What Are Military Challenge Coins Award Or Representation
If this is the first time youre hearing about military challenge coins for the first time, youre not alone. Many people around the world are unaware of this small coin or medallion and the significant meaning behind it. Whilst today challenge coins are increasingly more common, in the past, it was reserved for awarding to military personnel for their actions.
Along with holding a prominent place in various military organizations around the world, challenge coins are now also common in civilian organizations. It represents from which organization you belong, so it is used both as an award and as a symbol. But now, lets cut to the chase and discuss this small but valuable coin in detail!
A Brief History Of The Challenge Coin
The history of the challenge coin is not exactly clear there are varying stories that tell us about its origin. Some people believe that it was introduced in the First World War, while others accept that its origins go back much further and that its roots lie in the times when it was unofficially awarded to he soldiers of Ancient Rome. Back then, Roman soldiers were awarded the coins along with their regular payoff if they performed well on the battlefield as an appreciation or reward.
Another version of the story tells us that in the First World War, a well-off commander of the United States presented the bronze medallion to the newly recruited pilots. One such young pilot of America used to keep this coin in the leather pouch. Later on, he was captured by the Germans during the War. They took off all the items from him except this leather bag. He then successfully escaped from the imprisonment of Germans and entered France. Here he was arrested and was considered a spy before showing his medallion to prove his identity as an American pilot.
Many other stories say that the challenge coin came about during the Second World War or the Vietnam war. Whatever the origin of this symbol of identity that is the military challenge coin, its importance and uses in military and non-military services can not be denied.
What Is The Meaning Behind A Military Challenge Coin
The military challenge coin is a symbol of commitment and morale. It represents the military members dedication and service in the Armed Forces. As a result, it is a way of instilling pride in the wearer. At the same time, the challenge coin serves as a token of appreciation or thanks.
Note: In the even bigger picture, it stands for the military as an organization.
Regarding the challenge part of challenge coins, these coins can be a means of keeping the members of the military connected. Here, the bonds created are meaningful and last a lifetime.
What Does The Challenge Mean
What is a challenge coin? The coins that started this tradition were just medallions, but there wasnt any challenge associated with them.
Over time, there was a strong push for soldiers to keep their coins on them. It was both superstition and a sign of respect to have the coin on hand, and soldiers would challenge others in their group to present the coin at any given time.
The idea is that if you dont have the coin on you, youre required to do whatever the other soldier asks. Maybe you have to pull a stupid prank as punishment for forgetting your coin, or maybe you just have to do something embarrassing.
In a lot of cases, the punishment for not having a coin on hand was to buy a round for everyone at the bar. If your pals were feeling generous, you might just have to buy a round for them alone.
The pressure of the challenge was a great incentive for all soldiers to keep their coins on hand at any given time so that they wouldnt have to embarrass themselves or spend too much money.
History Of Military Challenge Coins
Military challenge coins are metal medallions that are typically offered to service members by their superior officers. Traditionally, the coins are tied to a particular leader, mission, unit or organization.
The tradition of issuing, trading and collecting challenge coins has become common among branches of the military and government. There are various stories about their origin in the military. One popular legend dates to 1917, when an American aviator minted coins with the unit insignia for his squadron to carry. As the legend goes, the coin later saved his life after he was shot down by the Germans: When he reached French lines, he was almost executed as a spy until someone recognized the coin.
Military Challenge coins existed during World War II,Korea and Vietnam, but only a few units had them. They symbolized membership in the unit and were only awarded to members or distinguished guests. Over time, the tradition spread to units in all branches of service, and even into non-military organizations.
Many Generals and Admirals present Commanders coins for excellence that can be presented on the spot. At gatherings of military personnel and veterans, someone will inevitably announce, coin check at which point everyone produces their coin. Tradition dictates that a failure to produce a coin may result in one having to buy a round of drinks.
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What Do Challenge Coins Look Like
The challenge coins are of varied size, shape, colour, and design. You can easily hold this coin in the palm of your hand. On average, the circle or sphere shape coins are available in 1.5 to 2 inches diameter, but few manufacturers can also make 9-inch custom challenge coins.
The customized coins are made from different metals like copper, zinc, pewter, bronze, brass, nickel. Gold plated and silver-made challenge coins are also available in the market. Dual plating and 3D moulding is the recently introduced way of representing the symbols of vehicles in the coin that is now a widely offered choice.
