A lot of people don’t know what custom military coin really are. They don’t really know how they are used in military rank. The US Armed Forces have a tradition of carrying these kinds of coin which symbolize not only their unit or team’s identity but also brotherhood in the army. Custom military coin bear a unique unit or team symbol or motto which identifies the group. They are often presented, traded and collected by the unit members. Military Coin, also known as challenge coin, instill pride to those who have them.
Custom military coin started from fifty to one-hundred years ago. The most documented and famous story about these coin is about an American pilot during the World War I who was shot and forced to return to the ground in a German territory. The American pilot was captured and forced into temporary detention in a prison which was bombarded by the British force later on. The American pilot, given an opportunity to escape, took his chance. He was later on captured by French soldier. Since most of his personal belongings were confiscated by the German, he cannot show any proof of his nationality nor his allegiance; thus, the French detained him and was prepared to be executed.
The American pilot pleaded and presented the challenge coin he received from his wealthy Lieutenant before his deployment. The coin contain the American’s squadron insignia. The executioners postponed his execution, and waited for his identity to be verified. He was later on released and instead of shooting him with guns, he was given a bottle of wine. The challenge coin, according the legend, saved the American pilot’s life from execution by the French.
The popularity of custom military coin today has increased from just being a symbol for military member. They are also traded among soldier or active member, retirees, and non-military personnel within other government organization. It has also been a standard to give a challenge coin as a sign of a sign of gratitude and respect. Several United States President like the former United States President William “Bill Clinton” has a vast number of military coins which were presented to him by U.S. service member. On his official portrait in the White House, this challenge coin can be seen displayed on his background.
During his short but unexpected visit in Iraq, Former United States President George W. Bush received a coin from a combat patrol unit from the U.S. Marines. On the other hand, current United States President Barack Obama honored the deceased Fort Hood Shooting soldier with challenge coin. Challenge coin was also given to guest of the White House as well as diplomats from foreign countrie. Other countrie such as United Kingdom, Canada, even Australia, followed this long-running United States tradition.
For the past years, military coin changed from just simple designs to colorful and elaborate ones. The earliest military coin were simple and made from brass coin with not so clear emblems and almost unrecognizable inscriptions. Nowadays, modern military coin are allowed to display 3D or 3-dimensional designs like those found in common coins. Any military coin can now be made depending on each individual’s choice. One of the most popular designs of military coin has photographic insert, an actual picture attached in either one or both side of it.
Military coins can be given to any armed service or military member. For example, cadets may receive a coin upon graduation. Custom military coins were also given to war heroes who returned from duty. These personalized tokens of appreciation not only built unity among the unit or the team but also boosted the morale of each member. It is true that military coins mean a lot.
Custom military coins bear a unique unit or team symbol or motto which identifies the group.