Rising up to the Challenge Coins Tradition

Challenge coins whether employed by the military or civilian organizations have their uses that meet the needs of the times. Whereas it was exclusively used as proof of one’s membership to a particular military unit and to give recognition to a particular member’s accomplishment, it now evolves into other useful endeavors. For instance, it is given as a souvenir to a visiting dignitary or high-ranking public servant as a way of honoring or commemorating his visit. It is also given to new Air Force hand-picking-up-coin-spilled-glass-jar-pick-72690285enlisted personnel when they finished their basic military training and to new officers as well who have just finished their respective military schooling. On the other hand, other organizations sold their coins to raise funds or to commemorate an organization’s special occasion.


In the old times, to guarantee that members always carry their coins with them, military officials gave birth to the tradition of challenge coins. It used to be practiced only amongst military units who had been officially awarded their unit’s coin. Practicing the challenge across organizations was not acceptable then due to the variations of the rules. There was never any official set of rules for the challenge and this had proven to cause some disagreements amongst organizations. Hence, it was safer and better then to issue the coin-check challenge to a fellow unit member. After all, the challenge coins tradition was initiated to inspire and boost morale amongst members, not initiate controversies and fights between and amongst organizations.
Some coins may be a lot more expensive than others, depending on the metals used and the intricacies of the design. The reason for producing the coin also has a lot to say in the cost or value of the medallion. For instance, a 100th year commemorative coin of the United States Air Force has a greater value than the coin given to new entrants to this branch of the military. Nonetheless, every bearer of these types of coins places great value to it not only for its financial cost but also for what it represents to them as a member of that particular organization.

The tradition of the challenge coins provides a fun and entertaining way to boost the morale of an organization’s members. Instead of being tattooed, the coins serve as a proof of membership to a particular organization. Having to rise up to the challenge issued by any challenger is a fun way of bonding with co-members and fostering camaraderie and unity. One can either challenge another individual or a group, depending on the challenger’s choice.

It is also worthy to note that the challenge can be made anytime just by issuing a loud “coin-check” challenge or dropping a coin, which means that the individual is challenging everyone present in the room. With the challenge, everyone must then present coin-checkedtheir coins. Failure to do so means they will buy everyone else a round of drinks for all those who are able to present their respective coins. If everyone around, however, are able to present their coins, the challenger will be the one to buy drinks for all those present.

Most coins are an art on their own with their pretty designs and colors. Most coin bearers carry them in their pockets or special pouches that are attached to their bodies, usually their necks. Some bearers, however, are reckless enough to bore holes in them or attach these to their belts, which actually disqualifies them from issuing or rising up to the challenge. The absence of formal rules governing the challenge does not include the strict rule of non-markings or dents to the coins. Hence, one should not deface the coin in anyway if one has any intention of joining any challenge coins in the near future.

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