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Badges of the United States Air Force

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Badges earned by an Air Force officer from the 308th Rescue Squadron (2008)
Air Force skill level badge symbols

Badges of the United States Air Force are specific uniform insignia authorized by the United States Air Force that signify aeronautical ratings, special skills, career field qualifications, and serve as identification devices for personnel occupying certain assignments.[1]

Most Air Force badges are awarded in three degrees or skill levels. Aeronautical rating badges for pilots, combat systems officers, observers, and air battle managers are awarded at basic, senior, and command levels; while flight nurses and flight surgeons are awarded ratings at the basic, senior, and chief levels. All other aviation badges are awarded at the basic, senior, and master levels. Air Force cccupational badges are normally issued in basic, senior, and master level for officers. A star and wreath system, worn above the Air Force badge, denotes which degree or skill level a service member currently holds. Previously, enlisted wear the basic badge after completing technical school, the senior badge after award of the 7-skill level, and the master badge as a master sergeant or above with 5 years in the specialty from award of the 7-skill level. For non-rated commissioned officers, the basic badge is awarded after completion of technical training, the senior badge after 7-years in their respective AFSC, and master at 15-years. Now most career feild CFETPs denote the requirements for awarding each level. [1]

Chaplain, aeronautical, space, cyberspace, and missile operations badges, along with the Air Force Commander's Insignia are mandatory for wear on Air Force uniforms. With the most recent changes to Air Force uniform regulations, restrictions have been lifted on the wear of other service's skill badges that airman have earned. Precedence of badges within the same category depends on the airman's current assignment.[1][2]

The Air Force is the most restrictive service with regards to which Air Force badges may be worn on the uniforms by other branches of the US Armed Forces. Most badges issued exclusively by the Air Force may only be displayed on Air Force uniforms. The exception to this rule is the Space Operations Badge.[1][3]

The 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.

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Aviation Badges


Aeronautical Rating Badges

Aircrew Badges

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 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.[1][5]

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 Badge and other aeronautical rating badges, such as the Navigator Badge and Flight Surgeon Badge.

Operations Career Group

The following operations insignia are worn as beret crests on specific Air Force berets instead of the left breast of Air Force uniforms. Both the breast insignia and the following beret crests signify the same thing, an Air Force specialty.[11]

Logistics Career Group

Support Career Group

Professional Career Group

Acquisition Career Group

Medical Career Group

Reporting Identifiers

Miscellaneous Badges

As of 17 January 2014, Airmen are authorized to wear any qualification/skill badge they have earned on Air Force uniforms. With the exception of the new Air Force Combat Diver Badges, the other qualification badges listed in this section are specifically awarded by the Air Force as well as other armed services of the U.S. Department of Defense.[1][4]

Duty Badges



Authorized identifier tabs (worn on upper left sleeve)[1]
Duty/Qualification Approved tab/patch
Infrared Spice
Advanced Air Advisor Tab (Authorized for permanent wear)
Air Advisor Tab (Authorized for permanent wear)
Air Battle Manager
Air Mobility Liaison Officer
Arctic Tab (Authorized for permanent wear)[15]
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear
Combat Aviation Advisor (Tab version authorized for permanent wear)
Combat Controller
Contingency Response
Combat Rescue Officer
Deployable Aircraft Ground Response Element
Explosive Ordnance Disposal
Force Protection
Forward Area Refueling Point
Independent Duty Medical Technician
Joint Air Component Coordination Element
Office of Special Investigations
Security Forces
Staff Weather Officer
Special Tactics Officer
Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape
Tactical Air Control Party
Tactical Call Sign (e.g. A01)

Award Badges


Air National Guard Badges and Tabs


  • * = also issued to Space Force guardians[28]
  • No asterisk indicates that the badge is only issued to airmen

