing a disc.

Bronze conveys the honorary recognition of high performance while contributing to the success of the U.S. strategic nuclear deterrence mission. The laurel wreath symbolizes achievement, recognizing the Active, Air National Guard, and Reserve personnel who support nuclear deterrence. The atomic symbol indicates the core responsibility of nuclear prevention. The star with the disc denotes the Air Force.


The circular inscription, NUCLEAR DETERRENCE OPERATIONS SERVICE, which follows the contour of the medal, separated at the base of the medal by a triangle. In the center, beneath the inscription U.S. / AIR FORCE is a five pointed star, point up, with wings extending from the upper horizontal arms of the star.

The triangle alludes to the nuclear triad, signifying the categories of nuclear arsenal: bombs, intercontinental missile and ballistic missiles. The five-pointed star with wings is the Hap Arnold symbol and represents the Air Force.


The ribbon is blue with red, green, and gold stripes. Blue represents nuclear dominance of the sky; red represents power and passion in providing nuclear deterrence; green represents Earth and global capability, and the gold represents the participating personnel, the wealth of our nuclear enterprise.


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