Ordre national du Mérite
The Ordre national du Mérite (French: [ɔʁdʁ nɑsjɔnal dy meʁit]; English: National Order of Merit) is a French order of merit with membership awarded by the President of the French Republic, founded on 3 December 1963 by President Charles de Gaulle. The reason for the order's establishment was twofold: to replace the large number of ministerial orders previously awarded by the ministries; and to create an award that can be awarded at a lower level than the Legion of Honour, which is generally reserved for French citizens. It comprises about 185,000 members; 306,000 members have been admitted or promoted in 50 years.
|Ordre national du Mérite|
|Awarded by the President of France|
|Type||Order of merit|
|Established||3 December 1963|
|Awarded for||Distinguished civil or military achievements|
|Grand Master||President Emmanuel Macron|
|Next (higher)||Military Medal|
|Next (lower)||National Recognition Medal for Victims of Terrorism|
|Related||Order of Agricultural Merit|
Order of Maritime Merit
Ribbon of the Order
The Ordre national du Mérite (National Order of Merit) comprises about 185,000 members; 306,000 members have been admitted or promoted in 50 years. Half of its recipients are required to be women.
Defunct ministerial ordersEdit
- Ordre de l'Étoile d'Anjouan (1874) (Order of the Star of Anjouan)
- Ordre du Nichan El-Anouar (1887) (Order of Nishan-e-Anuar or Order of Light)
- Ordre de l'Étoile Noire (1889) (Order of the Black Star)
Special ministerial orders of meritEdit
- Ordre du Mérite social (Order of Societal Merit) (1936)
- Ordre de la Santé publique (Order of Public Health) (1938)
- Ordre du Mérite commercial et industriel (Order of Commercial and Industrial Merit) (1939)
- Ordre du Mérite artisanal (Order of Artisanal Merit) (1948)
- Ordre du Mérite touristique (Order of Tourism Merit) (1949)
- Ordre du Mérite combattant (Order of Combatant Merit) (1953)
- Ordre du Mérite postal (Order of Postal Merit) (1953)
- Ordre de l'Économie nationale (Order of the National Economy) (1954)
- Ordre du Mérite sportif (Order of Sports Merit) (1956)
- Ordre du Mérite du travail (Order of Work Merit) (1957)
- Ordre du Mérite militaire (Order of Military Merit) (1957)
- Ordre du Mérite civil (Order of Civil Merit) (1957)
- Ordre du Mérite Saharien (Order of Saharan Merit) (1958)
French citizens as well as foreign nationals, men and women, can be received into the order for distinguished military or civil achievements, though of a lesser level than that required for the award of the Legion of Honour. The President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the order and appoints all its members by convention on the advice of the Government of France. The order has a common Chancellor and Chancery with the Legion of Honour. Every Prime Minister of France is made a Grand cross of the order after 6 months of service. Jacques Chirac, who would later serve as president, was the first prime minister to receive the Grand Cross of the order ex officio.
- Three ranks:
- Commander (Commandeur): minimum of 5 years in the rank of Officer (for active duty commissioned officers, this is achieved after five years in the rank of Officer)
- Officer (Officier): minimum of 5 years in the rank of Knight (for active duty commissioned officers, this is achieved after seven years in the rank of Knight)
- Knight (Chevalier): to be of a minimum age of 35, have a minimum of 10 years of public service (although, in practice, 15 years is the minimum commonly needed to be conferred the rank of Knight), and "distinguished merits" (for active duty commissioned officers, this is achieved after fifteen years of meritorious service)
- Two additional dignities:
- Grand Cross (Grand-Croix): minimum 3 years in the rank of Grand Officer
- Grand Officer (Grand Officier): minimum 3 years in the rank of Commande
- Knight – wears the Medal on the left chest (bow form for women in dress)
- Officer – wears the Medal with rosette on the left chest (bow form for women in dress)
- Commander – wears the necklet on the neck for men and women (left shoulder in bow form for women in dress)
- Grand Officer – wears the Medal with rosette on the left chest, plus the Star on the right side of the stomach;
- Grand Cross – wears the Sash on the right shoulder to the left hip and the Star on the left side of the stomach.
- The medal of the order is a six-armed Maltese asterisk in gilt (silver for chevalier) enamelled blue, with laurel leaves between the arms. The obverse central disc features the head of Marianne, surrounded by the legend République française (French Republic). The reverse central disc has a set of crossed tricolores, surrounded by the name of the order and its foundation date. The badge is suspended by a laurel wreath.
- The star (plaque) is worn by Grand-Croix (in gilt on the left breast) and Grand Officier (in silver on the right breast) respectively; it is a twelve-armed sunburst, with rays (formerly plain, now in blue enamel) between the arms. The central disc features the head of Marianne, surrounded by the legend République française and the name of the Order, and in turn surrounded by a wreath of laurel.
- The ribbon for the medal is a solid blue field. For the grade of Officier and above, a rosette is centered in the field. For the grades of Commandeur, Grand Officier, and Grand-Croix, the rosette is centered bar of silver; silver and gold, and a solid gold respectively.
