The grand master of the Order, as already mentioned, is the head of state.
The grand chancellor administers the Order and is responsible for the observance of statutes and regulations.
Initially, there were 16 chancellors under the authority of the grand chancellor who administered the 16 cohorts, territorial divisions in which the Legionnaires were divided according to place of birth. That organization disappeared before the end of the Empire.
The first grand chancellor, appointed by Napoleon, was a civilian, the noted naturalist Lacépède. Since 1815 the top position has always been held by a prominent soldier.
The grand chancellor is assisted by a Council of the Order consisting of civilians and military.
The grand chancellery is not solely occupied with the Legion of Honor. It is also responsible for everything concerning the Military Medal, instituted on June 22, 1852 by Louis Napoleon and awarded to non-commissioned officers and the ranks of the Army, Navy and Air Force and to generals and admirals who have held command posts. The Military Medal was awarded to Marshal Joffre after the Battle of the Marne in 1914, a gesture which made it one of the most prestigious decorations of the Great War.
The grand chancellor is also the chancellor of the National Order of Merit.