Military coins meaningful to Basin Electric CEO (Video)

The coins weren’t very heavy – but they carry a lot of weight with Basin Electric CEO and General Manager Andrew M. Serri.

At a September 2012 luncheon held by the North Dakota Employee Support of the Guard and Reserve at Basin Electric Headquarters, Serri explained the concept of the military coin, and how much it meant to him to receive coins from two service members he respects very much: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and Dan Job, senior enlisted leader in the North Dakota National Guard. Job is also Basin Electric’s building superintendent at Headquarters. (Find more stories on our National Guard soldiers by searching National Guard.)

ESGR luncheonAccording to Job, the military coin is awarded to soldiers based on something they have done, performance or outstanding uniform/briefing. Leaders usually carry coins with them and then have the chance of recognizing soldiers on the spot in front of there peers.

The coin is known as a “challenge coin” when referring to pecking order, Job says. For example, leaders at various rank levels have their own coin. Soldiers will compare coins they have been given, and the ranks of leaders who gave them their coins.

“I presented Andy Serri with this coin in recognition and appreciation of support to Basin Electric, the board of directors, management at all levels and all of Basin Electric employees,” Job says. “When I personally deployed to Iraq in 2003-2004, along with other military members employed at Basin Electric who have served, we had jobs when we returned and knew that our families were being supported in various aspects.”

Watch video of Serri speaking about the coins.

The luncheon honored Basin Electric for its receipt of the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the Department of Defense’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees.

Watch presentation of the Freedom Award to Serri on Sept. 20, 2012 in Washington, D.C.


  1. Great article. More and more companies are going to challenge coins to recognize their employees. The key thing that the article pointed out was that coins reward people immediately and in front of their peers.

    Basin Electric is a hero for the way the treat their guard and reserve veterans. The North Dakota National Guard is one of the finest organizations in the country.

    I have had the good fortune to make challenge coins for many years and never forget that they are more than just tokens. They are important awards that recognize great people like Andy Serri and patriotic organizations like Basin Electric. It is an honor to go to work some days.

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