United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Degree Case, c.1945

Item #W5940



Instituted in 1942. Hardshelled design on both the lid and base, the exterior with a black thatched-look cloth covering on all sides, the lid bearing the inscription "LEGION OF MERIT" above "LEGIONNAIRE" framed by two wavy rules, the inside rules with floral designs in the corners, all in gold-coloured ink, inside lid lined in champagne-colored satin and padded, deep yellow felt and padded medal bed, hinged, measuring 87 mm (w) x 165 mm (h) x 32.7 mm (d), the lid and bottom with slight undulation in the cloth covering, the inscription on the lid with a lacquered finish, near extremely fine.


Footnote: 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. The decoration is issued to members of the seven uniformed services of the United States, as well as to military and political figures of foreign governments. The medal was announced in War Department Bulletin No. 40, dated August 5, 1942. Executive Order 9260, dated October 29, 1942, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, establishing the rules for the Legion of Merit, and requiring the President's approval for the award. The Legion of Merit (Commander degree) is one of only two United States military decorations to be issued as a neck order (the other being the Medal of Honor) and the only United States military decoration that may be issued in award degrees (much like an order of chivalry or certain Orders of Merit), although the degrees including a neck riband 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 and is worn after the Defense Superior Service Medal and before the Distinguished Flying Cross. In contemporary use in the U.S. Armed Forces, the Legion of Merit is typically awarded to Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force general officers and colonels, and Navy and Coast Guard flag officers and captains occupying senior command or very senior staff positions in their respective services. It may also be awarded to officers of lesser rank, senior warrant officers (typically in command positions at the rank of CW5), and to very senior enlisted personnel (typically in the rank of CSM and SMA in the Army, FLTCM and MCPON in the Navy, CMSAF in the Air Force and SgtMajMC in the Marine Corps), but these instances are less frequent, typically by exception, and the circumstances vary by branch of service. Authority to award the Legion of Merit is reserved for general officers and flag officers in pay grade O-9 (e.g., Lieutenant General and Vice Admiral) and above, civilian Department of Defense personnel at assistant service secretary or Assistant Secretary of Defense level and above, or equivalent secretary-level civilian personnel with the Department of Homeland Security with direct oversight of the U.S. Coast Guard.