Navy Ends Budget Ban on Buying Command Coins

Navy command coin
Navy command coin

The Navy says it's OK once more for commanders to use appropriated funds to buy command coins, ball caps, plaques and other items presented to guests or to recognize performance.

Unless commanders wanted to pick up the costs out of their own pocket, the purchases were suspended per order of the Navy due to budget cuts caused by sequestration in May 2013.

"Since that time, Congress has passed a budget and an appropriations act," Vice Chief of Naval Operations Michelle Howard said in an Aug. 15 message. As a result, the 2013 suspension "is hereby cancelled" and use of appropriated funds for the buys "is reinstated."

The coins, caps and other tokens are typically presented during officially organized ceremonies. Items may also be presented to individuals on an impromptu basis in recognition of a superior achievement.

Commanders also present coins to special guests and visiting officials.

Howard's message emphasizes that leaders must be judicious in presenting the coins.

"These coins may not be presented solely as mementos, to improve morale, as tokens of appreciation, or to recognize expected service," she states. "Personally funded items (including personalized items) may be used for this purpose if in good taste."

Additionally, command coins have to be properly accounted for, in writing, recording the name of the person being presented the token, the date it is given and the specific performance or achievement warranting the award, Howard's message states.

The restriction does not apply to such items purchased with personal funds, she said.

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