Have you ever wondered why challenge coins are in so many military uniforms? Or, who was the first president to receive a challenge coin? If so, this post is for you! When considering the history of challenge coins, most people focus on where the tradition came from. But what about the different forms it has taken over time? Or where and when can one first see a challenge coin that isn’t from the United States military?
1. Military Challenge Coins Are Collector’s Items
Since the First World War, the tradition of carrying military challenge coins has been around. Service members were deployed to different war zones; they noticed their fellow soldiers receiving coins from their homes or country. Soon, these challenge coins became collector’s items for service members to exchange as a way to remember each other when facing hardship. Soon after, the U.S. military brought the tradition back to life in the Second World War.
2. History Buffs Love Challenge Coins
Collecting military challenge coins and learning about them is a hobby enjoyed by many history buffs. It’s been said that challenge coins are so popular in the military that there are even people who trade them on eBay for profit!
3. They Are Expected To Be Presented in a Specific Way
It makes challenge coins so special, but that doesn’t mean the military is wrong in their expectations. They are typically expected to be presented in a specific way, as a military service member of rank and unit would have done it in the past. For decades, the coin is placed over the heart and then handed to other service members and vice versa. While this practice has relaxed, many service members still prefer to do it this way.
4. Coins Can Be A Recruiting Tool
In times of need, some challenge coins can be used as a recruiting tool to recruit more soldiers or volunteers. Before social media became popular and smartphones were available to everyone, some military units would give out their coins to spread their recruitment message. While this isn’t something that is done anymore, it’s certainly a tradition worth remembering. To learn more about Military Challenge Coins and their history, check out challengecoinsltd.com.
5. They Commemorate Civilian Events
While they are typically given to military members, some coins can also be used to commemorate special military and civilian events. For example, some coins come with a special message that is personal or commemorates a day of significant importance. Others can be used as a decorative item to commemorate a family member’s wedding or graduation. Military challenge coins can also act as souvenirs for one’s travels if the coins don’t have any significance for the recipient.
6. Most Presidents Have a Special One
There are many different kinds of military coins used to support the troops while they’re deployed, but the challenge coin is one that soldiers use most often. It’s a way for anyone who receives one to show their appreciation for the person who gave it to them and their fellow service members. That being said, not every president has their challenge coin.
Dealing with a challenge coin from the military can be an interesting and meaningful experience. While some people may think it’s a novelty, others are proud to have one of their own. Either way, history buffs will love researching the history of challenge coins and exploring the rich history associated with them.