Order of Merit of Benin, Commander (Republic of Benin)
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This Order was instituted as the Order of Merit of Dahomey in 1960. Its name was later changed to the Order of Merit of Benin in 1986 to reflect the name of the Republic as it was established in 1975.
It is conferred upon individuals in recognition of outstanding contributions to the nation. It may be awarded under civil or military title. The civil title is conferred upon civilians in recognition of civil or professional service in the cultural, agricultural, commercial, industrial, political, or economic sectors. The military title is conferred upon members of the Benin Armed Forces in recognition of a minimum of 12 years of meritorious service. The Order may also be conferred under either title in recognition of acts of bravery, as well as posthumously in recognition of acts of bravery.
The Order is classified into three models based on changes associated with different regimes. The first model was awarded in the Republic of Dahomey and features an obverse inscription that translates to "Republic of Dahomey." The second model was awarded in the People's Republic of Benin and features an obverse inscription that translates to "People's Republic of Benin." The third model has been awarded in the Republic of Benin since the collapse of the communist regime and features an obverse inscription that translates to "Republic of Benin." All three models feature an additional obverse inscription that translates to "Benin Merit."
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