Army Challenge Coins Are A Symbol of Many Things

The Army has provided America with a defense for the freedom that is enjoyed by many for over 200 years. Army challenge coins are a military tradition that has been a matter of debate for many years but are believed to have originated almost 100 years ago. There are many services that say they were the originators of the coin, but the most believed version is that the coins originated in the Army Air Corp during World War I.

The Army Challenge Coin is a Symbol of Many Things

The coins have been carried and valued as symbols for many years. One of the traditions was for members of the service to carry the coin at all times. If one member challenged another to produce the coin and they could not, they had to purchase a drink for the challenger. If he produced the coin, the person challenging him had to buy.

Army challenge coins have been used in other capacities. They have been given for awards for outstanding service that was performed during duty. They have been given by commanding officers to members of their team that showed extraordinary courage and leadership under circumstances that were dire. The Army challenge coins became a popular way of awarding recognition for an achievement that was not exactly worthy of an official medal, but still deserved recognition. The Vietnam War revitalized the coins during which time the tradition was renewed among the Special Forces.

Not all Army Challenge Coins are Round

One coin that is an unusual shape is the Camp Liberty Army Airborne coin. This coin is in the shape of a heart and contains the words Camp Liberty – Baghdad – Iraq. Another is in the shape of a Native American Apache. This coins also features the U.S. flag. Still another coin is the 328th BSB Iroquois Award for Excellence coin. As you can see all coins do not have to be round in shape. These coins are made from a variety of metals, which can include bronze, silver, copper, nickel and gold plating.

Many Army challenge coins are rare and should be kept in a safe place. Some are kept on display in the home and they make specialty cases for this purpose. Often the coins are handed down from one member of the family to a son or daughter. There are a wide variety that have been made since the first coins. The pride of owning one of these coins is a unique feeling that you may not understand if you are not a member of the armed services. The camaraderie that is part of belonging to a particular unit has a special meaning that is not easily explained. However, those who carry the coins know the feeling very well.

The Army Challenge coin will likely remain a symbol to many of the pride they feel, the sense of brotherhood and the shared commitments of members of one of the bravest branches of the armed services. This coin should be cherished and preserved for future generations.


Frank Cassidy is the owner of an online resource where you’ll find Army Challenge Coins

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