Top of the evening everyone...
In the US Military, there is a long tradition of command coins. A long time ago, a commanding officer would give the coveted coin to someone who had done well for the command in some way. The coin could be redeemed at the local officers' club for a beer, the bill for which would be sent back to the command.
A few changes have taken place. Commanding officers will still give them out to those who have done something important/useful/above and beyond the normal. They are rarely redeemed for a beer, but if someone "drops the coin" on the table at a function, the commanding officer must buy a round for all.
I have several at home. One of them is from the USS TOPEKA. Her commanding officer gave it to me for going on board to lead a departure prayer for them. On the back of the coin, it shows a submarine at 0 degrees latitude, 180 degrees longitude (the date line) on December 31, 1999/January 1, 2000. One part of the submarine was in each day/year. I like that one. Coins will also be given out as an appreciation of someone's role in a command.
Commands will also sell them to raise funds for something. You can even find them now at post exchanges, and purchase them as souvenirs. I try to buy them for Jennifer and for the kids when I travel. They all like them. When you walk into the office or work space of someone who has been around for a long time, there will be a display of them, often well into the dozens. When I reach my retirement rank, I will have one made with my rank insignia on one side, and my corps insignia on the other. My name will go around the circumference.
After all of that, I received one this week. It means a great deal. It is from the most senior person ever to give me one. The Vice-Commandant of the Coast Guard (three stars) gave it to the eight reserve chaplains in appreciation of the work we do, and of what he expects us to accomplish over the coming months. This one is a big deal. It will get a centre spot in my collection.
Have a good evening everyone.