The Legion of Merit is a military decoration of the United States armed forces that is awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. The decoration is issued both to United States military personnel and 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 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 decorations, 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 command or very senior staff positions in their respective services. It may also be awarded to officers of lesser rank and senior enlisted personnel, but these instances are less frequent and circumstances vary by service. As such, the medal can be considered as "points" in some enlisted promotion systems, such as the Air Force, where it is counted as seven points (out of a possible 25 points for decorations).