The criteria for award of the Air Force Good Conduct medal are as follows: It is awarded to Air Force enlisted personnel during a three-year period of active military service or for a one-year period of service during a time of war. Those airmen who were awarded this medal must have had character and efficiency ratings of excellent or higher throughout the qualifying period including time spent in attendance at service schools, and there must have been no convictions of court martial or non-judicial punishment during this period.

Additional awards of the Air Force Good Conduct Medal are denoted by bronze or silver oak leaf clusters.