Do you know what a challenge coin is? It is a medallion, pendant, or coin which is commonly provided to members of a military unit. Commonly, the leader of the military group is the only one entitled to give such coins. Giving custom challenge coins to subordinates was first started in the World War I. In that time, wealthy military leaders provide their subordinates with custom challenge coins before they go with their tasks. The reason why it is called a challenge coin is that the owner of the coin may “challenge” his co-member to take a glance of his coin. As a rule of thumb, the medallion-like coin should be carried by the owner all the time.
Such coins are not only meant to be a souvenir of the soldiers from the warfare. Given below are the reasons why a challenge coin is important.
All challenge coins carry the motto, logo, symbol or trademark of a particular military unit. This provides a unique identity for that particular military unit. Once an individual saw that coin, he would easily recognize that it belongs to a member of a particular military unit. If the military group does not have any badge or ID, challenge coins are used as a means of identification. These coins show how the members give importance to their military group and how proud they are as members of that unit. They always wear or carry the coin so that other people can recognize from which group they belong. This is why challenge coin was created in the first place. If a member of a particular unit is captured by a rival group, and the coin is seen and recognized, chances are the rival group would deliver that member to the area of execution.
Another function of challenge coins is that it serves as a token of loyalty and dedication to the group. Depending on the motto, insignia and trademark of the unit, each member is given a challenge coin that represents the unit. This reminds the member to be forever loyal and honest to the unit. If by chance, a member is assigned to another unit, he will then receive another coin.
Brotherhood is another reason why custom challenge coins are made. Due to their commitment and dedication, all members treat other members as their own brothers or sisters. They care for each other as if they belong to the same family. Whenever a member needs help, other members are more than willing to help him.
It is already a convention for military groups to create their custom challenge coins. Before, only military members can hold such coin. It symbolizes unity, good relationship and harmony between the members of the military unit. It promotes fellowship and friendship among the members. When the members carry this coin, they feel more confident to face other military units.
Another reason why a challenge coin was given to a member is that it is a sign of appreciation for all the sacrifices that the solder have done for the sake of the military unit. It is to show how the leader values his members’ strength, bravery, and loyalty to the country. During a battle, the member who shows a commendable performance will be given with a unique challenge coin. Aside from the regular salary, bonus challenge coins are given to the member with the best performance for the entire battle. Another way of the leader to show his gratitude is to give challenge coins to his members.
To recognize the noteworthy performance of a certain military member, a challenge coin is given to him by his commanding officer. Medals are usually given as rewards but custom challenge coins can also be used as a means of recognition.
All challenge coins carry the motto, logo, symbol or trademark of a particular military unit.