Badges of the United States Air Force are military awards authorized by the United States Air Force that signify US Air Force aeronautical ratings or qualification in several career fields, and also serve as identification devices for personnel occupying certain assignments. The Air Force currently authorizes 51 separate rating and occupational badges. The most recent addition to US Air Force badges is the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operator occupational badge, awarded to eight graduates of the Beta class of UAS operators at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, on September 25, 2009.

All Air Force badges (with the exception of identification badges) are awarded in three degrees or skill levels. Aeronautical ratings for pilots are awarded at Basic, Senior, and Command levels. Occupational badges are normally issued in Basic, Senior, and Master ratings for officers. Exceptions are Basic, Senior and Chief ratings awarded to nurses, doctors (all types), flight nurses and flight surgeons. Enlisted occupational badges reflect skill levels: 3-level apprentice/5-level Journeyman (same badge), 7-level craftsman, and 9-level superintendent. A star and wreath system, worn above the Air Force badge, denotes which degree or skill level a service member currently holds.

Chaplain and aviation badges (to include the parachutist badge) are mandatory on Air Force uniforms. Wear of all other badges is optional. The Air Force is the most restrictive service with regards to which Air Force badges may be worn on the uniforms of other United States armed forces branches. With the exception of aviation badges, most U.S. Air Force badges may only be displayed on United States Air Force uniforms.

The US Air Force previously authorized continued use of a number of aviation badges originally issued by the U.S. Army during World War II. Such badges are no longer authorized and are now categorized as obsolete badges.

US Air Force Aviation Badges

Aeronautical ratings

Other aviation badges

US Air Force Occupational Badges

An Air Force Occupational Badge is a military badge of the United States Air Force which is awarded to those members of the line Air Force community who are engaged in duties “other than flying”. The purpose of the Air Force Occupational Badge is to denote and recognize training, education and qualifications received in a particular career field and to provide recognition in an outwardly displayed badge.

The first Air Force Occupational Badges began appearing on Air Force uniforms in the late 1950s. Prior to this time, the only Air Force badges authorized were the Pilot’s Badge and other aeronautical career badges such as the Navigator Badge and Flight Surgeon Badge.

Operations Career Group

Logistics Career Group

Support Career Group

Support/Investigations Career Group

Professional Career Group

Acquisition Career Group

US Air Force Medical Career Group

Air Force Medical Badges are decorations of the United States Air Force which are presented to those Air Force personnel who are members of the Air Force Medical Service. Air Force Medical Badges have existed since the 1950s and are based on the insignia crests used by the Army Medical Corps during the Second World War.

There are currently six medical badges in existence, covering each Corps of the Medical Service as well as enlisted medical specialists. Initial badges are presented upon completion of medical training and assignment to one of the Air Force medical corps. As a service member’s years in the Air Force increase, the senior and master medical badges become available (usually after 7 and 15 years respectively). Senior and master medical badges are awarded upon completion of on the job training and proficiency testing in accordance with Air Force Regulations. Senior and master badges are denoted by a star and wreath above the decoration. Air Force Medical Badges are worn above ribbons and awards, in the same manner as the US Air Force Pilot’s Badge.

Badges not yet detailed in USAF Instructions

US Air Force Duty Badges

US Air Force Miscellaneous Badges

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