What are challenge coins and what do they represent?

challenge coins in the military

What are challenge coins?

Challenge coins are specially designed coins, given to someone to confirm membership in a group or organization. They can also be used to honor someone for a special achievement.

Perhaps you are at a military ceremony and you notice a soldier being honored for his exceptional service. As he approaches his unit commander to get felicitated, you notice a glint of metal in the latter’s palms. Bingo! You’ve just spotted your first challenge coin.

challenge coins in the military

Challenge coins are generally small metal coins with an emblem or insignia etched on top of it. It can also have a motto or some other detail engraved around the corners. Some challenge coins in the military even have colored enamel painted into the etching, to make it more appealing.

While most challenge coins are round, some even come in other shapes or feature cutouts. These are made out of a variety of metals such as bronze, zinc, or brass. In fact, there are other expensive versions as well that are made out of 24-carat gold!

What do challenge coins represent?

Challenge coins generally represent teams, groups, or organizations. They can also represent achievements or special events such as an anniversary. They build lasting bonds between people and represent a sense of unity and brotherhood.

In the government sector, these aren’t just used by the military, as first responder services too have a history of using these. As for the civilian population, many have started using challenge coins to represent accomplishments in companies and businesses. It helps in boosting the morale of employees and even links people with similar interests.

The purpose of challenge coins in the military

The purpose of challenge coins largely depends on why it was made in the first place.

Membership – Challenge coins in the military are proof of someone having served as a part of a unit or a specific tour of duty. It signifies that he or she was a member of an elite group of people – a cut above the rest. Few believe that the concept of military challenge coins perhaps came from the history when they were used for security and had to be shown as proof of loyalty.

Recognition – As we’ve already mentioned before, these are used to award team members who’ve performed their duty exceptionally well. It is a symbol of achievement and builds pride and morale. Thus, in the military, receiving challenge coins is an honor, and personnel often work hard to get them and let their commitment be known.

Connections – The tradition of challenge coins keeps military personnel connected to one another. It creates a sense of brotherhood that exists long after the person leaves the service. Veterans often have the coins displayed from their days in the service and their units or from the missions they’ve been part of. In fact, first responders too have coins for heroic efforts during times of tragedy.

Branding – Most recently, challenge coins have started being used by businesses. They are used at sales events and trade shows. The fact that these custom coins are more memorable than normal business cards or as a pass to an event, is perhaps what paved its foray into this sector. Even schools and sports teams have started adopting these.

Where to get custom challenge coins?

Challenge coins make great gifts and are memorable and unique. So, if you too are considering a challenge coin for an event or perhaps for your organization, feel free to get in touch with Military Coins USA. It’s a one-stop-shop for all kinds of custom challenge coins. They’ve successfully worked on projects for the military, and thus now have their handiwork, their challenge coins in the military. Reach out to them for a no-obligation quote, now!

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