Inside Story for Behind the Concept of from Military Challenge Coins
The military challenge coins are also called military coins, unit coins, unit challenge coins, commander’s coin or commemorative coins. The coin is representative of the support, affiliation, patronage or support to the organization which is minted on the coin. The minted coin represents the devotion to the organization which is respected and treasured. The minted military minted commanders can use coins as an honor to the service members awarding for their hard work.
The origin of the challenge coins is believed to be from World War I. The American volunteers from different parts of the state filled the newly formed flying squadrons. Part of the service members during the war were on-sessions students from higher learning institutions. One of the lieutenants from the squadron ordered for the creation of the medallions from solid bronze as a representation of the award to the service members in the unit.
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. This led to a forced landing under the enemy lines where he was captured by the German patrol. 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. Using the medallion, the pilot was able to plan for his escape without any personal identification.
The French soldiers later captured the pilot after his attempted escape. Since the soldier lacked his personal identification the French soldiers presumed that he was a German. The pilot was sentenced to death by the French soldiers. In an attempt to save his life, the pilot produced the medallion to the French soldiers. Upon viewing the coin which was stamped with the identifying markers and the American Unit’s insignia, the French postponed the execution. The pilot was later released after he validated his identity. That day marked the significance of the challenge coin.
Both the military and government institutions began issuing the challenge coins to the troops. The issuance of the challenge coins began with the 11th Special Forces Groups and the 10th Special Forces Group, and this marked the beginning of 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. It is a sign which symbolizes the unity, brotherhood, and identity with the coins entailing symbols, markings, and mottos for different organizations. As a symbol of hard work, the challenge coins are physical proof of achievements in the life of a soldier.