Sgt. 1st Class Johnathan Merced, the regimental S-3 assistant is shown with his Order of Saint Maurise medal.

TOG inducts seven into Order of Saint Maurice

Seven Old Guard Soldiers have been inducted into a very select group, having the honor of wearing the Order of Saint Maurice collar pin.

Soldiers are nominated by existing awardees and are selected by the Order of Saint Maurice board at the National Infantry Association using a vigorous vetting process ensuring the future integrity of the honor.

The award was named in honor of Saint Maurice, who was the Primicerius of the Theban Legion in the Roman Army during the 3rd century.

In 287 AD the Theban Legion marched in service of the Roman Empire fighting against the revolt in the Berguadae Gauls. Saint Maurice’s 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 Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius Augustus, better known to history as Maximian, Saint 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 10th man killed, yet they still refused. A second order was given for the legionnaires 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.

The United States Army created the Order of Saint Maurice in 1995 to honor those who display the virtues of Saint Maurice and who support the infantry.