THE ORDER OF SAINT MAURICE® has five levels. A nominee for the Order of Saint Maurice must have served the Infantry community with distinction; must have demonstrated a significant contribution in support of the Infantry; and must represent the highest standards of integrity, moral character, professional competence, and dedication to duty. The same medallion is used for each level, with an attachment that identifies the level. The levels are as follows:
ACTIVE AND RC INFANTRYMEN MUST BE NIA MEMBERS IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR NOMINATION FOR THE ORDER OF ST. MAURICE. Nominators may submit requests for exception to this policy for consideration by the awards board.
Primicerius (Highest Level) for those who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the entire Infantry with a special version of the award going to the Infantry Doughboy Award winners each year. Must be or have been Infantry Branch. Active and RC nominees must be members of the NIA.
Centurion (Middle Level, BDE and BN Officer/NCO Leadership and Special Nominees) for an outstanding contribution to the Infantry. Must be or have been Infantry Branch. Active and RC nominees must be members of the NIA.
Legionnaire Outstanding or conspicuous contribution to the Infantry. Infantrymen and Soldiers of other branches and other US Armed Services are eligible for this level. Active and RC Infantrymen who are nominees must be members of the NIA
Civis For civilian personnel who have supported the U.S. Infantry.
Peregrinus For foreign military personnel who have served in or supported the U.S. Infantry.
SHIELD OF SPARTA - HEROINE OF THE INFANTRY is awarded to a spouse who has contributed significantly to the Infantry. The NIA's goal is to recognize spouses of Infantrymen and other Soldiers in support roles, whose contributions deserve special recognition by the National Infantry Association and the Infantry community. The award is a token of appreciation for the sacrifice and commitment demanded of the wives and supporters of Infantrymen and other Soldiers. It further symbolizes these women as true patriots with selfless ideals and the courage to send their Soldier into harm's way.
PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS (updated periodically) VIEW (PDF)
TO NOMINATE AN INDIVIDUAL, PRINT AND SUBMIT THE APPROPRIATE FORM:
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY: It is the responsibility of the nominator to ensure that nominations are complete, to include payment and appropriate NIA membership status. Incomplete packets will not be processed, nor will the NIA be responsible to notify the nominator. Due to increased volume, awards should be submitted at least 5 business days prior to bimonthly Awards Board meetings (normally around the 1st and the 15th of each month) to ensure their submission for that meeting. Submissions which are submitted too late for that meeting may not be changed to "rush" status, because doing so disrupts the schedules of Board members and staff. All awards submitted as "rush" must be accompanied by a written justification for late submission. Under the NIA Awards Policy, individual members may nominate a maximum of two awards per 90 day period. Group nominations, consisting of three or more awards, may be submitted only by active chapters.
Awards may be worn on all appropriate occasions where Infantrymen gather in the furtherance of customs and traditions in support of the Infantry, the Army and the Nation. Appropriate occasions include when the Dress/Mess uniform or civilian formal attire is worn, or on other occasions which the commander or awardee deems to be appropriate.
When worn with the Army Mess, Blue or Class A uniform, the medallion should have the ribbon around the neck, outside the shirt collar and inside the coat collar. For other than the Mess Uniform, the medallion should hang over the four-in-hand necktie near the collar and above the top button of the coat, or just under the bow tie near the collar and above the top button of the coat. Proper positioning may necessitate pinning the ribbon together approximately three inches from the ribbon ends.
The Order of St. Maurice collar pin may be worn at any time deemed appropriate, but should not be worn with work or very casual clothes (e.g. jeans, beachwear, etc.).
The Shield of Sparta may be worn at similar occasions. It comes with a chain and is designed to be worn as either a necklace or a pin.
Saint Maurice was Primicerius of the Theban Legion. In 287 AD it marched in service of the Roman Empire fighting against the revolt in the Berguadae Gauls. His men were composed entirely of Christians recruited from upper Egypt, near the Valley of the Kings. The Legion marched to the Mediterranean Sea, was transported across, and traveled across Italy to an area in Switzerland. Serving under Augustus Maximian Hercules, Maurice was ordered to have his legionnaires offer pagan sacrifices before battle near the Rhone at Martigny. The Theban Legion refused to participate, and also refused to kill innocent civilians in the conduct of their duty, and withdrew to the town of Agaunum. Enraged, Maximian ordered every tenth man killed, yet they still refused. A second time the General ordered Maurice's men to participate and again they refused. Maurice declared his earnest desire to obey every order lawful in the eyes of God. "We have seen our comrades killed," came the reply. "Rather than sorrow, we rejoice at the honor done to them." At this Maximian ordered the butchery of the Thebans and the martyrdom of Saint Maurice. September 22 is the traditional feast day.
The Order of Saint Maurice and the Shield of Sparta are awarded by the National Infantry Association and the Chief of Infantry. A nomination on an individual for the Order of Saint Maurice or the Shield of Sparta must be submitted by an active member of the NIA. If it is submitted by any individual who is not a member of the NIA it will be returned without action.
When an award nomination is submitted to the NIA, it is reviewed for completeness, and presented to an awards board. It is hoped that when an individual is nominated for this award, the nominator has taken sufficient time to prepare a nomination packet that does the potential awardee justice. The board reviews each award nomination on its merits and the criteria adopted by the NIA. The panel will determine whether to approve or decline a nomination as submitted, or whether to upgrade or downgrade an award nomination. Once the award panel has reviewed and approved a nomination, a serial number is attached to the submitted award, and then information is forwarded to an engraver to have the name and serial number engraved on the medallion. PLEASE NOTE: Nominators whose nominations are declined will be refunded (upon request) $25.00 for OSM and $10.00 for SOS. The award certificate is signed by the Chief of Infantry and the NIA President. A letter announcing the award is prepared and then the packet is ready for shipment. Nominators should submit their packets in sufficient time to allow for presentation at least 30 days after the board meeting, which takes place twice monthly. Under special circumstances, awards may be given special handling and shipping, but an appropriate extra charge will be added to each order.
Nominators who contact the NIA Awards Director concerning the status of their awards should not do so earlier than one week after the scheduled Board meeting. Information will not be given to prospective recipients. The nominator will be responsible for induction of the recipient into the Order of Saint Maurice and presentation of the medallion and certificate.
A copy of the media coverage or photograph of presentations may be forwarded to the NIA for inclusion in the Infantry Bugler magazine.
A group order of nominations consists of three or more submitted within a ninety day period. A group order can only be submitted by an active chapter. If more than two are submitted by someone not representing an active chapter they will be returned for compliance with this policy.
These awards are the property of the National Infantry Association Inc., and are not permitted to be used by any other organization or activity, without the expressed permission of the NIA.