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June’s coin of the month commemorates both the Indiana National Guard’s 163rd battalion, a field Artillery Regiment of the Indiana Army national Guard, and the 76th Infantry Combat Team, an infantry brigade of the United States Army National Guard.


The Design Specs

The background on both sides is a breathtaking textured gold, with a red border surrounding each side of the coin’s face. However, on one side reads the inscription, “Honor, courage, commitment,” in bold lettering on the top, and the phrase, “Red Hawks!” on the bottom. Both the left and right sides of the border have one white star embossed on either side. In the center of the coin is a large hawk engraved with red, black and white. It rests atop an outline of the city Mosul, with the insignia of the 76th beneath the outline. Next to the hawk and outline rests the insignia of the Multi-National Force – Iraq.

The alternate side of the coin also boasts several impressive features. The rounded border reads “Operation Iraqi Freedom 2008,” on the top, with “163rd RAOC-COS Marez” on the bottom. There are also two white stars, one to the right, and one to the left. At the bottom of the coin is an engraving of the Iraq Flag, with two adjacent ranking insignias above the flag either side. At the top of the coin’s face is the insignia of the 163rd Field Artillery Regiment. The Overall design is bold, striking, and a beautiful work of craftsmanship that upholds tradition while acknowledging extraordinary work and service.


About the Units

The 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, or “Night Hawks,” is a modular infantry brigade of the US Army National Guard of Indiana, located in located in Lawrence Readiness Training Center. In 2007 the 76th Infantry Combat Team was activated to move in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and after 3 1/2 months of training, first in Camp Atterbury, Indiana, the other in Fort Stewart, GA, the group was deployed. Once there, they conducted a series of convoy security missions all throughout Central Iraq. Following December 2008, the Brigade then returned to Indiana. Meanwhile, the 163rd Field Artillery Regiment worked in tandem with the 76th and was operating out of Mosul with assigned Convoy Security duties. Both worked alongside each other during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and this commemorative coin commends their bravery.


The Story Behind Challenge and Military Coins

The collection and exchange of military coins, a practice started during the second World War has since evolved and grown allowing for custom challenge coins to be designed in remembrance of a specific group, battle, or achievement. During World War II, American soldiers stationed in Germany often conducted “Pfenning checks,” the namesake deriving from German currency, and if a check was called at random, the soldier without a pfenning was responsible for securing drinks for the rest of his peers. From the beginning, at the roots of military coin collecting is creating a sense of camaraderie and pride among fellow individuals in the armed forces. Unit coins embody a tradition as rich and treasured as the armed forces. Coins are designed to respect and honor those who have served our country diligently, and our coins are a celebration of such service.


More on Custom Coins

Custom military, army, or challenge coins are a perfect way to express gratitude and thanks for those in the armed forces. They symbolize a job well done and commends a unit’s bravery for years to come by commemorating a specific time and place. Our coins cultivate a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood among those in the armed forces by gifting a shared coin that links a group together. As a veteran owned business, we are proud to uphold the tradition of collecting and sharing custom military coins. We have the experience, passion, and expertise to execute your design through to completion, and are willing to work with you to craft a design that is unique and timeless.


Where to Begin

At a loss when it comes to custom coin design? Our designers at unit coins are available to advise, recommend, and execute your ideas for a finished product that is of a high caliber, and fit for its recipient. We also encourage you to look at our coin gallery to see what we’re capable of in regard to shape and style. At Unit Coins we specialize in coin design that reflects the value and importance of a particular military unit, achievement, or battle. Whether by call or email, we are always open for consolations and offer a free quote to begin the designing process.

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