The Air Efficiency Award, was to be given for ten years' efficient service in the Reserve Air Forces of the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and Empire services. Unlike other long service and meritorious conduct awards, both officers and enlisted men were eligible. It was established on August 17th, 1942. Only officers were allowed to use of the post-nominal AE.
For those servicemen who's service commenced before September 3rd, 1939, in the Territorial Service of the Air Force Reserve, the time was counted as time and a half. Service with the Royal Air Force or any other Commonwealth Air Force during the Second World War between September 3rd, 1939 and September 2nd, 1945, was counted treble time. Service, other than in Flying duties in the Territorial Air Force or the Air Force Reserve was normally counted as single time, but when embodied within the Royal Air Force or any Commonwealth Air Force during the Second World War, this was counted as double time.
Any other service within the Royal Air Force or any Commonwealth Air Force during the Second World War was counted as single time. Servicemen that also served within the First World War in regular force was counted as single time and during that period service in non-regular forces was counted as double time. Service in non-regular forces after World War One prior to September 3rd, 1939 was also counted as single time.
Time that was counted for which the serviceman already received another Long Service or Good Conduct Medal, could not be counted for receiving the Air Efficiency Award. The qualifying period had to be continuously, with the exception of service during the Second World War. A break of 6 months in the period after World War Two was excepted under conditions.
A second awarding to those who served another period of 10 years, was done in the form of a clasp to be worn on the ribbon of the first AE.
The award was discontinued on 1 April 1999, and replaced by the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal.