The five classes of both civil and military divisions, listed in descending order and conferred on men and women equally, are knight and dame grand cross (G.B.E.), knight and dame commander (K.B.E. or D.B.E., respectively), commander (C.B E.), officer (O.B.E.), and member (M.B.E.). Conferment of the two highest classes entails admission into knighthood. Appointments are usually made on the recommendation of the British minister of defense and the secretary of state for fo reign and Commonwealth affairs.
The officers of the order are prelate (the lord bishop of London), king of arms, registrar, secretary, dean (dean of St. Paul's), and gentleman usher of the Purple Rod. The chapel of the order is in the crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral, Lond on. The insignia bears effigies of King George V and Queen Mary, along with the motto "For God and the Empire."
Associated with this order is the British Empire Medal (B.E.M.) instituted by George V. This award for meritorious service is given to either civilians or military personnel who are not eligible for admission into any of the five classes of the order.
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