Top 4 most common Awards & Decorations errors

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  • By HQ ARPC Public Affairs

Awards and decorations are one way senior leaders recognize outstanding performance and play an important role in an Airman’s career progression.

In order to ensure seamless and expedient processing by HQ Air Reserve Personnel Center, members are encouraged to avoid these FOUR common errors.


1. Digital Signatures Do Not Match the Signature Block

The approving official, or delegated designated official who meets the conditions set forth in AFMAN 36-2306, must digitally sign the decoration in vPC, and the same individual’s signature must appear at the bottom of the certificate.

The approving official must also prepare the certificate, citation and special orders, sign the certificate, distribute the original and copies of the certificate, citation and special orders, and retains and disposes of the recommendation file. (AFMAN 36-2806 para A.4.1)


2. The Use of Acronyms

Abbreviations and acronyms are not to be included in the citation.  (Ref. AFMAN 36-2806 para. A3.


3. Operations, Rank, Titles, and Names Mistakes

The use of commonly identified code names is acceptable in citations, such as RED FLAG or Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Do not use any abbreviations other than Jr., Sr., II, III, following the member’s name.

For compound grade titles, such as First Lieutenant, Master Sergeant, Lieutenant Colonel, spell out the complete grade title in the opening sentence and then use the short title in the body of the citation. Short titles include Lieutenant, Sergeant, and Colonel for the previous examples.

Reflect the title “Chaplain” as “Chaplain, full grade, full name” such as Chaplain, Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Thompson in the opening sentence. Thereafter, the recipient may be referred to as Chaplain Thompson.

Ensure the common identified code name and/or the award recipient’s name is not split on two separate lines in the citation. (Ref: AFMAN 36-2806 para A5.1.6)


4. Numeric Designators Not Used or Incorrectly Used

Numeric designators of units should read like these examples: 315th Airlift Wing, 23rd Wing, or 4th Air Force. Not 315 Airlift Wing, 23d Wing, or 4 Air Force. (Ref: AFMAN 36-2806 para A5.1.7)


Helpful Links:

AFMAN 36-2806 (Jun 2019):


myPers – Recognitions: