During a brief ceremony today at Lander University, Brig. Gen. Darrell J. Guthrie, incoming commander of the 104th Division, recognized freshman Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) student Jordan House, of Gilbert, as an outstanding cadet by presenting her with a challenge coin.
House was recognized in part for her earning of a prestigious Army Reserve Minuteman Scholarship and her silver medal finish in the grueling German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge, a competition that tests a participant's agility, endurance, strength and mental toughness.
Already a member of the South Carolina National Guard, House plans to be commissioned as a second lieutenant upon graduation from Lander. She is majoring in exercise science.
"I'm only one cadet in a program of thousands, quite literally an army, so I never expect to be singled out for what I have done," said House. "It was an incredible honor that I will use as motivation for the next three years of my journey in the ROTC program here at Lander."
Challenge coins have a long and storied history with members of the U.S. military. The coins are specifically minted for military units and carry their own unique symbols and mottos. The coin presented to House is emblazoned with the iconic timber wolf mascot of the 104th Division, which is based in Fort Lewis, Wash.
Service men and women carry the coins to symbolize unit identity, loyalty and camaraderie. Commanders use them as on-the-spot awards, and they are also given as gifts when visiting with respected organizations and leaders, including presidents.
Guthrie's 31-year career with the U.S. Army began when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in May 1985. He has successfully held command and staff positions at both the company and brigade levels, at joint and combined headquarters, and in support of the U.S. Department of State.