Challenge Coins - A question for any serving brothers/sisters out there...


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Hey all,

I've got a question for you guys and gals. Challenge coins. For those of you who are in the armed forces, police, fire, EMS, border patrol, etc., etc. - do you have challenge coins for your unit/detachment/regiment/etc.?

As I'm a somewhat newer member of the Canadian Forces (almost two years now, yikes!), I've recently got into challenge coins.

I've only got three so far. I've got one of my own, for the Canadian Forces Military Police, a beautiful painted pewter coin that's been inscribed with my badge number (apparently, it's also something that's encouraged for fellow MP's and cops to give to members of other forces when they do joint training or ops together....so, I'm gonna need to order a whole bunch more of these coins, and apparently get my own badge number inscribed on them to hand to guys willing to swap, spares/duplicates to my own personal coin). But I also have two others now - one, from the CBSA (Canadian border services agency), from a buddy that works for them, and gifted me one; and another from the First Hussars, a Canadian Forces armoured regiment, Juno Beach and D-day veterans, gifted to me from my grandfather, a proud and very decorated veteran of that unit during WWII, who gifted me a "friends of the regiment" coin as a gift after he was additionally decorated with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, for all his work for fellow veterans locally.

Now, I know about the history of them, and the general challenge coin rules, etc. To those who aren't in a service branch, or are unsure, just Wikipedia about them - pretty cool.

But, I'm wondering about your specifics. Your traditions. Your unique coins. What are your requirements for swapping/awarding someone one of your challenge coins? What makes your coins specific or unique to you or your unit?

Hopefully you have some pictures to share too. I hope to take pictures of my own soon.

But, I've just recently got into this, so I was curious. Please share, ladies and gents.

Cheers.

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I've read about these but had no idea they were still in use....I heard they started out being used by the OSS during WW2 in occupied France as a way of identifying yourself as an OSS member to another or to the French underground along with knowing passwords etc.

A friend who served in the foreign legion was telling me of a better use for challenge coins....if you walk into a bar full of legionnaires and put your challenge coin down on the bar, anyone who can't answer the challenge has to buy a round. If everyone can answer the challenge then the challenger has to buy a round for everyone!

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Took me a few minutes to find where this was hiding. Quite dinged up and ugly looking.

A few years ago our unit sold some very cheap challenge coins that we were all forced to buy. On the other side of it is the face of a blue healer dog which is our units mascot. I got a few beers from this by a little knowledge of body language when others nearby were being challenged.

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Our guys used to have a lapel badge soldered to a coin..those not carrying it when in the pub were 'fined' as above with drinks all round for those belonging to the regiment..

Still got it somewhere, I'll see if I can find it...long time since I had a beer in Aldershot....happy days..ok.gif

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My father is a restaurant owner and got to know some california highway patrol officers on a fairly personal level. I forget what the exact circumstances were, but one of them had given him a challenge coin as a token of appreciation that he always keeps in his wallet. It's this beautiful ornate medal. Anyway, without getting into specifics, it's helped him out a lot. Very cool indeed.

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I've been active duty Army for almost 17 years now and over that time have received a small collection of challenge coins. Most for the simple reason of being randomly chosen to support a tasking somebody felt was important. Those are the coins I will use at a bar. The coin denoting the highest rank or office wins, the lesser gets a bigger bar tab.

The other coins I hold in a different place. Given out of an appreciation resulting from being at the wrong place at the right time, those times when "mate" takes on a very real meaning. I do not take those coins to the bar. Instead I keep them to remind me of my brothers, the sacrifices they've made, to remind me that life isn't as bad as it may sometimes seem, and to cherish the time we have with our loved ones.

As sappy as that all sounds I will add that each time I look at those special few coins I simply can't put them down without a quiet little laugh at myself, thinking how a silly it is that a simple piece of medal can stir so many emotions.

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I am a US Marine Corps Veteran and I have a challenge coin from my last unit I served with. Its a gold looking coin for 2nd Bn 5th Marines of the 1st Marine Division. 2/5 is one of the most decorated units in the US Armed Forces. WWI in Beleau Wood, WWII in the Pacific, Korea in the Frozen Chosen, Vietnam Hue City, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, and Iraq. I was given this challenge coin in 1993 when I was a CPL and first arrived to the unit. You had to carry the coin with you at all time and if you were asked if you had it on you, and you didnt, then you had to do 25 pushups.

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The coin denoting the highest rank or office wins, the lesser gets a bigger bar tab.

Would this work as a challenge coin? It was given to my uncle who was one of the pilots on the tour of South America by president Eisenhower.

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Hey Keith- Don't have one but a couple of years back I was climbing to altitude with eleven other sport jumpers crammed into a King Air and a brash USA Special Forces buck challenges a grizzled USA Ranger jump master. Despite being near exit and having a tandem student strapped in front of him he managed to get into his jump suit and the pocket of his jeans to produce his Ranger coin. You know who bought the beer. yes.gif

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