Former Army General Dalbir Singh Suhag awarded Legion of Merit by US Government
United States Government has awarded Legion of Merit (Degree of Commander) to General Dalbir Singh Suhag (Retired) of Indian Army. The award was given to Singh for his exceptionally meritorious service as Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) from August 2014 to December 2016. With this, he becomes second Indian to get this award, first being General Rajendrasinghji Jadeja in 1946.
The award commended his leadership for Indian Army’s counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations and its humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) during Nepal earthquake in 2015. He was also lauded for sustaining Indian Army contributions to United Nations global peacekeeping as one of world’s largest provider of forces to UN. Notably, India-US Army to Army bilateral engagements, improved interoperability and close functional cooperation expanded during Gen Dalbir Singh’s tenure as chief of Indian Army.
The Legion of Merit to General Dalbir Singh was announced by US Government in March 2016 when he was in chair as Chief of Army Staff, with intention of conferring award to him during his official visit to US in April 2016. However, due to procedural delays in obtaining necessary government sanction for award presentation had resulted in this not being presented during his official visit. General Dalbir Singh subsequently had retired from service in December 2016.
Article 18 (4) of Constitution (Abolition of titles): It says that no person holding any office of profit or trust under State shall, without consent of President, accept any present, emolument, or office of any kind from or under any foreign State.
Legion of Merit
It is military award of United States Armed Forces given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding services and achievements. It is awarded to members of the seven uniformed services of the United States as well as to military and political figures of foreign governments. It is awarded in four degrees; Degree of Chief Commander; Degree of Commander; Degree of Officer; and Degree of Legionnaire. Its degrees and design were influenced by the French Legion of Honour (Légion d’honneur). US Congress Act (Public Law 671—77th Congress, Chapter 508, 2d Session) allows US President award to Legion of Merit personnel armed forces of friendly foreign nations for their exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services.
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