The French Legion d'Honneur is an order of distinction first
established by Napoleon Bonaparte in May of 1802. It is the
highest decoration bestowed in France and is divided into five
categories: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur
(Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix
(Grand Cross). The highest degree of the Order of the Legion of
Honor is that of Grand Master, which is held by the sitting
President of the Republic.
Foreign nationals who have served France or the ideals it
upholds may receive a distinction from the Legion of Honor.
American recipients include Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and
Douglas MacArthur, Admiral Michael Mullen, and even, as an
institution, the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Today there are approximately 93,000 Legion of Honor recipients.
American veterans who risked their lives during World War II and
who fought on French territory qualify to be decorated as
Knights of the Legion of Honor. Veterans must have fought in one
of the four main campaigns of the Liberation of France:
Normandy, Provence, Ardennes, or Northern France.
The year 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of the Allied
invasion of Normandy, a military offensive commonly known as
To inquire about eligibility for the decoration of a U.S.
veteran having served in France or with French forces, please