The Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal was established by Secretary of the Air Force Eugene M. Zuckert on April 1, 1964 as a ribbon award. It was converted to a medal on November 2, 1971 by Secretary of the Air Force Robert C. Seamans, Jr.
Award of the Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal became effective on April 1, 1965, based on four years continuous service (since July 1, 1975 its award has been based on three years of continuous service).
The Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal is awarded for exemplary behavior, efficiency, and fidelity during a three year period while serving in an enlisted status in the Air Reserve Forces.
ORDER OF PRECEDENCE
The Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal is worn after the Good Conduct Medal.
Additional awards of the Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal are denoted by oak leaf clusters.
The Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal was designed by Thomas Hudson Jones (1892-1969).
DESCRIPTION AND SYMBOLISM
In the center of a bronze medallion one and three eighths inches in diameter, an eagle with wings displayed is shown with an olive branch in its beak. The eagle is resting on a ring enclosing a five pointed star charged with a disc in the center. On a twofold scroll arched across the top (supported by the eagle's wings), is the inscription MERITORIOUS SERVICE, and below the wings (terminating on each side of the ring in base) the encircling inscription AIR RESERVE (on the left) and between two flight symbols FORCES (on the right), all in front of thirteen incised rays extending from the center to the edge of the medal. The eagle bearing an olive branch in its beak resting on a ring enclosing a star charged with a disc is suggested by the emblem for the Air Force Reserve.
The eagle refers to the ever-watchful, poised, and ready Reserve, and the olive branch indicates a desire for peace. The ring bearing a star with a disc denotes the historic aircraft identification marking used by the Air Force. The rays signify the recipient's accomplish-ments as a shining example of those qualities for which the medal is granted and also alludes to the light from the sky (the major theater of operations for the Air Reserve Forces).
In the center of a bronze medallion one and three eighths inches in diameter, a cloud formation containing stylized wings and lightning bolts appears above the word TO (leaving room to engrave the recipient's name). On the outside of the cloud formation, and forming a circle around it, the words, EFFICIENCY - EXEMPLARY BEHAVIOR - FIDELITY. The cloud formation represents the medium of the Air Force, as do the stylized wings and lightning bolts. The words forming a circle around the cloud formation refer to the traits for which the medal is awarded.
The ribbon to the Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal consists of a field of light blue edged in white. Separating the two colors is a stripe of ultramarine blue bisected by a narrow pinstripe of gold. The ultramarine and gold are traditional Air Force colors, while the light blue represents the sky, the operational environment of the Air Force.