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j AFI36-2903: Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel, dated 12 April 2022, last accessed 29 August 2022
  2. ^ AF uniform policy update: welcome back morale t-shirts, badges and limitless athletic shoes, U.S. Air Force News, by Staff Sgt. David Salanitri, dated 20 January 2014, last accessed 15 March 2014
  3. ^ SMDC-OPZ-FB, ASPDO Procedural Guide #1 - Procedures for Awarding the Space Badge to Army Space Cadre Personnel Archived 2012-03-20 at the Wayback Machine, dated 15 Feb 11, accessed 16 Jan 12
  4. ^ a b Air Force Guidance Memorandum to Air Force Manual (AFMAN) 11-402, Aviation and Parachutist Service, U.S. Department of the Air Force, dated 13 September 2022, last accessed 8 October 2022
  5. ^ AFI36-2101: Classifying Military Personnel (Officer and Enlisted) Archived 2014-01-12 at the Wayback Machine; dated 25 June 2013, updated 18 November 2013; last accessed 11 January 2014
  6. ^ Design  and  Development  of  United  States  Air  Force  Multi-Domain  Warfare Officer Occupational Badge, United States Army Institute of Heraldry, dated 2 March 2020, last accessed 10 August 202/
  7. ^ Design and Development of United States Air Force Weather and Environmental Sciences Officer Badge, United States Army Institute of Heraldry, dated 3 November 2020, last accessed 15 November 2020
  8. ^ Air Force creates new AFSC for operations research analyst officers, Air Force News, dated 15 May 2020, last accessed 4 June 2020
  9. ^ MIL-DTL-3628/274A—DETAIL SPECIFICATION SHEET BADGE, OCCUPATION, INFORMATION OPERATION, U.S. AIR FORCE, Defense Logistics Agency, dated 9 April 2018, last accessed 19 April 2020
  10. ^ U.S. Air Force Heraldry, Badges, Air Force Safety, U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry, dated 17 August 2021, last accessed 22 August 2021
  11. ^ Air Force Special Operations Command, Special Tactics Units Archived 2013-01-02 at the Wayback Machine; accessed August 21, 2011
  12. ^ Design and Development of United States Air Force Munitions Occupational Badge, U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry, dated 9 December 2019, last accessed 23 August 2020
  13. ^ U.S. Air Force Heraldry, Badges, Air Force Scientific Applications Specialist, U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry, dated 16 August 2021, last accessed 22 August 2021
  14. ^ New Air Force combat dive badges approved, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, posted 18 October 18 2022, last accessed 20 March 2023
  15. ^ PACAF leaders promote Arctic Defense, Security Orientation course, U.S. Pacific Air Force, 673 Air Base Wing/Public Affairs, by SSgt Curt Beach, dated 25 February 2021, last accessed 11 September 2022
  16. ^ AFI34-143: Excellence-In-Competition (EIC) Archived 2014-01-12 at the Wayback Machine, dated 21 Feb 12, last accessed 11 January 2014
  17. ^ National Guard Regulation 672-3 and Air National Guard Regulation 900-1, National Guard Chief's 50 Marksmanship Badge Archived 2013-05-31 at the Wayback Machine, dated 1 February 1978, last accessed 26 March 2014
  18. ^ Tabs and Badges a Measure of Missouri Guardmembers' Marksmanship Archived March 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Missouri National Guard Public Affairs, by Ann Keyes, last accessed 1 March 2015
  19. ^ Tabs and Badges a Measure of Marksmanship Archived 2014-05-18 at the Wayback Machine, Missouri National Guard, dated 14 December 2010, last accessed 18 May 2014
  20. ^ Texas National Guard Marksmanship Program, Governor's Twenty, Texas National Guard, updated 4 Aug 11, last accessed 13 Nov 11
  21. ^ TXSG Team Wins First Place In 2009 Texas Adjutant General's Combat Pistol Sustainment Exercise Competition, Texas State Guard, by Maj. J. Michael Spraggins, dated 7 May 7, last accessed 27 June 2022
  22. ^ Governor's 20 Sniper Competition 2014, Texas Military Forces, dated 12 January 2014, last accessed 19 January 2014
  23. ^ Earning the Governor's Twenty Tab, By CPT Andrew J. Czaplicki, dated 7 August 2014, last accessed 10 January 2015
  24. ^ Tabs and Badges a Measure of Marksmanship Archived 18 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Missouri National Guard, dated 14 December 2010, last accessed 18 May 2014
  25. ^ National Guard Devices, by Eric Bush, last accessed 18 May 2014
  26. ^ Arizona National Guard's top marksmen awarded Governor's Dozen,, by SGT Wesley Parrell, dated 15 April 2016, last accessed 5 February 2017
  27. ^ Top Iowa marksmen train fellow Red Bulls, Afghans at Torkham Gate, Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System, by Staff Sgt Ryan Matson, dated 11 March 2011, last accessed 28 February 2015
  28. ^ US Space Force Uniform & Accessories Store,, last accessed 29 August 2022
This page was last edited on 12 August 2023, at 15:39
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