USAF Challenge Coins – Are You a Collector?

If collecting challenge coins is one of your hobbies, you will realize the great significance these coins have for the armed services. USAF challenge coins are said to be the first to make an appearance in the world of challenge coins. The legend says they first appeared in World War I although there is a lot of controversy over this story. The first coins were also said to be made from solid bronze.

The legend continues to live whether it is actually true or not. The challenge coins are however, an honor to own and a source of pride. Collecting USAF challenge coins does continue to be one that many people like to do. They set up display cases with the challenge coins in their homes and offices so they can share the coins with the public.

One USAF challenge coin that is a great collector’s item is the 21st Mission Support Squadron Challenge Coin. The squadron has responsibilities that include:

  • military and civilian personnel
  • education
  • family support
  • information management support
  • Airman Leadership School
  • NCO Academy

The military personnel flight services over 7,500 active duty Air Force, 400 Navy and Marine people and over 46,000 family members and retirees in the greater Colorado Springs area.

The top front side of the 21st Mission Support Squadron Challenge Coin contains the words “21st Mission Support Squadron.” The bottom front reads “To save the nation.” Inside the coin it bears the insignia of the United States Air Force. The back of the coin includes the words “From the commander” on top and “For outstanding performance” at the bottom.

Another very rare USAF challenge coin that would be a great addition to anyone’s collection is the “Bull Dog” coin. This one was made only for the B-52 tail gunners. They are a lost breed as this is not an existing position today. Thus the coins are indeed a rare find.

Today the challenge coins are received by Airmen who graduate from basic training. They are also given to widows as a remembrance of their loss and as the Air Force way of saying how much the ultimate sacrifice has meant to their country and the lives of those who knew this member of the USAF.

When members of the armed forces finish their basic training, they receive a challenge coin. These coins are a basic challenge coin and have no extras added to them. Many of the coins will have the rank of the person it is being given to as well as the squadron and the branch of the service of which they are a member. Often a motto will be put on the coin.

They are made from many different types of metal – silver, a gold-plate and bronze – are a few of the more popular. The coins that are more elaborate are usually ones that have been made for members with special achievements that earn them the honor.

The USAF challenge coin is a great coin to collect partially because of the history they represent. If you have been a member of the Air Force or have a relative who has you know it is a special person who gives of themselves to protect others. This is the honor that stands behind the challenge coin.

Frank Cassidy is the owner of your online resource for creating and customizing your own USAF Challenge Coins

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