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WATCH: U.S. Army ‘Surprises’ IDF Chief With Legion of Merit Medal

The Times of Israel reports: Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford awarded IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot with the Legion of Merit for “exceptionally meritorious service,” outside the Pentagon on Thursday, an army spokesperson said.

The ceremony was a “surprise,” the official said, though many of Eisenkot’s predecessors have also received the award.

Dunford presented Eisenkot with the Legion of Merit, commander degree, following an honor guard ceremony outside the Pentagon in Washington, DC.

The Legion of Merit can be awarded by the US Armed Forces to foreign military and political officials who “distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services,” according to US law. It is the sixth-highest honor that the United States can bestow on a US citizen.

The Legion of Merit has four degrees, depending on the rank of the recipient. The commander degree, which Eisenkot received, is the second-highest level of the award, following chief commander.

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