Gallant Unit Citation
Awarded forExtraordinary heroism while engaged in armed combat with an enemy of the United States
Presented bythe Department of the Air Force[1]
EligibilityMilitary Unit
StatusCurrently awarded
First awarded2005
Last awardedOngoing
Total recipients6
Gallant Unit Citation Streamer
Next (higher)Joint Meritorious Unit Award[2]
EquivalentArmy: Valorous Unit Award
Naval Service: Navy Unit Commendation
Coast Guard: Coast Guard Unit Commendation
Silver Star
Next (lower)Meritorious Unit Award[2]

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.

Award Description

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.

Cited units

The only units to date that have received this award are the 621st Contingency Response Wing,[3] 385th Air Expeditionary Group,352d Special Operations Group,[4] the 332d Air Expeditionary Group,[5] the 16th Operations Group (redesignated as the 1st Special Operations Group in 2006),[6] the 720th Special Tactics Group,[7] 74th Fighter Squadron and the 79th Fighter Generation Squadron,[8] as well as units subordinate to each during the cited time frame.

Subordinate units to the 16th Operations Group receiving the award

816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron and 385th Expeditionary Airlift Group in support of Operation ALLIES REFUGE


  1. ^ "Production publication" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-10-09. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  2. ^ a b "Awards and Decorations". [Air Force Personnel Center Library]. Air Force Personnel Center. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
  3. ^ - Expeditionary Center
  4. ^ AFPC – Air Force Personnel Center
  5. ^ October2006.indd Archived 2013-02-26 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-03-28.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ McKeen, 1st Lt. Gina Vaccaro. "16 Air Force units win 2008-2009 AF unit awards". [Air Force Personnel Center News]. Archived from the original on 12 December 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ THUNDER: 74th EFS receives Gallant Unit Citation