The individuals listed below have been admitted as members of the National Order of Merit:
- Charles Aznavour, actor, composer, songwriter and singer
- Jean-Paul Belmondo, actor
- Arnaud Beltrame, gendarme officer
- Juliette Benzoni, novelist
- Claude Bessy, dancer
- Françoise Cachin, art historian and curator
- Marie-Lise Chanin, physicist
- Jacques Charpentier, composer
- René Clair, writer and filmmaker
- Yves Coppens, anthropologist
- Jacques Cousteau, oceanographer
- Jean Delay, psychiatrist and author
- Alain Delon, actor
- Gérard Depardieu, actor and filmmaker
- Georges Descrières, actor
- Laurent Fabius, former Prime Minister of France, politician
- Erol Gelenbe, rank of Commander, computer scientist and professor
- President Charles de Gaulle, statesman
- Jacques Gounon, CEO of Groupe Eurotunnel
- Philippe Gurdjian, racing driver and motorsport promoter
- Isabelle Huppert, actress
- Catherine Jeandel, scientist
- Patrick Kron, corporate executive
- General André Lalande, military officer
- Robert Lecou, politician
- Thierry Lhermitte, actor and comedian
- Marcel Marceau, actor and mime
- Frédéric Mazzella, entrepreneur
- President François Mitterrand, statesman
- Cécile Pelous, philanthropist
- Cathérine Picart, biophysicist and bioengineer.
- Francis Pollet, general officer
- Madeleine Riffaud, poet and war correspondent
- Teddy Riner, World and Olympic champion judoka
- Jean-Pierre Rives, sculptor
- Jean-Marc de La Sablière, diplomat
- José-Alain Sahel, ophthalmologist and scientist
- Sarah Maldoror, filmmaker and activist
- Sylvie Vartan, singer
- Cédric Villani, mathematician
- Emmanuelle Wargon, politician
- Claire Wyart, neuroscientist (chevalier)
- Michèle Bellon, former President of the Directorate ERDF (chevalier)
- Queen Aishwarya of Nepal
- T. K. Ann, industrialist, legislator and sinologist (Hong Kong)
- Tina Arena, musician and actress (Australia)
- Sir John Barbirolli, conductor and cellist (UK)
- Lamia Moubayed Bissat, Lebanese civil servant.
- Béji Caïd Essebsi, President of Tunisia
- Jovanka Broz, First Lady of Yugoslavia
- Empress Emerita Michiko of Japan
- Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (UK)
- King Juan Carlos I of Spain
- Queen Sofia of Spain
- Queen Letizia of Spain
- Frederick, Crown Prince of Denmark
- Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark
- Charles Chibitty, US Army, Comanche Code Talker, WW II (USA)
- General Wesley Clark, military officer (USA)
- Felix Ermacora, politician and expert on human rights (Austria)
- Mizuho Fukushima, politician and member of the House of Councillors (Japan)
- Sivaji Ganesan, actor (India)
- King Gyanendra of Nepal
- Kamal Hassan, actor (India)
- Bruce Jackson, writer and photographer (USA)
- Saša Janković, Serbian lawyer and politician
- General James L. Jones, USMC, military officer and diplomat (USA)
- Nasser Kamel, Ambassador of Egypt to France (2006–2012)
- Queen Komal of Nepal
- Ara Babloyan, politician, pediatrician, President of the National Assembly of Armenia
- Narek Sargsyan, architect, Minister of Urban Development of Armenia
- Vigen Sargsyan, politician, Defence Minister of Armenia
- Anu Lamp, actress, translator and instructor (Estonia)
- Roméo LeBlanc, journalist and statesman (Canada)
- Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd CMM CD Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy
- Andreas Maislinger, Founder Austrian Holocaust Memorial Service
- Queen Máxima of the Netherlands
- John McManners, clergyman and historian (UK)
- Professor Mari Miura, political scientist, Sophia University (Japan)
- Villoo Morawala-Patell, corporate executive (India)
- Njoroge Mungai, Cabinet Minister for Foreign Affairs and Businessman (Kenya)
- Professor Kathleen O'Flaherty, academic, University College Cork (Ireland)
- Sigurður Pálsson, Icelandic poet, author and translator
- Priya Paul, Entrepreneur (India)
- Goffredo Petrassi, Italian Composer and Conductor.
- General Jay Raymond, Chief of Space Operations (USSF) & Commander (USSC) (USA)
- Michela Schiff Giorgini, Italian Egyptologist
- Léopold Sédar Senghor, poet, politician and cultural theorist (Senegal)
- Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, Iranian Classical Music Vocalist and Maestro
- Admiral Sumner Shapiro, USN, intelligence officer
- Queen Sonja of Norway
- Queen Silvia of Sweden
- Dubravka Stojanović, historian, Serbia
- Christel Takigawa, Announcer of Japan
- Surya Bahadur Thapa, Prime Minister of Nepal
- Marshal Josip Broz Tito, statesman (Yugoslavia)
- Ignacio Fernández Toxo, President of ETUC (Spain)
- Princess Galyani Vadhana, Princess of Naradhiwas (Thailand)
- Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden
- King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands
- General Anthony Zinni, USMC, military officer (USA)
- General Mark A. Milley, US Army, 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (USA)
- John T. Preston, M.I.T. lecturer
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