by Maj Paul Villagran
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
2/12/2009 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force officials announced Feb. 11 the reinstatement of the Air Force Good Conduct Medal for enlisted members, effective immediately and retroactive to Feb. 6, 2006, when the medal was discontinued. Airmen who are eligible should see an update automatically in their records on the virtual Military Personnel Flight Web site.
Lt. Gen. Richard Newton, deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel, and Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley announced the reintroduction of the medal.
"This is a great day for the Air Force," said Chief McKinley. "The Air Force Good Conduct Medal has a positive impact on good order and discipline in the unit. It's part of our history and we needed to bring it back to where it rightfully should be, part of our enlisted heritage.
"When an Airman is pinned with their first good conduct medal it's an event they will never forget," he said. "I still remember, vividly, receiving my first Good Conduct Medal."
General Newton echoed Chief McKinley's words.
"Bringing this medal back shows the Air Force commitment of being all in when taking care of our Airmen and their families," Gen. Newton said. "This is a great tool for our commanders to recognize deserving Airmen."
The return of the medal comes after the secretary of the Air Force approved a recommendation from a January 2008 awards summit co-hosted by representatives of the office of the secretary of the Air Force for manpower and reserve affairs and the directorate for manpower and personnel.
Both directorates contended that the AFGCM, one of the oldest military decorations dating back to World War II, has a long-standing tradition in the Air Force and links Airmen with those who served throughout the history of the service. In addition, Air Force officials solicited input from the field regarding the Good Conduct Medal.
"All services present the Good Conduct Medal to those who distinguish themselves by exemplary behavior, so Airmen will now have the same opportunity for recognition as Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Coastguardsmen," said Gen. Newton. "Chief McKinley is exactly right that this is a great day for the Air Force. A time-honored tradition is back."
For questions regarding updates to Air Force personnel records, Airmen can call the Air Force Contact Center at 1-800-616-3775.