US Air Force Outstanding Unit Citation
The Air Force Outstanding Unit Award is one of the unit awards of the United States Air Force. It was established in 1954 and was the first independent Air Force decoration created (to this point, Air Force personnel were routinely awarded Army decorations). The Air Force Longevity Service Award would follow in 1957 with most of the standard Air Force awards (including the Air Force Good Conduct Medal) established in the early to mid 1960s.
The Outstanding Unit Award is awarded to any unit of the U.S. Air Force (including the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard) which performs exceptionally meritorious service, accomplishes specific acts of outstanding achievement, excels in combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States, or conducts with distinct military operations involving conflict with, or exposure to, a hostile action by any opposing foreign force.
Until 2004, the Outstanding Unit Award was the senior most unit award in the U.S. Air Force. It now ranks directly below the Meritorious Unit Award, which was established in March 2004, and above the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award in the precedence of Air Force awards and decorations. It is awarded to personnel who were assigned or attached to the unit receiving the award during the period it was awarded for. Non-USAF personnel (e.g., USN, USMC, USCG) personnel assigned to USAF units awarded the Outstanding Unit Award are also eligible to wear the ribbon on their uniforms. However, the ribbon does not come in the larger size of unit awards common to the U.S. Army.