Obverse: A bronze medal 1-7/16 inches in overall diameter consisting of a star of twelve points. An eagle holding three arrows is superimposed in the center. The shape of the medal was designed to make it distinctive from all other decorations, and the eagle was taken from the Seal of the Department of Defense.
Symbolism: The eagle holding three arrows suggests the nation's readiness to defend in the air, on land or at sea. The raised points denote vigilance in all directions.
Reverse: In the center of the reverse there is a circle composed of the following inscription (in raised letters): ''JOINT SERVICE (which comprises the upper portion of the circle) ACHIEVEMENT AWARD'' (which comprises the lower portion of the circle). The space in the center of the circle is left blank for inscribing the recipient's name.