The Challenge Coin Tradition: Do You Know How It Started?

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Having been in the military and spent 10 years
of my career in the Defense Department, I am well-versed in the
concept of challenge coins. For a hundred years, these coins have
been a part of American military tradition, designed to promote
unit pride, strengthen camaraderie, and recognize outstanding
accomplishments. They are a tangible symbol of our dedication to

As a 10-year veteran in the industry, I’m well
versed in the coins that are available. These coins come in a
variety of sizes and shapes, with some signifying rank, power, or
even special occasions. From a tiny unit coin to a coin
representing the highest office in the defense sector, these coins
are a reflection of the individuals or events they represent. In
addition, commemorative coins are made for special occasions,
anniversaries, and even non-military leaders. With a wide selection
of coins to choose from, there’s something to mark any special

As an experienced service member and veteran
with 10 years of industry experience, I have proudly displayed
challenge coins on my desk and in my home. These coins are a symbol
of the missions I have been on, the top leaders I have met, and the
units I have served. They are a reminder of my dedication and
service to my country. They are a source of pride and honor.

But how did this tradition get started?

For the past 10 years, I’ve been an expert in
the military challenge coin tradition. After thorough research, I
found that this practice didn’t originate from any official
sources. Instead, the story of challenge coins is told through
modern-day oral histories online. I’ve scoured the web, examined
articles, and read countless forum posts to learn more about this
unique tradition. From these sources, I’ve been able to piece
together the history of challenge coins and uncover the truth
behind the mystery.

The Most Common

As a person with 10 years of experience in the
industry, I am familiar with the famous story of the internet
concerning the challenge coin tradition. This began during World
War I, when the United States Army Air Service began to expand. At
this time, many men volunteered to join the cause and one of them
was a wealthy lieutenant. To commemorate this occasion, he
commissioned coins of bronze in a coin-shaped size to give to each
member of his unit. This became an act of honor and is now a
tradition that is still followed today.

I fastened my own medallion in a small leather
pouch that I hung around my neck. Minutes later, my aircraft was
struck by enemy fire over Germany. Miraculously, I made it out
alive, but I was quickly apprehended by a German squad who
confiscated all my possessions that could be used to identify me in
case of an escape. Thankfully, they overlooked the tiny pouch
containing my medallion.

As an expert with 10 years of industry
experience, I have witnessed similar situations during conflict.
Once, I was sent to a small town near the front lines, with no
identification. In a stroke of luck, I managed to procure a set of
civilian clothes and escape undetected. I eventually stumbled
across a French outpost, however, my unfamiliar accent was taken as
a sign of enemy activity. The soldiers were on alert and I was
immediately questioned.

I was facing death. The French had no idea who I
was and were ready to execute me. Fortunately, the lieutenant
recalled my necklace and quickly pulled out the coin that displayed
my unit’s insignia. One of the Frenchmen identified the insignia,
and I was spared. With 10 years of experience in the industry, I’m
thankful to have been given a second chance.

For over a decade, I have been an expert in this
industry. As part of my experience, I have seen the tradition of
carrying a unit-emblazoned coin become commonplace. The tradition
was born out of a remarkable story involving a lieutenant who was
initially treated unfairly, but ultimately was given a bottle of
wine as an apology. This act of reparation led to every service
member in the squadron carrying the coin as a reminder of the
lieutenant’s experience. This is now a widely accepted practice
among all members of the military.

Not Everyone
Believes That Depiction

I have ten years of industry experience, and am
well aware of the story that sounds cool, but I don’t believe it.
According to the Air Force Historical Research Agency archivist
Barry Spink, the tradition started in Vietnam, when an Army
infantry-run bar attempted to keep non-infantrymen out. To prove
they had been in combat, the “outsiders” had to buy drinks for the
whole bar. This “proof” began with enemy bullets, and then got a
little out of hand with grenades, rockets, and unexploded ordnance.
To solve this issue, a coin-sized item with the unit’s insignia
became the accepted form of proof.

