|Gallant Unit Citation|
|Awarded for||Extraordinary heroism while engaged in armed combat with an enemy of the United States|
|Presented by||the Department of the Air Force|
|Next (higher)||Joint Meritorious Unit Award|
|Equivalent||Army: Valorous Unit Award |
Naval Service: Navy Unit Commendation
Coast Guard: Coast Guard Unit Commendation
|Next (lower)||Meritorious Unit Award|
The Gallant Unit Citation (GUC), a United States Air Force and United States Space Force unit award, was approved in March 2004 and is awarded to any Air Force or Space Force unit which distinguishes itself by extraordinary heroism while engaged in armed combat with an enemy force on or after 11 September 2001.
The GUC requires a lesser degree of gallantry, determination and esprit de corps than that required for the Presidential Unit Citation (PUC). The unit must have performed with marked distinction under difficult and hazardous conditions in accomplishing its mission so as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same conflict. The degree of heroism required is the same as that which would warrant award of the Silver Star to an individual. The GUC will normally be earned by units that have participated in single or successive actions covering relatively brief time spans. Only on rare occasions will a unit larger than a group qualify for the GUC. Extended periods of combat duty or participation in a large number of operational missions, either air or ground, is not sufficient. Additional awards of the Gallant Unit Citation are denoted by oak leaf clusters.
The only units to date that have received this award are the 621st Contingency Response Wing, 385th Air Expeditionary Group,352d Special Operations Group, the 332d Air Expeditionary Group, the 16th Operations Group (redesignated as the 1st Special Operations Group in 2006), the 720th Special Tactics Group, and the 74th Fighter Squadron, as well as units subordinate to each during the cited time frame.
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