Friday, February 17, 2006
The Air Force Uniform Board announced that the Good Conduct Medal will no longer be awarded. The Air Force director of Airman development and sustainment recently explained the reasons behind this decision.
"The quality of our enlisted personnel today is so high, we expect good conduct from our Airmen," said Brig. Gen Robert R. Allardice. "It begged the question, ‘Why do we have a Good Conduct Medal?’" "Having a medal for good conduct is almost to say we don't expect Airmen to do well, but if they're good we will give them a medal,” he said. “It's kind of insulting in our Air Force today." One must look at the history of why the medal was created in the 1960s. The military was using the draft and involved in the Vietnam War. The Air Force didn't have any other method to recognize Airmen. Today, the Air Force Achievement Medal recognizes outstanding Airmanship. Air Force Achievement Medal“When we looked at that history it was clear that the Good Conduct Medal has outlived its usefulness," said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Gerald R. Murray. "Today’s all-volunteer force is committed to serving honorably, and good conduct is what we expect from every Airman -- officer and enlisted.” “We live by our core values,” Chief Murray said. “When members of our service stray from those values, they do themselves and all Airmen a disservice. When that happens, commanders have the tools they need to evaluate the situation and the individual's worthiness for continued service. "If a commander deems their conduct does not warrant discharge, then they remain a valuable Airman to our Air Force, and we expect them to continue to serve honorably,” he said. General Allardice said that it is the uniform, not the Good Conduct Medal, that represents what Airmen are all about. “In today’s Air Force, our Airmen understand that the uniform they wear represents good conduct,” he said. Airmen who have previously earned the Good Conduct Medal are still authorized to wear it.