CHANDIGARH: The United States government has awarded the Legion of Merit (Degree of Commander) to General Dalbir Singh Suhag (Retired), of the Indian Army, for exceptionally meritorious service as chief of the Army staff, Indian Army.
The award was presented to General Suhag on August 17, 2018, at Pentagon, Washington DC, in the presence of his family members and the Indian Military Attache to the United States of America.
The Legion of Merit to General Dalbir Singh was announced by the US Government in March 2016 when he was in chair as the Chief of Army Staff, with the intention of conferring the award to him during his official visit to the United States in April 2016.
However, procedural delays in obtaining necessary government sanction for the award presentation resulted in this not being presented during the official visit. General Dalbir Singh subsequently retired on December 31, 2016. The citation of the award stated that in the period August 2014 to April 2016 as Chief of Army Staff, Indian Army, Gen Dalbir Singh rendered exceptionally meritorious service.
It commended his leadership for the Indian Army’s counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations and its humanitarian assistance and disaster relief during the Nepal earthquake in 2015. Gen Dalbir Singh was also lauded for sustaining Indian Army contributions to global peacekeeping as one of the World’s largest provider of forces to the United Nations. Notably, the expansion in India-US Army to Army bilateral engagements, improved interoperability and close functional cooperation during Gen Dalbir Singh’s tenure as the chief of the Indian Army, came for special mention and high appreciation.
The Legion of Merit is awarded in four degrees; Degree of Chief Commander; Degree of Commander; Degree of Officer; and Degree of Legionnaire. It is noteworthy that the award of Legion of Merit (Degree of Commander) to Gen Dalbir Singh (Retired) is only the second time that an Indian military officer is being awarded this specific degree, the first being General Rajendrasinghji Jadeja in 1946.