Authorized by the Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force, Oct. 12, 1980. Before Jan. 6, 1986, the ribbon was awarded to Air Force and Air Force Reserve members credited with completion of an overseas tour on or after Sept. 1, 1980. Air Force and Air Force Reserve members serving as of Jan. 6, 1986, or later are entitled to reflect all Air Force overseas tours credited during their career. A service member may wear both ribbons, if appropriate. The short tour ribbon takes precedence over the long-tour ribbon when both are worn.
The guidance for the criteria for short tour credit is in Air Force Instruction 36-2110, Personnel Assignments. You have to meet the assignment short tour criteria to be awarded the ribbon. Establishment of the "A" Device on the Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon for Arctic Service Message.
A metallic, bronze, letter "A" worn centered on the Air Force Overseas Ribbon-Short Tour will be awarded to Air Force active, Reserve and Guard personnel serving on or after Feb. 10, 2002, who are credited with completion of a short Air Force overseas tour north of the Arctic Circle, regardless of date of tour completion. Thule Air Base, Greenland, qualifies for this device. When worn with oak leaf clusters, place the "A" device to the wearer's right of the clusters. Wear only one "A" device on the ribbon. Do not use to represent subsequent awards.
Oak Leaf Cluster and Arctic Circle "A" device
WEIGHTED AIRMAN PROMOTED SYSTEM POINT VALUE: 0