SPEECH BY GENERAL MARTIN
Itís always a great honor for a French officer, to present the highest decoration of the country. Moreover, itís a great privilege to present it to a foreigner. This privilege is even bigger when it occurs at USAFA.
First of all, let me say a few words about the Legion of Honor. It was created 2 centuries ago by Napoleon the 1st. This decoration recognizes the merits of a soldier who served the French empire with exceptional courage and devotion, and gives him the financial resources to live decently after he retires. The shape of the decoration and the color of the strip reminds us of the decoration the kings of France presented to their most loyal subjects, however, it disappeared during the French revolution.
Nowadays, the legion of honor is the highest of our national ranks. It is presented to civilian and military citizens who did outstanding actions serving France and its values, but only on the order of the French president. It is also presented to friends of France who have contribute outstanding service.
This is why Lieutenant Colonel Jacques Adnet is distinguished today.
Jacques Adnet was born in France and arrived in the United States of America when he was 18. He took the American citizenship, and enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1952.
Since then, he has dedicated his life to serve others, and in spite of many associative roles and an upcoming scientific and professional engagement, he never gave up working toward the friendship and mutual appreciation that exists between our 2 countries.
Former Chairman of ď le trait díunionĒ, French club at the university of Florida, creator and main actor of the association of the exchange between USAFA and the Ecole de líair, Jacques Adnet taught French at USAFA and furthermore contributed a great deal toward the exchange of cadets.
He served many times in Europe with NATO, was director of protocol for the Department of Defense at Le Bourget air show for many years and is a translator (par excellence) recognized all over the world.
He retired in Colorado Springs and continues to work diligently on improving the good relationship between our two Air Forces. He is one of the best actors for friendship between the United States and France. I know how important these relationships are for our future and freedom.
For all these actions, and many more that touch my heart, itís a pleasure and an honor, Jacques Adnet, to present to you the medal of Knight of the Legion of Honor.