IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz received the Legion of Merit medal from his US counterpart at a ceremony in Washington on Tuesday.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey presented Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz with the award in recognition of his of admirable military service.

A certificate that accompanied the medal, signed by Dempsey and US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, declared that it was bestowed on Gantz for his outstanding command and noteworthy service.

“Lt.-Gen. Gantz’s command ensures the IDF will be able to stand strong in the face of a wide range of threats,” Panetta wrote on the certificate.

Gantz said he accepted the award on behalf of all of the soldiers and commanders in the IDF, adding that the medal signifies the brave relationship that exists between the armies of the two nations, and in gratitude of their close cooperation.

The “Legion of Merit” is a military award granted for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding activities. The award is given both to US military personnel and to international army and government officials.