Challenge coins have a colorful history filled with bravery, perseverance and unity. These characteristics are still descriptive of what challenge coins represent today. This is, no doubt, why so many military units, clubs, teams, groups, and business organizations uphold the tradition of carrying military challenge coins year after year. Your group can, too, when you order custom challenge coins made to your specifications.
The History of Military Challenge Coins
The origin of military challenge coins dates back to the beginning of World War I (1914) when a wealthy lieutenant had custom coins minted for his unit. One pilot kept his coin in a leather pouch and – after escaping from the Germans – had his life spared by the French because he produced one of these challenge coins. Instead of ending his life, the French gave the pilot a bottle of wine. From that point on, everyone in the pilot’s division vowed to always carry their military unit coins and a tradition was born.
How Challenge Coins Are Used Today
Since World War I, the use of military unit coins has spread to any and all groups who want to show team spirit and camaraderie. Scout troops, church groups, clubs, sports teams, businesses, social groups, fraternal organizations, ROTC units, and more all carry military challenge coins that have been specially designed with their colors, logo and/or message.