Order of Merit, Type IV, Commander Breast Star
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Originally established as the Medal for Merit in 1906, the Order of Merit (Orden al Mérito) had a convoluted beginning while it was amended several times. It was founded to reward exclusively foreign military instructors who taught tactics and discipline to Chilean Officers at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The Medal for Merit was originally awarded with two classes, I Class Medal and II Class Medal. The I Class Medal was gilded and was awarded to the highest ranks, while the II Class Medal was silvered and was awarded to the troops.
A third class was added in 1911 to recognize different ranks of Officers, and the Order was authorized to reward Chilean civilians in 1915.
In 1924, the Order was amended again adding the highest grade of Grand Officer to reward foreign Heads of State. Also, it was authorized to reward foreign civilians.
In 1925, the Medal was promoted to Order and six new grades were authorized; Grand Cross, Grand Cross, I Class Commander, Commander, Officer, and Knight.
Finally, the Chilean government re-instituted the Order of Merit in 1929, following the principles of the antique Legion of Merit of 1817, and the Collar grade was added.
The Order is currently awarded to military personnel and civilians either national or foreigners in recognition of extraordinary and meritorious services rendered to the Republic of Chile. This Order is the highest award within the country.
In MB, the Order is classified into types according with the approved grades in each period. Type I includes the awards between 1906-1911; Type II consists of the awards between 1911-1924; Type III consists of the awards between 1924-1925; Type IV includes the awards between 1925-1929; and finally, Type V includes the awards between 1929-present.
In Type IV, the ranks differ for their enamel: Grand Cross, Grand Officer and Commander display white enameled arms, while the Officer displays enameled blue arms, and the Knight does not have enamel.
The Grand Cross, Grand Officer, and Commander are accompanied by Breast Stars. These Breast Stars are inscribed by the rank on the obverse. The Breast Star's design is a red enameled ball-tipped star with a central Chilean coat of arms.
The ribbon is blue, and it is a neck ribbon for Grand Officer and Commander. The Grand Cross features a full length sash.
Obv: REPUBLICA DE CHILE COMENDADOR ORDEN DEL MERITO
This version displays anchors. This is a navy version.
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