AFDW Airman designs new commander's coin

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik
  • AFDW Public Affairs

Maj. Gen. James A. Jacobson, AFDW commander, recognized Senior Airman Lavannah Ruland, AFDW’s Manpower, Personnel and Services Directorate executive assistant, for her achievement in designing the organization’s new commander’s coin during a commander’s call, Nov. 20, 2017, here.

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Earlier this fall, Jacobson invited AFDW Airmen to volunteer some of their free time to create and submit design ideas for consideration; Ruland’s coin design was the one selected.


“I was so excited when I learned my design had been selected,” Ruland said. “I’m really appreciative that I was able to contribute to the process of expressing the mission and backbone of AFDW through visual symbolism.”


The coin’s front side features an engraving of a blue standard inset with two stars representing AFDW commander’s two star rank. The coin’s blue shade matches Air Force blue. 


The coin’s backside includes several images that evoke AFDW’s mission statement and incorporate its iconography within the National Capital Region.


The images include the U.S. Capitol dome, the U.S. Air Force Memorial and the patch emblems of the 11th Wing, 844th Coimmunications Group and 320th Air Expeditionary Wing. The 11th WG and 844th CG are subordinate organizations; the 320th AEW is a provisional unit that exercises administrative control of Airmen who are supporting joint operations within the National Capital Region. 

The dome evokes AFDW’s ceremonial support for the presidential inauguration and Joint Base Andrews’ airlift mission for our nation’s most senior civilian and military leaders, said Ruland.


Engraved on the coin’s edges are AFDW’s core competencies: Contingency Response, Operational Support and Ceremonial Honors.


Ruland explained that the other images on the coin’s backside have particular meanings. There is a star inset with a sphere. Engraved within the sphere is the contiguous United States with vapor trails emerging from the NCR.


“The sphere, or earth, and the vapor trails are supposed point to AFDW’s global reach beyond the NCR,” she said. “The star mirrors the stars found in the Air Force’s emblem and on the sleeves of enlisted members. It represents all Airmen working together and each individual Airman’s dedication to mission readiness.”


Ruland added although she has no formal training in graphic design, she used to draw portraits for others. Lately, she said she’s been looking for an opportunity to get back into the art field.


“Sketching ideas for the coin was a great way to flex my creativity,” Ruland said.


According to Air Force Instruction 36-2805, Air Force commanders present organization coins to military personnel and federal civilian employees to recognize outstanding achievements that have made a significant contribution to the effectiveness of the Air Force.