Thursday, May 22, 2008

Command Coin

Just arrived, our official command coins. We on the Morale, Welfare and Recreation committee (MWR) put together the design, got bids and used raffle funds to purchase 300 which we are selling like proverbial hotcakes. The border on both sides states "Combined Task Force Phoenix" for the coalition command in Kabul collaborating on the rebuilding of the country; and "Operation Enduring Freedom" for the ongoing peace-keeping since November 2002.

The obverse shows a rising Phoenix (the mythical bird that dies in flames and rises anew from the ashes, read Harry Potter) with the Afghan flag above it. On either side are "Herat Afghanistan" in English and Dari. Below the Phoenix are the flags of the countries participating in the Herat area: US, Slovenia, Italy and Spain.

The reverse shows the country with the flag superimposed and a star marking the location of Herat. Camp Stone is our FOB (forward operation base). ARSIC West is the Afghan Regional Security Integration Command for the western country.

Command coins are mementos of duty stations and most military bases, even ships, have unique coins. The commander will also have special ones made to give in recognition for special accomplishments. It is also used as a challenge when buying drinks: if you ask to see someones command coin and he doesn't have it, he buys. If he does, you buy. Being a bit of a Navy rookie, I am sure others will chime in with other uses of command coins. Some collect them and display them. They can be traded with other commands, services, even foreign military. Just don't get caught in a bar without one.


Roy & Paula said...

Command coins are a new wrinkle since I retired. Civilian offices in the DoD/Pentagon seem to have started them a few years back as an alternative to cash prizes which are hard to give out to civilians and nearly impossible for military. Probably the result of the then current management fad, whatever it was. Around here they give them out frequently where a letter of appreciation or commendation would be more appropriate.

David Lemme said...

The Camp Stone coin sure brings back memories. Are there any left?