Legion of Merit awarded to member of NJ Air National Guard

  • Published
  • By Technical Sergeant Andrew Merlock
  • 177th Fighter Wing
The Legion of Merit was awarded to the outgoing 177th Mission Support Group (MSG) commander during a change of command ceremony here, Dec. 5.

Col. Michael Love was presented with the award culminating the end of his illustrious 25-year career.

"I am deeply humbled and honored to receive this recognition," said Love. "You could almost change it to the Merit of Legions. It's obvious that it is not the result of a solo performance."

The Legion of Merit is a military award of the United States armed forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.

"All those magnificent accomplishments that were attributed to me really would not have been possible had it not been for the hard work and dedication of the talented men and women of the mission support group," Love stated.

Love, who initially enlisted with the 177th Fighter Wing in 1991, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1992. Love served as both flight and squadron commanders prior to his appointment as MSG commander in 2007.

Col. Patrick Kennedy, vice commander of the 177th FW, presented Love with the award in addition to his certificate of retirement signed by President Barack Obama.

"Mike is one of those commanders who is level headed, is unflappable in times of crisis," explained Kennedy. "He always had that calming presence. I consider him a friend, a trusted commander, and just a great all around officer to be associated with."