Legion of Merit

Authorized on July 20, 1942, and amended on March 15, 1955, this was the first United States decoration created specifically as an award for citizens of other nations, and it is the first award to have different "degrees" to conform with the decorations of other countries. It is awarded to members of the United Nations Armed Forces for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the United States. Originally awarded to both officers and enlisted men, the Legion of Merit has been continuously upgraded since its inception. Currently the recipient must occupy a position of great responsibility and would normally be a high ranking officer of staff or flag rank.

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