What Is The History Of Military Challenge Coins
The history of challenge coins in general and military challenge coins in particular is not set in stone. Some believe that they originated in the first World War, while others say they were from the French religious wars in the 17th century. Many also say that they emerged from the Second World War. Here are the most common challenge coins military stories:
- French religious wars: After King Louis XIVs 1685 revocation, French Protestants faced persecution for their religion. Some fled to seek religious freedom, but many stayed. To practice their religion in secret, they carried communion coins that demonstrated their allegiance.
- World War I: The story tells of a young pilot who landed behind enemy lines and had to prove his French identity to avoid being executed with a coin that he received alongside other troop members from a wealthy lieutenant. This later became a challenge custom in his squadron .
- World War II: The story tells of personnel in the Office of Strategic Service deployed in Nazi where coins were used as an ID for personal meetings. Another story tells of an American soldier who used an insignia-stamped coin to verify that he was a valid contact to Philippine guerrillas.
A military coin tradition that continues until today is the presidential challenge coin. It is when the president gives military members, diplomats, and foreign guests a specially designed coin as a symbol of honorary membership. The coin is exchanged in a secretive handshake.
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Understanding Military Challenge Coins
To start, its important to note what a challenge coin is.
Challenge coins are coins of different sizes, made of different materials, that have some engraving that relates to a part of a service members history. These coins are given out to the group at large or handed to smaller divisions of soldiers who took part in particular missions.
Challenge coins may also be involved in the culture of the police force, firefighters, and many other divisions of public service. You might even find challenge coins involved in places of work, sports teams, and more.
That said, they originate in the armed services. Some challenge coins can be given to specific individuals as a sign of honor. The president of the United States might be given a challenge coin as a sign of distinction, for example.
Theyre akin to medals of honor, although theyre not as officially recognized or respected. Challenge coins fall somewhere between an official sign of respect and a colloquial token of respect among friends.
The meaning assigned to the challenge coins depends on the person who receives them, though. Someone might cherish the challenge coin given by someone whos no longer with us more than they love the coin given by their commander.
On a fundamental level, coins today are given to honor and show respect. Theres a lot more involved with the culture of challenge coins, though, and the first place to look is the history books.
Shot Down Behind Enemy Lines
One of the men in this famed squadron was flying over Germany on a mission. He was shot down, and he survived the crash.
The unfortunate thing was that he was behind enemy lines, so even though he crashed, he was taken hostage right away. It was a stroke of good luck that he wasnt killed.
He was being held captive in a building somewhere near the French border. The building he was in was attacked by French and American forces, and the main survived even though the building was all but demolished.
This destruction allowed him to escape his captors, making his way to what he knew to be the nearest French camp. The only trouble was, he had to sneak through the back of the German forces and make his way across no mans land to get to his men.
No mans land is the space between two opposing forces that are in active battle. Its an area that few can cross without getting wounded or killed. Still, the man persisted and made it across that dangerous space.
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What Is A Challenge Coin And What Do They Represent
You’re at a military ceremony. A soldier is being honored for service above and beyond the call of duty. As he approaches the unit commander to receive his award, he salutes and then reaches out to shake hands. In the unit commander’s palm, before he clasps hands, you notice a glint of metal. Wondering what that is? Well, you’ve seen your first challenge coin.
What is a challenge coin? I’m glad you asked.
What Do These Coins Look Like
These special coins fit into the palm of your hand. Each has a unique symbol or design to represent a unique event or group.
Engraved in the center of the coin is an emblem or logo. The motto may also be engraved into the edge of the coin. Then the coins are painted with glossy enamel paints.
Most of these highly regarded coins are the same general size and shape as a quarter or a silver dollar. But designers may choose other shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. They also come in a variety of different metals.
This step by step guide will show you that these coins can be designed to almost any specification. The key is
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What Are The Different Types Of Challenge Coins
These days, the challenge medallion or coin is no longer restricted to military organizations. Many law enforcement agencies also give these types of coins to their staff, so that their members can prove their identity through this coin. Unlike in times gone by, the challenge coin now has several types such as the following:
How Can You Differentiate Between Custom Military Challenge Coins And Other Challenge Coins
Given that challenge coins come in various shapes and sizes, it may be hard to differentiate between military challenge coins and other challenge coins.
