Public Law 77-671

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    Chapter 508.    
    Note: This is the original legislation as it was initially enacted. Any subsequent amendments hosted on WS may be listed using  What Links Here.
    77TH UNITED STATES CONGRESS
    2ND SESSION


    An Act
    To authorize officers and enlisted men of the armed forces of the United States to accept decorations, orders, medals, and emblems tendered them by governments of cobelligerent nations or other American republics and to create the decorations to be known as the ‘‘Legion of Merit’’, and the ‘‘Medal for Merit’’.


    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
    That officers and enlisted men of the armed forces of the United States be, and they are hereby, authorized during the present war and for a year thereafter to accept from the governments of cobelligerent nations or the other American republics such decorations, orders, medals, and emblems, as may be tendered them, and which are conferred by such governments upon members of their own military forces, hereby expressly granting the consent of Congress required for this purpose by clause 8 of section 9, article I, of the Constitution:
    Provided, That any such officer or enlisted man is hereby authorized to accept and wear any decoration, order, medal, or emblem heretofore bestowed upon such person by the government of a cobelligerent nation or of an American republic.


    Sec. 2.[edit]

    (1) That there is hereby created a decoration to be known as the ‘‘Legion of Merit’’, which shall have suitable appurtenances and devices and not more than four degrees, and which the President, under such rules and regulations as he shall prescribe, may award to (a) personnel of the armed forces of the United States and of the Government of the Philippines and (b) personnel of the armed forces of friendly foreign nations who, since the proclamation of an emergency by the President on September 8, 1939, shall have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services.
    (2) That there is hereby created a decoration to be known as the ‘‘Medal for Merit’’, which shall have distinctive appurtenances and devices and only one degree, and which the President, under such rules and regulations. as he shall prescribe, may award to such civilians of the nations prosecuting the war under the joint declaration of the United Nations and of other friendly foreign nations as have, since the proclamation of an emergency by the President on September 8, 1939, distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services:
    Provided, That awards to civilians of foreign nations shall be only for the performance of an exceptionally meritorious or courageous act or acts in furtherance of the war efforts of the United Nations.

    Sec. 3.[edit]

    There is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, such sums as may be necessary for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act.


    Approved, July 20, 1942.


    Legislative History[edit]

    • S. 2404