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Order of Ouissam Alaouite
Order of Ouissam Alaouite Grand Cross.jpg
Order of Ouissam Alaouite Grand Order
Awarded by The King of  Morocco
Type Five-grade award. The five grades are:
Grand Croix
Grand Officier
Commandeur
Officier
Chevalier
Awarded for Displaying heroism in combat or contributing meritorious service to the Moroccan state
Status Currently awarded
Statistics
Established January 11, 1913
Order of Ouissam Alaouite.svg
the ribbon of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite

The Order of Ouissam Alaouite or the Royal Order of Al-Alaoui is a military decoration of Morocco which is bestowed by the King of Morocco upon those civilians and military officers who have displayed heroism in combat or have contributed meritorious service to the Moroccan state. The decoration was established on January 11, 1913 and is awarded in five classes: Grand Cross (Grand Croix), Grand Officer (Grand Officier), Commander (Commandeur), Officer (Officier) and Knight (Chevalier).[1]

The Order of Ouissam Alaouite is similar to the Legion of Merit, awarded by the United States military.

Contents

History

The order of Ouissam Alaouite was created during the colonial period. The French authorities in Morocco considered it necessary to have the power to bestow an official honour or decoration in response to loyal service; and they wanted to avoid over-burdening the bureaucracy of the Légion d'Honneur in Paris.[1] The ribbon of the order during this period was a shade of orange[2] or pumpkin-coloured.[3]

The 1913 to 1956 Knight of the Order of Ouissan Alaouite Medal.
The 1913 to 1956 Order of Ouissan Alaouite Grand Cross Ribbon
The 1913 to 1956 Order of Ouissan Alaouite Grand Officer Ribbon
The 1913 to 1956 Order of Ouissan Alaouite Commander Ribbon
The 1913 to 1956 Order of Ouissan Alaouite Officer Ribbon
The 1913 to 1956 Order of Ouissan Alaouite Knight Ribbon

During the Second World War, the Order of Ouissam Alaouite was bestowed frequently on United States military personnel who had participated in the planning and execution of Operation Torch, the invasion of French Morocco. Morocco was a protectorate of France from 1912 to 1956, and the decoration was bestowed frequently on French military officers during that period.

After Moroccan independence in 1956, the Alawid Order became a prerogative of the Alawid King and his heirs; and the Order continues through the present day, the ribbon changed to the present look after Morocco gained independence.

Selected recipients

Moroccan decree (dahir) which proclaims and confirms that the Order of Oissam Alaouite is conferred on Ernesto Burzagli in 1922.
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1943 ceremony

In the opening scene of the film Patton, George C. Scott, portraying then-Major General Patton, is shown receiving the Grand Cross of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite. This was no mere Hollywood contrivance. Under Patton's command, Alied forces took Casablanca after only four days of fighting. So impressed was the Sultan of Morocco that he presented Patton with the special Order of Ouissam Alaouite, with the citation: "Les Lions dans leurs tanières tremblent en le voyant approcher" (The lions in their dens tremble at his approach).[5] Patton wryly described the ceremony as a "non-military activity,"[6] but in his memoirs, he does not fail to note the Operation Torch staff officers who were similarly honored on that occasion.[3]

Notes

References


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