PARIS, France –
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Michael Morrissey, U.S. Space Command’s director of strategy, plans and policy, presented the Legion of Merit on behalf of USSPACECOM Commander U.S. Army Gen. James Dickinson to retired French Maj. Gen. Michel Friedling, the former commander of French Space Command, during a ceremony in Paris, Nov. 18, 2022.
This LOM, the highest honor the U.S. can bestow upon a foreign servicemember, is the first such award sponsored by USSPACECOM on behalf of a foreign officer in the command's history.
Friedling was identified as a candidate for the award after expanding France’s military space collaboration in multinational forums, to include an enhanced relationship with USSPACECOM. In 2019, he led the establishment of French Space Command, consolidating all military space activities and units into one organization, and oversaw the rapid growth of France’s military space cadre from 30 to 330 personnel.
He also advocated for the establishment of NATO’s Centre of Excellence for Space, which will soon be NATO’s newest activity to train and educate military leaders in the military space domain.
During the ceremony, Morrissey took the opportunity to speak about how Friedling’s actions enhanced the relationship between two long-standing allies.
“Our nations have a long-storied history together,” said Morrissey. “It seems fitting to recognize General Friedling for his exceptional contributions as part of that continued historic relationship between our countries.”