Legion of Merit Medal

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Instituted: 1942

Description: The degrees of the Legion of Merit are as depicted below with description and components for each:

CHIEF COMMANDER:

        Description: On a wreath of Green laurel joined at the bottom by a Gold bow-knot (rosette), a domed five-pointed white star bordered Crimson, points reversed with v-shaped extremities tipped with a Gold ball. In the center, a Blue disk encircled by Gold clouds, with 13 White stars arranged in the pattern that appears on the United States Coat of Arms. Between each point, within the wreath are crossed arrows pointing outwards. The overall width is 2 15/16 inches. The words "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" are engraved in the center of the reverse. A miniature of the decoration in Gold on a horizontal Gold bar is worn on the service ribbon.

COMMANDER:

        Description: On a wreath of Green laurel joined at the bottom by a Gold bow-knot (rosette), a domed five-pointed white star bordered Crimson, points reversed with v-shaped extremities tipped with a Gold ball. In the center, a Blue disk encircled by Gold clouds, with 13 White stars arranged in the pattern that appears on the United States Coat of Arms. Between each point, within the wreath are crossed arrows pointing outwards. The overall width is 2 1/4 inches. A Gold laurel wreath in the v-shaped angle at the top connects an oval suspension ring to the neck ribbon that is 1 15/16 inches in width. The reverse of the five-pointed star is enameled in White, and the border is Crimson. In the center, a disk for engraving the name of the recipient surrounded by the words "ANNUIT COEPTIS MDCCLXXXII." An outer scroll contains the words "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA." The service ribbon is the same as the ribbon for the degree of Commander, except the ribbon attachment is Silver.

OFFICER:

        Description: The design is the same as the degree of Commander except overall width is 1 7/8 inches and the pendant has a suspension ring instead of the wreath for attaching the ribbon. A Gold replica of the medal, 3/4 inch wide, is entered on the suspension ribbon.

Legionnaire and Legion of Merit:

        Description: The design is the same as the degree of Officer, except the suspension ribbon does not have the medal replica.

Criteria: The degrees of Chief Commander, Commander, Officer, and Legionnaire are awarded only to members of armed forces of foreign nations under the criteria outlined in Army Regulation 672-7 and is based on the relative rank or position of the recipient as follows: (1) Chief Commander-Chief of State or Head of Government; (2) Commander- Equivalent of an U>S. military Chief of Staff or higher position but not to Chief of State; (3) Officer-General of Flag Officer below the equivalent of a U.S. military Chief of Staff: Colonel or equivalent rank for service in assignments equivalent to those normally held by a General or Flag Officer in U.S. military service; or Military Attaches; (4) Legionnaire-All recipients not included above.

The Legion of Merit is awarded to all members of the Armed Forces of the United States without reference to degree for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. The performance must have been such as to merit recognition of key individuals for service rendered in a clearly exceptional manner. Performance of duties normal to the grade, branch, specialty or assignment, and experience of an individual is not an adequate basis for this award. For service not related to actual war the term "key individual" applies to a narrower range of positions than in time of war and requires evidence of significant achievement.

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