|Air Force Cross|
|Distinguished Service Medal|
|Aerial Achievement Medal|
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The Air Force was originally the Army Air Corps, but with passage of the National Security Act of 1947 it was established as a co-equal partner in the National Military Establishment. At first the Air Force retained the multiple directorate organization used when it was the Army Air Corps. Stuart Symington, the first Secretary of the Air Force, was sworn in on September 18, 1947. The Secretary, along with the first several Chiefs of Staff, developed what was to become the foundation of today's headquarters staff. Since its inception, the Air Force has been organized along functional rather than area lines. The Chief of Staff is the military head of the Air Force. The Deputy Chiefs of Staff may speak for the Chief of Staff at any time on any subject within their functional areas, according to the authority delegated by the Chief of Staff. Each Deputy in turn presides over a family of directorates, and each directorate is functionally oriented.
The Department of the Air Force is responsible for the preparation of the air forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war and military operations short of war and, under integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime component of the Air Force to meet the needs of war. Some of the major functions of the Air Force are to:
*Adapted from Department of Defense Directive 5100.1