Military AviationA forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.
My dear departed Pathfinder step fathers medal group included an Air Efficiency Medal and as fathers day has just lurched past I got to wondering what the issue criteria was. His operational record was a rather impressive, 68 bomber ops and a DFC. During my own VR T service I can't ever recall seeing another AEM ribbon. Are they still issued?
They sure are - I've got one! 16+ years of undiscovered RAFVR/RAFSR crime!
Issued for 10 years of trying to do two jobs at once. One of our unit had an AE and bar (and I think bar!). They have been superceded by another gong, the name of which eludes me. There are a few to be seen in reserve units, a green and yellow ribbon.
The AE is/was NOT awarded to RAFVR(T) only to those serving in HM Reserve Air Forces that had a liability to call out into permanant service. RAFR, RAuxAF, RAF (VR) etc. RAFVR(T) get Cadet Forces Medal for their long service and undetected crimes...
Look closely at a number of serving RAFR / RAuxAF personnel and you will see quite a collection of silver wear, and a number do have 2 or more bars to their AEs!
The AE has been replaced with the Tri Service Volunteer Reserve Service Medal. The qualifying criteria are very similar to the AE.
Rules are in AP3392 Vol 7 Regulations for the Reserve Air Forces
Last edited by Descend to What Height?!?; 22nd Jun 2010 at 11:38.
As DTWH? correctly notes, the AE was replaced by the VRSM. The AE required (IIRC) 10 "Certificates of Efficient Service" in any 12 year period - in other words, a reservist had to qualify for 10 annual bounties in 12 years. (IIRC, this was less onerous than a TD qualification, but was still a notable achievement.) AEs got a bar at 10 years' additional service, whereas the VRSM gets a bar at five years.
Other than the medal itself, the major thing that distinguished the AE and the TD (not sure about the RNR one) was that the AE / TD entitled the recipient to the postnominal AE / TD, and the VRSM does not; only the special Queen's Volunteer Reserve Service Medal (QVRSM) does.
So far, so boring. What was poorly done in the changeover was that if Officers had completed half of the qualifying period at the time of the changeover, then they could opt to have an AE. However, NCOs were denied this and had to have the "lesser" VRSM; a crass decision, really, and one that created lots of bad feeling for no reason at all.
Other than the medal itself, the major thing that distinguished the AE and the TD (not sure about the RNR one) was that the AE / TD entitled the recipient to the postnominal AE / TD ....
..... whilst RNVR officers received the post nominal Volunteer Reserve Decoration (VRD) and RNR officers received the RD, as did officers in the "new" RNR when the RNR and RNVR combined in 1966 as RNR List 1 and List 3 respectively. All in all, a vast improvement from the days before 1947 when RNVR officers were awarded the post nominal Volunteer Decoration, the abbreviation for which I have conveniently forgotten! Sailors received the RNR and RNVR LS&GC medal.
Although the AE medal was awarded for 10 years service in the reserves, war service counted as double time. So a member of the then Aux Air Force or VR who served for 5 years in the war would have qualified.
Not all those reservists who served in WWII knew about this. I recently had the privelige of helping a WWII veteran claim his medal. He joined the Aux AF in April 1939 and was discharged in late 1945.
I believe it was only officers who could use the post nominal AE.
Quite a lot of confusion about the naming of medals on here.
Since British campaign medals were first issued after Waterloo, they have almost always been named, the major exception being the campaign stars and medals for WW2 which were issued unnamed, except those issued to South Africans and Australians. Current and recent campaign medals for Afghanistan, Northern Ireland etc are of course named. NATO and UN medals follow the pattern of most foreign medals, in that they are unnamed. Long Service medals of all types are always named, including the Air Efficiency Award. Gallantry Medals were unusual in that prior to the John Major reforms in the 90's, those awarded to officers (MC, DFC etc) were unnamed, whereas the equivalent awarded to other ranks (MM, DFM etc) were named. I have not seen a recently issued gallantry medal, but I assume the MCs, DFCs etc which are now available to all ranks remain unnamed (clarification welcomed from anyone who has one).
Incidentally it is incorrect to describe the naming as engraved, details are in fact impressed by machine. A medal with obviously engraved naming is usually a fake, or a renamed medal, and regarded with grave suspicion by the collector!
Last edited by Tankertrashnav; 23rd Jun 2010 at 09:59.
Thanks for the heads up on this guys. Never realised it was for services rendered I always thought Cookies gong was for a rather spendid bit of airmanship. ie saving half a squadron's worth of Hampdens (149 Scampers 1940) He was the only signaller to clock that the forecast winds were way way out and had to nag the skipper into agreement. (DF minimums) Others less on the ball were swept into the Atlantic by the gale force southerlies and never seen again. His crew flew from Holland to Scampton via Newcastle! That to me is air efficiency. Strange are the ways of the official mind. A good show like that goes unrecognised but his 12 years as OC an ATC squadron earns 2 gongs! (The DFC made up for it)
I didn't see this mentioned in the earlier posts - excuse me if I tell you something you already know
The CFM was awarded to RAFVR(T) officers and NCO's for a given length of service. I think it used to be 12 years, with a clasp after a further 8.
Someone must have over stocked on them, as the service length requirements were reduced to 8 and 6 about five years ago. The recipient's name is inscribed on the rim of the medal given as the initial award. The clasp isn't inscribed at all.
I think you might be muddling up the medals. Your mate did not get the AE for being CO of an ATC Sqn for 12 years. If the medal is the AE, he got it for 10 years in the Reserves - either RAFVR or RAuxAF - (less if it was wartime, although I believe only the AuxAF then qualified). If it is the CFM, that is for being an RAFVR(T) officer in the ATC. If he has both and a DFC, good on him - he has certainly put the service in.
It was called the Air Efficiency medal because you had to have received a Certificate of Efficiency for 10 out of 12 years to qualify (and get your bounty). The Certificate of Efficiency still exists for all reservists to qualify for their training bounty.
............ in the time qualification for the Cadet Forces Medal.
I thought the qualifying period for the CFM was 12 years for the medal and 6 years for subsequent clasps. Those qualifying periods have been reset at these levels since about 1999 and causing all sorts of chaos amongst those around the boundaries of the new time periods - not to mention Wing Admin Officers bombarded with a flood of questions (only pay claims generate more correspondence than medals!!).