The Outstanding Unit Award was established on January 6, 1954, by Secretary of the Air Force Harold E. Talbot.
The Outstanding Unit Award has been in effect since January 6, 1954.
The Outstanding Unit Award may be awarded by the Secretary of the Air Force to numbered units such as Air Forces, Air Divisions, Wings, Groups, and Squadrons and to Medical Facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and medical centers (whether or not they are numbered) for exceptionally meritorious service or exceptionally outstanding achievement that clearly sets the unit above and apart from similar units. Heroism may be involved, but is not essential. The service or achievement may be in any of the following areas:
The Outstanding Unit Award is worn after the Joint Meritorious Unit Award and before the Organizational Excellence Award.
Additional awards of the Outstanding Unit Award are denoted by oak leaf clusters. Effective November 15, 1961, Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards given for combat or direct combat support entitle the unit to have the letter "V" embroidered on its streamer and individuals to wear a bronze "V" device on the ribbon.