Symbolizing the nation’s gratitude and embodying the principles of merit and the common welfare, France’s three highest awards —the Legion of Honor, the Military Medal and the National Order of Merit— play a preeminent role within the French state.
These honorary institutions distinguish those who, in their own fields, whether civilian or military, devote their talents and efforts to enhancing France’s greatness and promoting her values. These honors single them out as role models for their contemporaries as well as for succeeding generations, and thereby forge multiple bonds within our society and through the ages.
Their second benefit is to promote our nation’s standing in the world. The Legion of Honor, the first universal order of merit in history, has been since its inception over 200 years ago a model for the countries on every continent that have founded, and still found, similar institutions. And our first order, like other honors bestowed on foreign nationals, also makes it possible to salute the partners of France who contribute to her development through their relations with our country or through diplomatic ties.
Our national awards thus openly proclaim, through those whom they honor, our society’s vitality, richness and place in the world.
Army General Benoît Puga
Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor
Chancellor of the National Order of Merit