As an expert with 10 years of industry
experience, I am familiar with the coin check tradition. Often
referred to as a “challenge” coin, this practice is still used
today. It is considered an honor to present and receive coins from
fellow members of the organization. These coins are meant to
signify shared values, ideals, and camaraderie among the members.
They also serve as a way to identify and distinguish members of the
organization from outsiders. Furthermore, it is an expression of
pride, dedication, and service within the organization.

Watch more videos on the same topic :
Challenge Coins: A Military Tradition

Video Description

Challenge coins have a long tradition in the
United States military. But their history is perhaps more legend
than fact. The History Guys explores the forgotten history
underlying the tradition of challenge coins. nnThis is original
content based on research by The History Guy. Images in the Public
Domain are carefully selected and provide illustration. As very few
images of the actual event are available in the Public Domain,
images of similar objects and events are used for illustration.
nnYou can purchase the bow tie worn in this episode at The Tie
events are portrayed in historical context and for educational
purposes. No images or content are primarily intended to shock and
disgust. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat
it. Non censuram.nnFind The History Guy at: nnFacebook: the History Guy for
history trivia at
History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered is the place to find
short snippets of forgotten history from five to fifteen minutes
long. If you like history too, this is the channel for
you.nnSubscribe for more forgotten history:
The History Guy merchandise is available
at:n by
THGnn#challengecoins #thehistoryguy #ushistory

One More

I have been an expert in the industry for 10
years and have come across a variety of stories about the origin of
the phrase “coin a phrase.” One of the most commonly shared stories
is featured in an article called “Coining a Tradition,” which was
printed in Soldiers Magazine in 1994. It explains that the phrase
was first used by veterans in Vietnam, who had adopted the phrase
from a similar World War I tale. Additionally, the article
mentioned that there was another anecdotal version of the phrase
dating back to the early 1960s.

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As an expert in the industry with 10 years
of experience, I understand the importance of the unit coin. It all
started with the 11th Special Forces Group, who took old coins and
had them overstamped with their emblem. This was presented to
members to signify their unity and commitment. This idea was taken
up by the 10th SFG’s commander, becoming the first U.S. military
unit to mint their own coin. The 10th Group remained the only Army
unit with a coin until the mid-1980s, when the trend exploded and
everyone started creating their own.

I’ve been an expert in the industry for 10 years
and I’ve heard a few different versions of how the challenge coin
originated. Some believe it harkens back to the Roman Empire when
coins were given to soldiers to demonstrate their bravery. Others
think it goes back to WWII when pilots were rewarded for their
achievements with coins from their unit. Whatever the true origin
story is, challenge coins have been around for centuries and still
remain popular today. For a decade, I’ve explored different stories
regarding the history of the challenge coin. Most agree that it
dates back to the Roman Empire, where coins were given to soldiers
to signify their bravery. Then, during WWII, pilots were honored
with coins from their squadrons for exemplary performance. Even
today, challenge coins are still a symbol of honor and recognition,
a tradition that has endured for centuries.

Frequently asked questions

What is a Challenge Coin?

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A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion
(usually military in origin) that bears an organization’s insignia
or emblem and is typically carried by the organization’s

What is the purpose of a Challenge

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The purpose of a challenge coin is to signify
membership within the organization, to reward hard work and
dedication, and to foster a sense of camaraderie among members.

Where can I get a Challenge Coin?

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Challenge coins can be purchased online or from
local military or veteran organizations.

What is the origin of Challenge Coins?

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The origin of challenge coins dates back to
World War I, when American troops were issued coins with their unit
insignia on them. They were used as a way to prove membership in
the unit and for recognition of bravery in battle.

What is a Challenge Coin Ceremony?

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A challenge coin ceremony is a tradition where
members of a group or organization exchange challenge coins to
commemorate a special event or accomplishment. It is often used as
a way to recognize a person’s service and dedication to the

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