'Legion of Merit' Award | UPSC

‘Legion of Merit’ Award | UPSC


United States confers ‘Legion of Merit’ award on Prime Minister Narendra Modi

      WHY IN NEWS:

Recognition for increasing consensus on Indo- US Strategic Partnership, says PM on accepting Legion of Merit Award from US

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of External Affairs


The President of the United States of America conferred the highest decoration, The Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 21 December 2020.

  • The award is in recognition of the Prime Minister’s steadfast leadership and vision for India’s emergence as a global power.
  • The award confers an exemplary contribution made by him for the advancement of the India-United States strategic partnership and promoting global peace and prosperity.
  • The Legion of Merit, in the highest degree of the Chief Commander, is a prestigious award conferred by the President of the United States.
  • The award is given typically upon Heads of State or Heads of Government of other countries.


'Legion of Merit' Award | UPSC


  • The Legion Of Merit (LOM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces.


It is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.


  • The decoration is issued to members of the eight uniformed services of the United States as well as to military and political figures of foreign governments.
  • The Legion Of Merit (Commander degree) is one of only two United States military decorations to be issued as a neck order .

Also, it the only United States military decoration that may be issued in degrees although the degrees including a neck ribbon are only awarded to non-U.S. nationals.

  • The Legion Of Merit is seventh in the order of precedence of all U.S. military awards .


The degrees of Chief Commander, Commander, Officer, and Legionnaire are awarded only to members of armed forces of foreign nations.

It is based on the relative rank or position of the recipient as follows:

  • CHIEF COMMANDER : This award is given to Head of state or government. 
  • COMMANDER : Equivalent of a U.S. military chief of staff or higher position, but not to a head of state.
  • OFFICER : General or flag officer below the equivalent of a U.S. military chief of staff; colonel or equivalent rank (e.g., Navy or Coast Guard captain).
  • LEGIONNAIRE : All recipients not included above.

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  • 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.
  • In peacetime, service should be in the nature of a special requirement or of an extremely difficult duty performed in an unprecedented and clearly exceptional manner.
  • However, justification of the award may accrue by virtue of exceptionally meritorious service in a succession of important positions.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The award was received on behalf of the Prime Minister by the Ambassador of India to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu.
  • At the ceremony, The Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, was also awarded to the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison, and former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.
     SOURCES:  PIB  | ‘Legion of Merit’ Award | UPSC



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