Order of Maritime Merit, Officer (stamped "JEAN VERNON")
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The Order of Maritime Merit was created by the decree of February 9, 1930. The Order is one of only four specialized orders of merit that was not absorbed into the National Order of Merit in 1963.
The Order is awarded for exceptional maritime service. This may include service relating to marine commerce, commercial fishing, the Ministry of Defense, the administration of various maritime associations, pleasure navigation, as well as cultural contributions (painting, writing, etc).
At the time of its creation there were 9 Commanders, 75 Officers, and 260 Knights. Since 2002, the number of awards in the annual contingent is decided a year in advance. A Knight requires at least 15 years of service. Knights may be promoted to Officer after 8 years, and Officers may be promoted to Commander after 5 years.
The obverse inscription translates to “French Republic,” and the reverse inscription translates to “Maritime Merit, Merchant Navy.”
There may be versions that vary in size or composition.
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