Next year, a commemorative coin program will feature five 5-Star Generals of the United States Army, who are all alumni of the United States Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) recently reviewed the design candidates for the coins prepared by the United States Mint.
The program includes a $5 gold coin, silver dollar, and clad half dollar. The portraits of the five generals are divided amongst the three different coins. The obverse of the gold coin features a portrait of Douglas MacArthur, the obverse of the silver dollar features portraits of George C. Marshall and Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the half dollar features portraits of Henry “Hap” Arnold and Omar N. Bradley.
The US Mint provided from five to ten different alternatives for each obverse and reverse of the three different coins. While the CFA made its recommendations from each respective slate of alternatives, the CCAC took a different approach.
CCAC Chairman Gary Marks directed committee members to sections of the authorizing legislation which emphasized the Command and General Staff College. One section mentions that the coins will be issued to coincide with the 132nd anniversary of the College, and another states that the coins shall be minted and issued “in recognition and celebration of the 5-Star Generals attendance and graduation from the Command and General Staff College.” Based on this legislative direction, the CCAC only considered reverse designs which were emblematic of the college. This consisted of only the seven alternatives that the US Mint had provided for the half dollar reverse. As such, only these seven alternatives were considered by the CCAC for the reverses of all three coins.
This is not the first time that the CCAC has taken an uncharacteristic approach to reviewing design candidates provided by the US Mint. When evaluating the alternatives provided for the Star Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins, the CCAC had evaluated all obverse and reverse design candidates across both coins collectively. This resulted in recommending an alternative originally intended for the gold coin for the silver dollar, and vice versa. Ultimately, the selections by the Secretary of the Treasury mostly matched their recommendations.
Shown below are the design recommendations from the CFA and CCAC for each of the 5-Star Generals Commemorative Coins. To view all design alternatives provided by the US Mint, refer to these CoinUpdate.com articles on the CFA review and CCAC review.
CFA Recommendation – $5 Gold Coin
CCAC Recommendation – $5 Gold Coin
CFA Recommendation – Silver Dollar
CCAC Recommendation – Silver Dollar
CFA Recommendation – Half Dollar
CCAC Recommendation – Half Dollar (no recommendation for obverse)