Companion of the liberation military units
Eighteen military units are Companions of the Liberation. Nine were in the Army, six in the Air force and three in the Navy of the Free French Forces. They received the Cross of Liberation for their collective commitment from the early days of Free France and for their outstanding acts in combat. Today, the members of these units wear the fourragère (a braided cord) of the Order of Liberation.
La fourragère de l'Ordre de la Libération
Following a decision by French President Jacques Chirac, a decree issued on February 23 1996 by the Minister of Defense created the "fourragère de l'Ordre de la Libération", intended to perpetuate the Order of the Liberation and preserve the memory of the Compagnons de la Libération from oblivion.
On June 18, 1996, at Mont Valérien, during the traditional ceremony commemorating the June 18 1940 call to arms, the President of the French Republic presented the commanding officers of the 17 Compagnon de la Libération units (or heirs to the heritage of Compagnon units) with the black and green fourragère of the Order of the Liberation.
The fourragère consists of a round, partially braided cord with three strands, finished with a knot and a ferret. Black (to mark France's mourning for the defeat of 1940 and the Occupation) and green (to symbolize the hope of the Liberation), it is worn around the left arm and fastened to the shoulder with a gold button.
All members of the military units concerned are entitled to wear the fourragère, with three exceptions: since 2011, crew members of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier; since 2018, military personnel of the DGSE; and since 2019, first-year officer cadets at the École de l'Air.