Parallel to the Army’s Vice Chief of Staff, the Under Secretary of the Army is the second highest-ranking civilian official within the Department of the Army. Working with the Secretary of the Army, and both their military counterparts, these four leaders comprise the highest leadership in the United States Army. Created in 1947 as part of the National Security Act that called for the reorganization of the Armed Forces, the position of Under Secretary of the Army was initially titled “Under Secretary of War”, but later re-titled on August 16, 1947. To this day however, the flag designation for the Under Secretary of the Army reflects the historical white banner of the Under Secretary of War with four five-pointed scarlet stars cornered in the flag, and the United States Coat of Arms positioned in the center. 
The 30th and current Under Secretary of the Army is the Honorable Dr. Joseph W. Westphal, an academic who has spent most of his life serving the public interest. Previously he has served as Chancellor at the University of Maine and Professor of Political Science. He also has served at The New School in New York City as Provost, Senior Vice President for Research, and Professor of Environmental Studies before being nominated by President Obama in 2008 to serve on the President’s Transition Team for Defense Matters. In 2001, Dr. Westphal also served as the Acting Secretary of the Army and between 1998 and 2001 he also was the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. 
Much like the Army’s Vice Chief of Staff, Under Secretary Westphal’s responsibilities include serving as deputy to the Secretary of the Army and as the Army’s first Chief Management Officer (CMO), pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2008. In his role as the CMO, Under Secretary Westphal exercises primary management responsibility for the business operations of the Army and improving strategic partnerships with Congress. He is responsible for prioritizing, balancing and integrating Army resources to support Soldiers, their families, and the Department of the Army Civilian workforce. As such, he effectively organizes the business operations, to include all business transformation matters and has overarching responsibility for achieving a fully integrated management system for business operations throughout the U.S. Army. Some of the Army directorates that report to the Under Secretary of the Army include:
Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs); Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment); Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works); Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology); Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller); and the General Counsel of the United States Army. 
Overall, the challenge coin presented by the Under Secretary of the Army is a unique cutout design; wherein the outer ring remains, while the white flag of the Under Secretary of the Army (again also the historic 1947 flag designation for the Under Secretary of War) itself is only present. The outer edges of the coin also have a wave stylized cut adding a unique brilliance to the coins appearance.
Centered on the Obverse of the challenge coin for Under Secretary of the Army is the official flag. This flag consists of the United States Coat of Arms centered against a field of white (the white also denotes position, similar to how the flag for the Secretary of the Army is against a red field); while it also includes 13 small-encircled stars symbolizing the 13 original American colonies. Four five-pointed scarlet stars offset each corner of the flag to denote the official rank while the flag is bordered with a scarlet band. With the negative space cut out from the coin, the outer edge is black and in gold lettering along the top reads “Under Secretary of the Army” while the bottom identifies the presenting individual “Joseph W. Westphal”.
On the challenge coin’s all-black Reverse, centered on the cutout, is a golden US Army crest featuring the standard armor, explosives, and flags. Similar to other senior military leadership challenge coins, below the seal is the signature of Joseph W. Westphal while above the seal is gold lettering stating “The 30th Under Secretary of the Army”. Along the Reverse’s outer edge on the top half in gold lettering is written “Presented for” while the bottom half completes the phrase with “Excellence”.
1. US Army. “Honorable Dr. Joseph W. Westphal: Under Secretary of the United States Army .” The Offical Website of the US Army. Department of the Army. 2012. http://www.army.mil/leaders/usa/ (accessed December 25, 2012).
2. —. “The Unites States Army: Leaders.” The Offical Website of the US Army. Department of the US Army. 2012. http://www.army.mil/leaders/ (accessed Decemberg 28, 2012).
3. —. “Under Secretary of the Army: The Unites States Army.” The Offical Website of the US Army. Department of the US Army. 2012. http://www.army.mil/leaders/usa/ (accessed December 23, 2012).
4. U.S. Army Materiel Command. “Under Secretary of the Army and Vice Chief of Staff of the Army visit 401st AFSB.” Flicker: Photo Sharing. November 23, 2012. http://www.flickr.com/photos/armymaterielcommand/8212504456/ (accessed December 28, 2012).
– Revised with the assistance of LTC Rob Manning, PAO for the Under Secretary of the Army, Honorable Dr. Joseph W. Westphal January 4th, 2013.