While stationed in Great Lakes, IL I utilized my design skills in crafting challenge coins. The challenge coin is a military tradition that dates back to World War I. Military personnel would carry medallions bearing their squadron's emblem to show their allegiance when other identification was stolen or lost. Nowadays challenge coins are presented as gifts of appreciation and are collected over the course of a career.
A modern tradition is using the coin to challenge a friend at the bar. The challenger will drop his/her coin on the table. If the challengee can not produce a coin of their own, they must buy the next round of drinks. If they do produce a coin, the challenger will buy the next round.
2019 Great Lakes Hospital Corpsman Ball
June 17, 2019 marked the 121st birthday of the US Navy's Hospital Corpsman rating. I designed a challenge coin to commemorate the birthday ball in Great Lakes, IL.
The biggest goal of the composition was to make it unique to Great Lakes and the base's close proximity to Chicago. This was achieved on the front side by incorporating the famous Clock Tower into the caduceus, the symbol Hospital Corpsman rating. The caduceus is flanked by the flags of America and Chicago. The reverse side features the Chicago skyline in the foreground with iconic buildings such as the Willis Tower that myself and old-school Chicagoans still call the Sears Tower, Cloud Gate (nicknamed "The Bean"), & Lake Michigan. The flag of Chicago is set in the background.
The Corpsman Ball Committee used the design in accompanying collateral including a t-shirt, sweatshirt, travel mug, program, and video board graphic.
Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center
Unable to find a challenge coin for my command at the local exchange or commissary, I pitched the idea for a Lovell FHCC command coin as a fundraiser for the 2019 command holiday party.
When establishing key elements for the coin's composition, an important aspect of the design was to incorporate symbology associated with command's namesake, Captain James A. Lovell. The three horses on the front are derived from the Apollo XIII patch that was worn by CAPT Lovell. Lumen Martin Winter, designer of the patch, adapted the horses from his 1969 oil painting, Steeds of Apollo.
The reverse side features the seals of the main hospital & four clinics. The command's motto "readying warriors, caring for heroes" reflects FHCC as the nation's first and only joint VA-DOD health care facility. The red stars connect the command with its close proximity to Chicago.
Apollo XIII/Lovell FHCC Anniversary
The year 2020 has been blemished by the COVID-19 pandemic, civil rights protests, and political tension. Through all the despair, 2020 is a year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo XIII space mission (April 11, 1970) and the 10th anniversary of the opening of Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (October 1, 2010). As the command's Junior Enlisted Association Public Affairs Officer, I pitched the anniversary challenge coin as a fundraising opportunity for the JEA .