The Afghanistan Medal is a cupro-nickel medal, with the Australian Coat of Arms on the obverse. The reverse shows a portion of a snow-capped mountain range with a multi-rayed sun rising behind the mountains. The mountains represent the dominant terrain of the country and the rising sun represents a 'new dawn' for the nation. The word 'Afghanistan' appears around the central device on the flan in English and in the Arabic script.
The ribbon is khaki representing the dominant ground colour of the terrain, edged with light blue and white stripes representing the sky above the mountains and the snow on the mountain peaks with central stripes of purple and red representing the ADF and the conflict in Afghanistan.
The basic eligibility requirement for the Afghanistan Medal is 30 days service or 30 sorties in the prescribed area after 11 October 2001.