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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. The Legion of Merit is one of only two United States military decorations to be issued as a neck order and the only United States decoration which may be issued in award degrees. The Legion of Merit is seventh 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 and to very senior enlisted personnel, but these instances are less frequent and circumstances vary by branch of service.

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