Custom military challenge coins are usually metals like nickel, bronze, and copper. They are pocket-sized, somewhat colorful, and circular. Sometimes, they also come in spades, pentagons, or dog tags.
Military challenge coins, which are usually about 0.1 inches thick, also have symbols, mottos, insignias, and emblems indicating their possessors office or unit.
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Military Of Nate Challenge Coin
Military of NATE would like to introduce the inaugural Military of NATE Challenge Coin. 2022 will be exciting for Military of NATE, as the committee wraps up its first full year with this special collectible to mark their anniversary. These American made challenge coins are a 2 matte nickel with 3D enamel relief prominently featuring the Military of NATE and 2022 NATE UNITE logos. Each coin is individually numbered and is limited to a strict run of just 250! On the coin is a Latin phrase AUT CUM SCUTO AUT IN SCUTO which means come home with your shield or on your shield. The Military of NATE Committee lives by the creed inscribed on the coin, we never give up and we never surrender, and we support our friends, family, and fellow tower workers who proudly served our country.
In support of the Military of NATE Committees mission statement, all proceeds from the 2022 Military of NATE Challenge Coin sales will be donated to the Tower Family Foundation. It is our intent to raise awareness for charitable organizations that support our industry, and Veteran organizations through this annual effort.
Display Your Challenge Coin Proudly
What is a challenge coin? Its a tradition thats been around since the days of ancient Rome. Theyre used to honor those whove performed a great service.
As you can see, there are very specific ways that you can earn and give the coins to others. If you fail to live up to the etiquette rules put in place, its a sign of disrespect. For more about challenge coins and their various uses, visit the Lifestyle section of our blog.
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How A Challenge Coin Check Works
As with any challenge there are differences in how, who, when and where these challenges can be played. The rules can also vary depending on what branch of the military youâre in , but the gist of the challenge remains the same. The person who fails to present their challenge coin during the game gets the honor of buying all the players a drink. There are some important rules to know about when participating in a challenge.
For instance, if you hand your challenge coin to someone, then it means you are giving it to them. Donât make the mistake of losing your coin in this manner and know the rules before you play. Itâs best to show that you have your coin by placing it in the palm of your hand, holding it in your fingers or putting it on your table. There are also other subtle ways to hold your coin close by. Some of which includes placing the coin in your hat band if you are wearing a hat, a front shirt pocket or in your pants waistband.
Challenge coins have a long and proven tradition of showing dedication and camaraderie to your military unit, government or fraternal organization. The history of challenge coins dates all the way back to Ancient Roman times, when soldiers were presented with special coins in appreciation for their service. In America, one of the first known instances of challenge coins appeared in 1917, when a volunteer squadron pilotâs life was saved thanks to the medallion he kept around his neck.
Word Of Good Luck Spreads
The only reason that the man left with his life was the golden medallion that this captain had made for him. Word spread about this stroke of good fortune, and the tradition of the challenge coin was solidified.
Various squadrons started to create their own unique coins and medallions, all of which served as points of pride. The tradition never stopped. Since then, service coins have been used to commemorate and honor individuals of various distinctions.
The challenge aspect didnt come until the 1970s, though.
Coins became so integral to a military culture that it was expected for any service member to have theirs on hand. If you didnt have yours on hand, it was a mark of bad luck and a sign of disrespect to your squadron. Naturally, the soldiers created a game to ensure that nobody left their coins behind.
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Morale Allegiance And Drinking: How Military Challenge Coins Evolved And Spread
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WASHINGTON Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has proposed a redesign of the agencys commemorative coin, an adaptation of longstanding challenge coins exchanged among American troops. From a military drinking tradition to civilian government agencies, here is how the coins have evolved and proliferated.
Want To Learn More About Military History
The history of challenge coins is one that could keep anyone on their seat, but theres a lot more to learn. Theres a lot more to learn about challenge coin history and military history, though.
Were here to help you get the information you need.
Explore our site for more facts about challenge coins, military insight, the best challenge coins, and much more.
The history of challenging coins, much like a lot of other military traditions, is a very interesting one. Its curious to see service members with collections of dozens of coins, not knowing why in the world they have them or what they mean.
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How Much Does A Challenge Coin Cost
A typical challenge coin costs $ 3 to $ 5. Fancier, custom-make ones can be a sting more costly, from $ 10 to $ 50. apart from blueprint, the price of a challenge mint can vary depending on the substantial that it is made of.