Challenge Coins Serve a Deeper Purpose in Various Organizations

A few rules must be followed when it comes to challenging coins. Whether in the military or a business, you must understand how these coins are used and the etiquette surrounding them.

These coins are given to those who have done something significant, achieved a goal, or met with a high-ranking officer click for custom challenge coins. They are also used in the armed forces to inspire camaraderie among members.


Military members have an unusually strong sense of pride and camaraderie, especially for their specific branch or unit. It is not uncommon for teams to hand out their unique coin, bearing the emblem and motto of that particular group, to commemorate special moments or recognize exceptional achievements. It serves a more practical purpose of challenge coins as proof of membership in the unit.

The origin of the challenge coin is still being determined. But many believe that it originated during World War I. During that time, a lieutenant gave his pilots coins bearing the unit’s symbol, and one of them was shot down by German soldiers who assumed he was a spy. He escaped the Germans and reached French troops who recognized his coin, and his life was spared.

In a time when military recognition is becoming more important than ever, challenge coins are a great way for commanders to show on-the-spot gratitude to their squadron members. They are a great morale booster for newer teammates, and they remind more experienced team members of their accomplishments and the bond they share with their fellow servicemen and women.

If you’ve ever watched a video of the Secretary of Defense shaking hands with military personnel, chances are that he has a challenge coin hidden in his palm. He and his cash are in good company, as even civilian CEOs use challenge coins to inspire a military-style brotherhood and employee loyalty.

First Responders

You may have seen a shiny metal in the hand of a police officer or firefighter as they shake hands with dignitaries, accept awards, or meet with other community members. These coins may have piqued your curiosity, and you wondered, “What is that?” A challenge coin is a piece of metal with a design belonging to the institution it represents and can even include its motto or emblem engraved around the edge.

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Many stories surround the origins of challenge coins, but one traces them back to World War I. A military officer had bronze medallions made for his squadron on a whim, and they became a symbol of camaraderie for the men. They also served as a way to verify identity in the case of an attack, as German soldiers could easily identify an American by his coin.

Today, first responders have taken on this practice and use it to promote a sense of camaraderie among their teams and to reinforce the values they share with the rest of society. The cherished keepsakes are a constant reminder of the sacrifices they make and the courage it takes to protect our communities.

Challenge coins are a great way to celebrate achievements and build close-knit relationships in the military and other organizations. Moreover, the tradition of these coins can also be found in businesses, as they help foster a sense of brotherhood and loyalty between employees.


A challenge coin is a great way to build a sense of unity and honor in sports teams. It can also serve as a unique memento of an event or organization. Many athletes, coaches, and managers have begun to use challenge coins to promote their brands and connect with fans. While the exact origin of the challenge coin is unknown, it is believed that the tradition began in the military. There are a few different stories, but the most common one involves an Army officer who had some special coins minted on a whim during World War I. These were given to his men to show their unity, and it is thought that they were later used to identify members of their unit when captured by enemy soldiers.

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This tradition has since spread to other military units, police departments, and private companies. Even the US President has been known to carry a custom-designed challenge coin. These are often adorned with the rank and unit insignia of the individual who gave it to them and other symbols of distinction. There is also a code of etiquette associated with these coins. For example, some units require their members to present the cash during a handshake. It is considered a breach of courtesy to ask for money without being introduced to it first.


Aside from military units, police departments, fire departments and NASA, challenge coins are also used by celebrities, sports teams, and even civilians performing military service on USO tours. Because these groups have a strong sense of community, they would use challenge coins to promote their organization. These specialized coins can tell a lot about a group and serve as a type of second business card.

In the military, challenge coins are a symbol of honor and camaraderie. It is not uncommon for veterans to proudly display their large collections of these cherished mementos. They are a reminder of all the great times they spent with their fellow service members, and they can help foster a sense of unity amongst those who have served.

One of the most popular stories of how military challenge coins came to be dates back to World War I. It is said that a lieutenant had bronze medallions made with his squadron insignia to present them to his men before missions over Europe. During a raid, one of the pilots was shot down and captured by German soldiers. The Germans stripped him of his clothing but retained the squadron coin he was wearing in a leather pouch around his neck. This helped him escape and make his way to the French military, who recognized his rank and saved his life.