Contrary to popular belief, there is a lot more to getting an Air Force Achievement Medal than getting noticed by your OIC or by deploying. These medals are given to Airmen for a variety of reasons, but having a well-rounded award packet will increase your chances of actually receiving a medal. Not only do the medals make an impressive addition to your service dress, but the points you earn from receiving achievement medals will increase your odds of getting promoted.
Join the Air Force. This medal is given to service members serving in the United States Air Force who distinguish themselves by completing a difficult task or effectively leading other service members. The Achievement Medal is also commonly bestowed upon military members experiencing a Permanent Change of Station (PCS). Once in a while, this medal is given to non-Air Force service members who serve within an Air Force unit.
Do your job well. Most military personnel know that this means not only effectively managing your usual tasks, but also taking on additional details and responsibilities. If you are offered the opportunity to lead a special project, take it. Doing the task well will increase your chances of winding up with an Achievement Medal.
Keep your record clean. You don't want to do anything detrimental to your personnel record or anything that will get your commander's attention in a negative way. A bad performance report, a DUI or a Letter of Counseling (or Reprimand) will definitely decrease your chances of getting considered for an Achievement Medal. Stay away from trouble if you want to get a decoration.
Pursue additional educational opportunities. The effort you make to expand your educational horizons will absolutely affect your chances of getting noticed for an Achievement Medal. This includes both educational opportunities related to the Air Force and collegiate education leading to a degree.
Get noticed by the people in charge. If you don't have the opportunity to work directly with high-ranking people then make an effort to get noticed by them through other means. For example, volunteering will not only give the opportunity to meet the people who have the ability to initiate an awards package for you, but it will also accentuate your odds of getting the Achievement Medal approved.
Don't expect to automatically receive an Achievement Medal if you haven't done anything to merit one.
"Kissing up" to the highest ranking people may get you an award quicker, but it won't gain you any respect among your fellow Airmen.