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The Legion of Merit 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.

Legion of Merit
Us legion of merit legionnaire.png
Awarded by the
United States Department of Defense
Type Military decoration
Eligibility Members of the Uniformed Services of the United States and members of allied armed forces.
Awarded for Exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements
Status Currently awarded
Statistics
First awarded 1942
Precedence
Next (higher) Defense Superior Service Medal
Next (lower) Distinguished Flying Cross
Legion of Merit ribbon.svg
Legion of Merit ribbon

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 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 which may be issued in award degrees (much like an order of chivalry or certain Orders of Merit).

The Legion of Merit is sixth in the order of precedence of 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.