US President Donald Trump has awarded the prestigious Legion of Merit to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “his leadership in elevating the US-India strategic partnership.”
In a Twitter post, the White House National Security Council said Tuesday morning: “President@realDonaldTrump presented the Legion of Merit to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his leadership in elevating the U.S.-India strategic partnership. Ambassador @SandhuTaranjitS accepted the medal on behalf of Prime Minister Modi.”
According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs the award was conferred on Monday.
“The award is in recognition of the Prime Minister’s steadfast leadership and vision for India’s emergence as a global power, and exemplary contribution made by him for the advancement of the India-United States strategic partnership and promoting global peace and prosperity,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Legion of Merit, in the highest degree of the Chief Commander, is conferred by the US president, typically upon heads of State or heads of government of other countries.
The ministry statement noted the Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, was also awarded to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Modi said he is “deeply honored” by the award and that it recognizes “the efforts of the people of India & the US to improve bilateral ties, reflected in the bipartisan consensus in both countries about the Indo-US Strategic Partnership.”
“On behalf of the 1.3 billion people of India, I reiterate my government’s firm conviction and commitment to continue working with the US government, and all other stakeholders in both countries, for further strengthening India-US ties,” he said on Twitter.
“The 21st century presents both unprecedented challenges as well as opportunities. The India-US relationship can leverage the vast potential of our people’s unique strengths to provide global leadership for the benefit of entire humanity,” the Indian premier added.
Legion of Merit
The Legion of Merit was established by Act of Congress July 20, 1942 (10 U.S.C. 1121). It is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or of a friendly foreign nation who has distinguished himself or herself by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievement.
(a) Criteria for members of Armed Forces of the United States. 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.
(b) For service not related to actual war, the term “key individuals” 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.
(c) Awards will be made without reference to degree.
(d) Criteria for members of the Armed Forces of foreign nations. The LM in the degrees described below, may be awarded to foreign military personnel who distinguish themselves by “exceptional meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding service” to the United States in accordance with Executive Order (E.O.) 9260.
(e) The LM awarded to members of the Armed Forces of foreign nations is awarded in the following degrees:
(1) Chief Commander: A domed five-pointed American white star plaque of heraldic form bordered in purplish-red enamel 215/16 inches circumscribing diameter with 13 white stars on a blue field emerging from a circle of clouds; backing the star, a laurel wreath with pierced, crossed arrows pointing outward between each arm of the star and the wreath. The reverse is engraved with the words “United States of America.”
(2) Commander: A five-pointed American white star of heraldic form bordered in purplish-red enamel 21/4-inches circumscribing diameter with 13 white stars on a blue field emerging from a circle of clouds; backing the star, a laurel wreath with pierced, crossed arrows pointing outward between each arm of the star and the wreath. A bronze wreath connects an oval suspension ring to a neck ribbon. The reverse of the five-pointed star is enameled in white bordered in purplish-red enamel; in the center is a disk surrounded by the words “Annuit Coeptis” and “MDCCLXXXII,” and on the scroll are the words “United States of America.” The moired silk neck ribbon is 211/4 inches in length and 115/16 inches in width composed of a bank of purplish-red (113/16-inches) with edges of white (1/16-inch).
(3) Officer: A five-pointed American white star of heraldic form bordered in purplish-red enamel 17/8-inches circumscribing diameter with 13 white stars on a blue field emerging from a circle of clouds; backing the star, a laurel wreath with modeled, crossed arrows pointing outward between each arm of the star and the wreath, and an all-bronze device of the same design as the pendant 3/4 inch in diameter on the center of the suspension ribbon. On the reverse is a disk surrounded by the words “Annuit Coeptis” and “MDCCLXXXII,” and on the scroll are the words “United States of America.” The pendant is suspended by a moired silk ribbon 17/8 inches in length and 13/8 inches in width, composed of a bank of purplish-red (11/4-inches) with edges of white (1/16-inch).
(4) Legionnaire: Same as prescribed in paragraph (e)(3) of this section, except the all-bronze device is not worn on the ribbon. (Sec. 1121, 70A Stat. 88; 10 U.S.C. 1121, E.O. 9260, October 29, 1942, 7 FR 8819, 3 CFR, 1943 Cum. Supp.)