JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --
The 192nd Fighter Wing Communications Flight superintendent created the winning design for the wing commander’s coin.
A call for designs was put out to members of the Virginia Air National Guard after Col. Frank J. Lobash, 192nd FW commander, took command of the wing in November of last year. Out of approximately 14 submissions, Lobash chose the one created by Master Sgt. Perez-Santana, 192nd CF superintendent. For his work in designing the coin, Lobash presented Perez-Santana with the first coin during a commander’s call on July 14, 2018, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
“The way [Master] Sgt. Perez-Santana put together graphics on the back side to show every single mission that we do within the 192nd Fighter Wing was truly awesome,” said Lobash. “I appreciate his work, as well as the work of everybody that put in a design; we had about 14 entries and it was a tough choice!”
The front of the coin features the wing emblem in U.S. Air Force yellow and ultramarine blue. Yellow signifies the excellence required of USAF personnel and ultramarine blue signifies the sky as the primary theater for USAF operations. The motto, “I am the VaANG,” is written below the emblem. The reverse side features the USAF core values, an F-22 Raptor, a globe and a digital style map of the world.
“It feels awesome!” said Perez-Santana when asked about how it felt to receive the first coin from Lobash. “It's amazing knowing that my design was selected to be the coin for the 192nd Fighter Wing. The idea was that when you look at the coin, you can see all the missions represented on it. The binary symbols represent our new cyber operations mission, the satellite and the globe represent our Intel operations, and the F-22. I’m very excited to have been selected to create a symbol for the unit that will be passed down to future generations and honored to have received the first coin from our wing commander.”
Challenge coins have been around since at least her Roman Empire, although in the U.S. military there are conflicting theories about how the tradition arose. Regardless, they are used today to instill unit pride, improve esprit de corps and reward hard work and excellence.