What I Can Teach You About Traditions

The Story Behind the Formation of Military Challenge Coins

The military challenge coins are also called military coins, unit coins, unit challenge coins, commander’s coin or commemorative coins. Minted through the coin is a representation of the support, patronage, affiliation of the organization with the military challenge coin. The minted coin represents the devotion to the organization which is respected and treasured. Commanders use the military minted challenge coins to honor services members of the hard work.

World War I is forecasted as the origin of the challenge coins. From different part of the country, there were American volunteers who filled the newly formed squadrons. Part of the service members during the war were on-sessions students from higher learning institutions. A lieutenant from a unit ordered for the development of the medallions from solid bronze to honor the service members for their dedication.

A pilot in the service unit wore the medallion around his neck placed in a leather pouch. While flying, the plane was caught under heavy fire and was severely damaged. After a forced landing by the pilot, the German control captured the pilot. The Germans confiscated all his belongings to prevent his escape except for the medallion wrapped around his neck. He was later arraigned in a small French town close to the front. With the medallion wrapped around his neck, the pilot maneuvered for an escape.

The pilot run into the French soldiers who detained him. The pilot was assumed to be a German since he lacked his personal identification. The pilot was sentenced to death by the French soldiers. He later presented the challenge coin as a last option to save his life. Upon viewing the coin which was stamped with the identifying markers and the American Unit’s insignia, the French postponed the execution. Upon validation of the identity of the pilot, he was released. That day marked the significance of the challenge coin.

Both the military and government institutions began issuing the challenge coins to the troops. The first line to receive the challenge coins was the 11th Special Forces Groups which was consequently followed with the 10th Special Forces Group, and this started a tradition.

Different military organizations around the globe used personalized challenge coins. Firefighters, Law Enforcement and service members are presented with challenge coins which they carry around. The challenge coins is a representative of the identity, brotherhood, and unity of various organizations which include markings, symbols and mottos. As a symbol of hard work, the challenge coins are physical proof of achievements in the life of a soldier.

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