Order of Merit, Type V, Collar
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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 V, the Grand Cross and Grand Officer are accompanied by Breast Stars. The Breast Stars have the inscription ORDEN DEL MERITO on the obverse. The Breast Star's design is a white enameled ball-tipped star with the Chilean coat of arms on the center. The ribbon is blue with a thin red stripe on each sides.
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