What’s Legion of Merit? The honour given by the US to PM Narendra Modi
The Donald Trump government of the United States honoured Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Legion of Merit for his leadership in elevating the strategic partnership of India and the US.
The Legion Of Merit (LOM) is a military award of the United States Armed Forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.
What is it?
It is the only US military decoration that has distinct ranks, and the first US medal to be awarded to citizens of other nations. It is awarded for outstanding service, fidelity, and loyalty in either combat or non-combat positions. Whereas US military personnel qualify only for the lowest rank of a legionnaire, any foreign citizen is eligible for the three higher ranks of officer, commander, and chief commander. These classifications are usually conferred upon foreign officials of high rank or on foreign military advisers.
Of the two United States military decorations to be issued as a neck order, The Legion of Merit (Commander degree) is one of them (the other being the Medal of Honour), it is only United States military decoration that is awarded in degrees, However, non-US nationals are awarded with the neck ribbon.
The US had last awarded Legion of Merit to late Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on September 18, 2020 as the senior-most Royal in the Middle-East for bridging divides in the restive region.
KM Cariappa was honoured with the Legion in 1949. He was Indian military officer and the first chief of staff of the Indian army after India became independent of Great Britain. Former Army chief of staff, Bikram Singh, was also awarded the legion in 2013.