One of the things that many people associate with the Special Forces is the Green Beret they wear. However, there are other traditions that may not be as well known as they should. One of these is the Special Forces coins that are prevalent among the elite units. The coins are carried as a way of identifying members of this elite group as well as for other reasons.
When it comes to the pride felt by the members of the Special Forces for belonging to such an elite group, the coins have a special meaning to each member. This is a meaning that goes far deeper than just the job they perform. The brotherhood felt by each member of the group is also part of the honor of carrying a Special Forces coin.
The coin is often made from different types of metal. Sterling silver is one of the more popular types. The coin will be about two inches in width and will have their Special Forces crest, a beret and the motto of the group. Often under the beret is a scroll allowing the coin to be engraved with the job specialty of the owner or their name.
Credited with beginning this tradition is the 10th Special Forces Group in 1969. The commander of the group, Colonel Vernon E. Green designed a coin for this group with the wording, “10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) 1st Special Forces” on the front of the coin. In addition, there was a likeness of a Trojan horse as well as the words.
The back of the coin had the motto of the Special Forces. The beret is featured here with a space for the specialty of the coin’s owner or their name. The 10th Group coin set the tradition for each member of the Special Forces to get their own coin and have them on their person at all times.
Today, almost every Special Forces member has a coin that specifies their group. This includes past and present members of the Special Forces. The tradition is becoming more widely known. The coin check is another part of carrying the coin that has become a tradition as well. This is normally when the senior officer present calls for a coin check. Done to determine if each member was carrying their coin thus ensuring the team spirit was there and morale was good.
Today they are used as a way of getting all Special Forces members to show their coin or if they do not have it, they must buy a round of drinks for their fellow members. Irregardless of what the coin means and what it is used for, it remains an important part of the Special Forces and will continue to be an important tradition showing the camaraderie and morale of these brave soldiers.
The Special Forces coins will be one of the traditions that remain with the armed services as long as the Special Forces exist. Pride, belonging and loyalty all have played a great part in the carrying of these coins.
Frank Cassidy is the owner of UnitCoins.us your online resource for creating and customizing your own Special Forces Coins
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