US Legion of Merit

The Legion of Merit Medal (LM, LOM) is a decoration presented by the United States Armed Forces to members of the United States Military, as well as foreign military members and political figures, who have displayed exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. The performance must be of significant importance and far exceed what is expected by normal standards. When the award is presented to foreign parties, it is divided into separate ranking degrees. The degrees are as follows: Chief Commander - issued to a head of state or government; Commander - issued to a chief of staff or higher position that is not head of state; Officer - issued to a general or flag officer that is below the chief of staff, colonel or equivalent rank; Legionnaire - issued to all other service members ranking lower than those previously mentioned. Awards presented to United State military members are not divided into degrees. Subsequent awards are denoted by Oak Leaf Clusters for U.S. Army and Air Force members and Award Stars for U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard members. The Valor device is also authorized to be worn by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, but not by the U.S. Army or Air Force.