Admiral Michelle Howard is the first African-American Navy commander and first four star woman in Navy history and first African-American and first woman to hold the post as Vice Chief of Naval Operations confirmed July 1, 2014
In April 2009, Admiral Michelle Howard had been in her new job as commander of an anti-piracy task force in the Gulf of Aden for just three days when Captain Richard Phillips was kidnapped by Somali pirates after they hijacked his cargo ship, the MV Maersk Alabama. “The pirates were using the fuel in the life raft to steer toward shore,” Admiral Howard recalls, “and it was obvious that if they got to shore [in Somalia] with Captain Phillips, we were probably not going to get him back.”
The goal was to get the pirates to stop moving, without stressing them into desperate action. The kidnapping and subsequent dramatic rescue became the plot for the 2013 movie, Captain Phillips starring [Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi best actor in a supporting role] but the backstory, and Admiral Howard’s role, was far more complex. For the full story click on the link below.
It’s nearly impossible to definitively know why and where the tradition of challenge coins began. One thing is certain: Coins and military service go back a lot farther than our modern age.
One of the earliest known examples of an enlisted soldier being monetarily rewarded for valor took place in Ancient Rome. If a soldier performed well in battle that day, he would receive his typical day’s pay, and a separate coin as a bonus. Some accounts say that the coin was specially minted with a mark of the legion from which it came.