Benefits extended to members of the Order by the French
In 2017, the Société nationale d'entraide de la Médaille Militaire (in French only) (SNEMM) of France, in order to show its gratitude to Canada’s military contribution in France during the two world wars and to establish a link between two of our nation’s respective highest military honours, generously offered to extend the benefits open to its members to the members of the Order of Military Merit.
The Médaille Militaire was created by Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, Prince-President and future Napoléon III in 1852 and is France’s second highest honour. The SNEMM is an association of its recipients.
The arrangement between the SNEMM and the Order was formalized through the signature of a Convention signed by Lieutenant-General Charles A. Lamarre, then Commander of Military Personnel Command, and Mr. Jean-Pierre Martin, then President-General of the SNEMM, at National Defence Headquarters (Carling) on 10 May 2018. After a hiatus caused by the world-wide pandemic, and on the occasion of the 170th anniversary of the Médaille Militaire and the 50th anniversary of the Order of Military Merit, the arrangement was refreshed and given new life through the signature of a new Déclaration d’intention de collaboration (Declaration of intent to cooperate). This new Declaration was signed in the Hall of Honour of National Defence Headquarters (Carling) on 28 April 2022 by Lieutenant-General Frances Jennifer Allen, CMM, CD, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff and Mr. Christophe Raisonnier, National Administrator assigned by the President-General of the SNEMM, Mr. José Miguel Réal.
The Declaration includes some clauses related to cooperation and these are still being negotiated between the two countries. These clauses include:
- The possibility to jointly pursue research on Canadian soldiers who have received the Médaille militaire and their families;
- The possibility to create a link between the SNEMM, the home of the Médaille militaire, and the Members of the Canadian Order of Military Merit;
- The possibility to attend joint remembrance ceremonies;
- The possibility for members of the Canadian Order of Military Merit to benefit from the villa and two studios within the Résidence de la Médaille Militaire (in French only), located at 20 Rue Marc Riché, in Hyères in the Var, under the same conditions as the members of the SNEMM.
There are also specific clauses related to advantages for individual members of the Order of Military Merit and these are still being negotiated between the two countries. These clauses include:
- The possibility for members of the Canadian Order of Military Merit to join the 1846th section of the Médaillés militaires in Canada Military Medals as associate members and become SNEMM members or directly to the SNEMM National Headquarters (section 3000) and thus benefit from all the statutory conditions of the SNEMM;
- The possibility, through this Declaration, of accessing the following services through the SNEMM National Headquarters:
- Benefit from the multiple conventions established by the SNEMM with different French partners;
- Explore the possibility of organizing cultural and linguistic exchanges and stays for young people between the ages of 18 and 30, single and without children, between France and Canada. The young Canadians would be welcomed into the families of the recipients of the Médaille Militaire and thus benefit from all the moral guarantees of welcome inherent to this prestigious decoration and vice versa.
- Study the possibility of organizing or supporting sports projects for the benefit of the wounded of the armed forces of our two nations, in particular through the "Invictus" games or the "Soldier On" programme;
- The possibility for SNEMM members to have access to certain discounts and services open to members of the Canadian Armed Forces community by virtue of agreements to be concluded between the Morale and Welfare Services of the Canadian Armed Forces and certain national partners of the CAF Recognition Program, which discounts and national partner services will be communicated to the SNEMM as soon as the necessary agreements are finalized.
- The possibility to benefit from accommodation at the Citadelle of the Royal 22e Régiment in Quebec City.
All the above individual advantages are still being negotiated between the two countries and more information will be made available once negotiations have concluded.
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