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    USACE project manager “hooks” first USAG-KA coin she designed

    USACE project manager “hooks” first USAG-KA coin she designed

    Courtesy Photo | KWAJALEIN ATOLL, Republic of the Marshall Islands (April 23, 2019) -- In November 2018...... read more read more



    Story by Dino Buchanan 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District

    KWAJALEIN ATOLL, Republic of the Marshall Islands (April 23, 2019) -- Kara M. Larson, a project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District, who works remotely as a project manager forward with customers on Kwajalein took on the challenge in designing a commander’s coin.

    In November 2018, U.S. Army Garrison Kwajalein Atoll Commander Col.James DeOre asked for local military or civilian government employees on Kwajalein Atoll to use their artistic skills in generating a new commander’s coin design. The most specific requested standard for the new design was that it be “something unique to the Marshall Islands and not a circle coin.”

    “I was inspired by the unique wooden hook from (the island state of) Pohnpei in (the Federated States of) Micronesia,” Larson said in a recent email describing her participation in the design process. “Since I didn’t know what a garrison or challenge coin was, I studied other coins to learn what is placed on these coins and drew up my sketch for consideration.”

    Little did she know that her interest in creating a new design would later take on a unique twist.

    Larsen entered coin design is in the shape of a hook similar to one found on Pohnpei. The front of the coin features the U.S. and Marshallese flags and the U.S. Army Values (loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, personal courage and integrity).

    “Respecting the U.S. government’s partnership with the Marshallese government, I included the words ‘Republic of the Marshall Islands’ ” Larson said “Since these coins are given in recognition of special achievement; I added the words of ‘Presented for Excellence’.”

    The reverse side of the coin identifies the units stationed on Kwajalein Atoll, 7th Infantry Division, 4th Marine Division, 30th Signal (NETCOM), U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command, USACE, U.S. Navy Seabees, U.S. Army Garrison-Kwajalein Atoll (IMCOM), the insignia of sergeant major and colonel, and Operation Flintlock.

    Larsen was informed by USAG-KA at the end of December 2018 her design was selected for the new garrison coin.

    In late February 2019, Lt. Gen. Dickinson, Commander, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command formally recognized Larson for creating the Kwajalein garrison’s new command coin.

    “He (Lt. Gen. Dickinson) shook my hand and handed me his commander’s coin,” said Larson. “Col. DeOre then recognized me on behalf of the garrison for the design and presented me with the first new (USAG-KA) coin - the coin I designed. What an honor!”



    Date Taken: 04.23.2019
    Date Posted: 04.23.2019 19:25
    Story ID: 319194
    Location: KWAJALEIN, MH 

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