Obverse Design

The center of the challenge coin has an inner circle with a plain rim around it. In the circle is an old Spanish Galleon sailing on a wavy sea. There is a curve in the foreground under the ship. The sky background is textured. Over the circle is a banner which reads "JUNGLE EXPERT". The background of the inside of the banner is frosted.

Legend curving along the upper edge of the coin says "JUNGLE OPERATIONS TRAINING BATTALION". Legend along the bottom edge of the coin says "FORT SHERMAN, PANAMA". Between the two legends on either side as dividers are raised oval dots. The background of the coin where not otherwise mentioned is plain and smooth. The coin has a smooth plain raised edge.

Reverse Design

The center of the medal has a scroll partially unrolled, with a rod through the rolled up portion at the top. In this variety the word "HERO" in quotes appears on the banner, but in some varieties the scroll is blank. This coin also has a plain raised rectangle above the scroll where the name or information about the recipient can be engraved.

Along the upper edge of the coin is a banner which says "NO OBSTACLE TOO DIFFICULT" and has a frosted background. Along the bottom edge of the coin is a banner which says "NO TASK TOO GREAT" and has a frosted background. The background of the reverse is plain and smooth. The coin has a smooth plain raised edge.

Metal Unknown metal with a gold finish. Weight Unknown. Size and Shape Round, 39.5 mm in diameter.
Dates Issued Unknown.
Issuer Jungle Operations Training Battalion.
Mintage Unknown.
Rarity Scarce. Manufacturer Unknown. Source Plowman collection.
Varieties Varieties appear in silver colored metal and gold colored metal, with and without the word "HERO" in quotes on the scroll. There is a similar Jungle Operations Training Center challenge coin which is slightly larger and does not have the frosted backgrounds. Finally there is also a Jungle Operations Training Center coin with the similar obverse as just described but with a TF 2-162 OREGON unit reverse.
Historical Note The Jungle Operations Training Center (JOTC) was founded in April 1951 when the Department of the Army assigned the U.S. Army Caribbean the mission of "keeping the art of jungle warfare alive in the Army." The JOTC was established on the Fort Sherman Military Reservation, and grew over time. At its peak the JOTC trained about 9,000 U.S. and Latin American soldiers each year in jungle survival techniques, land navigation, waterborne operations, and combat tactics. The JOTB participated in "Operation JUST CAUSE" as part of Task Force SHERMAN. The JOTB conducted successful security and defense missions of Fort Sherman and the Gatun Locks Complex; cleared and secured 27 towns and villages and 140 kilometers of coastline; conducted 19 separate air assault operations; conducted civil-military operations in 4 towns and villages; eliminated the threat from the "Hunter Platoons" south of the Rio Chagres and captured numerous enemy prisoners, weapons and large amounts of munitions and military equipment. For its contributions during "Operation JUST CAUSE", JOTB was awarded a battle streamer, the only TDA unit in the U.S. Army to receive this distinction. The last training class took place in March, 1999, and Fort Sherman was handed over to Panama in late 1999.