What the hell is a Challenge Coin?
Sometimes you just need to help a sister and brother-in-law out…
“A challenge coin may be a small coin or medallion, bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and carried by the organization’s members. Traditionally, they might be given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. In addition, they are also collected by service members and law enforcement personnel. Modern challenge coins are made in a variety of sizes and are often made using popular culture references to include superheroes and other well known characters in a way that creates a parody. Historically, challenge coins were presented by unit commanders in recognition of special achievement by a member of the unit. They are also exchanged in recognition of visits to an organization. Modern day challenge coins feature popular culture attributes.”
Here is the full ripped Wikipedia page: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Challenge_coin
The coins earned, carry a lot of value for those who have earned them. They are typically awarded as public praise for a job well done. The audience is typically others who have earned your respect, so their approval is important and reassuring.
This coin set was struck for HHC, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, by our Brigade Commander COL Hickey. Everyone in the HHC received a few. Because I have recently moved houses most of my coins are in a box somewhere, shuffled into a pile somewhere. I know they are there, I just can’t find them. And that irritates my OCD to no end!
The coins earned have more meaning than the coins given for visiting. I have a 5th coin of this type. It was earned finding 78 intercontinental ballistic missiles that the UN told the world didn’t exist. The coin was awarded in a Brigade staff meeting in front of all the Brigade and Battalions’ command groups. I was called to attention, the coin was tossed across the room, I snatched it out of the air, and as I opened my hand COL Hickey announced to the room, “Good job on those missiles.” The irony of the find was that every time I mention it, people who were not there, who did not receive the coin for the act, did not have the opportunity to watch 299 Engineers demolish the missiles in an explosion that shook the world, tell me that I do not know what I am talking about.
But hey, if we cannot laugh about that kind of thing, we would go psychotic, and that is not a road I wish to follow and why dark humor is so prevalent in military ranks.
One of my current disappointments is that I cannot locate my platoon coin from Korea. That was a very small print run of only about 50. Because we were such a small and close knit group of Cavalrymen on the ass end of the world that coin holds a very dear place for me. It is so intense that not having my coin at hand has me grumpy and wanting to dig through boxes until I find it!
Someday the remainder of my life will find its way out of boxes and into appropriate storage spaces. On that day we might have a part 2 to this post.
In the meanwhile don’t hold your breath, because I am horrible at unpacking!
If you get a chance, I would greatly appreciate if you could check out my author page on Facebook. It is still a relatively young, but I would be glad to have your input!