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Junior Officer Advisory Group Medallions Now Available!
The Junior Officer Advisory Group (JOAG) has developed a service coin – the JOAG Medallion – which was introduced at this year’s Commissioned Officers Association’s annual meeting. Although the coins were sold out within the first few days, a new shipment has arrived and the coins are now available again. For more information, or to order coins, please visit the JOAG Web site at http://www.joag.org.
The Meaning of the JOAG Medallion
Submitted by LTJG Jessica Schwarz, JOAG Professional Development Committee
As an active member of the Junior Officer Advisory Group’s (JOAG) Professional Development Committee, I have been thrilled with the overwhelming response to the JOAG medallion. The inclusion of the Officer’s Code of Conduct was the central message of the medallion, but there are deeper meanings of which you may not be aware. The JOAG medallion’s colors and symbols were chosen because of their distinctive, heraldic meanings as they relate to junior officers, commissioned officers, and the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (Corps).
The medallion’s base color is gold, inferring the distinction of all JOAG members as officers in the Corps. The use of gold also denotes generosity and elevation of the mind, an ideal for which junior officers strive. The outer ring contains the words Junior Officer Advisory Group followed by United States Public Health Service. These two phrases are joined by stars, denoting goodness and nobility. Blue was chosen for the outer ring, not only for readability but also to symbolize the historic ties of the Corps to merchant seamen. Blue was also chosen for its heraldic meaning of truth and loyalty--it is to be the personal concern of all JOAG members to uphold the ties between fellow officers, so that we can accomplish our mission of “Protecting, promoting and advancing the health and safety of the Nation.” Further, the use of blue as a ring encircling the JOAG seal denotes fidelity.
The JOAG seal symbolizes the close relationship and sharing of ideals and resources among the Public Health Service, Corps, and Department of Health and Human Services. It is through the marriage of these three entities that our mission is best accomplished. Black denotes constancy and is used for the three circles of the JOAG seal to represent the constant bond of these three allies in public health.
The reverse side of the medallion contains an excerpt from the JOAG Officer’s Code of Conduct, which was developed in 2002 by the Professional Development Committee. These statements from the Code epitomize the ideals for which all officers should strive. The affirmation that “I represent all officers, past, present and future, and they represent me” is coupled with “Together we are the Corps,” and is bolded to remind the bearer of an important principle: the value of the junior officer lies in the fact that, although we must learn from those who came before us, it is our responsibility to uphold the ideals and purpose of junior officers to better the Corps, for in truth, we borrow them from those to come after us.
I hope that this improved knowledge will make holders of the medallion increasingly proud to be an officer, both serving JOAG and the Corps. I hope you cherish your medallion as much as I cherished working on and developing it. Carry it proudly and consider it your own little piece of esprit de corps!
JOAG Medallion Development Group
LCDR Cecile Town
LT LaTonya Jiggetts
LT Carolyn Oyster
LT Aimee Treffiletti
LTJG Jessica Schwarz
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