Challenge Coin Thread

Discussion in 'Politics and Religion' started by SHOOTER13, Oct 20, 2012.

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  1. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporting

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    Since we don't have a military / LEO section on this forum, I chose to include this thread here...

    This thread is dedicated to the posting of pictures and stories related to challenge coins. So, post a pic and share the story of your special challenge coin(s)...

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    A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion (usually, but not always military), bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and carried by the organization’s members. Traditionally, they are given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. In addition, they are also collected by service members. In practice, challenge coins are normally 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.

    There are several stories detailing the origins of the challenge coin. According to the most common story, challenge coins originated during World War I. American volunteers from all parts of the country filled the newly formed flying squadrons. Some were wealthy scions attending colleges such as Yale and Harvard who quit in mid-term to join the war. In one squadron, a wealthy lieutenant ordered medallions struck in solid bronze and presented them to his unit. One young pilot placed the medallion in a small leather pouch that he wore about his neck.

    Shortly after acquiring the medallion, the pilots' aircraft was severely damaged by ground fire. He was forced to land behind enemy lines and was immediately captured by a German patrol. In order to discourage his escape, the Germans took all of his personal identification except for the small leather pouch around his neck. In the meantime, he was taken to a small French town near the front. Taking advantage of a bombardment that night, he escaped. However, he was without personal identification. He succeeded in avoiding German patrols by donning civilian attire and reached the front lines. With great difficulty, he crossed no-man's land.

    Eventually, he stumbled onto a French outpost. Unfortunately, saboteurs had plagued the French in the sector. They sometimes masqueraded as civilians and wore civilian clothes. Not recognizing the young pilot's American accent, the French thought him to be a saboteur and made ready to execute him. He had no identification to prove his allegiance, but he did have his leather pouch containing the medallion. He showed the medallion to his would-be executioners and one of his French captors recognized the squadron insignia on the medallion. They delayed his execution long enough for him to confirm his identity. Instead of shooting him they gave him a bottle of wine.

    Back at his squadron, it became tradition to ensure that all members carried their medallion or coin at all times. This was accomplished through challenge in the following manner - a challenger would ask to see the medallion. If the challenged could not produce a medallion, they were required to buy a drink of choice for the member who challenged them. If the challenged member produced a medallion, then the challenging member was required to pay for the drink. This tradition continued on throughout the war and for many years after the war while surviving members of the squadron were still alive.

    According to another story, challenge coins date back to the second world war and were first used by Office of Strategic Service personnel who were deployed in Nazi held France. The coins were simply a local coin used as a "Bona Fides" during a personal meeting to help verify a person's identity. There would be specific aspects such as type of coin, date of the coin, etc. that were examined by each party. This helped prevent infiltration into the meeting by a spy who would have to have advance knowledge of the meeting time and place as well as what coin was to be presented, amongst other signals, as bona fides.

    The very first unit in the US Military known to have a coin was the oldest Special Forces Unit in the US Army. The 10th Special Forces Group, more commonly referred to as the Green Berets, were founded at Prinz Heinrich Kaserne in Lengries Germany in 1952 by Colonel Aaron Banks, himself a former OSS operative.
     
  2. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporting

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    Here is one from my 35 years with the DoD...


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    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012

  3. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporting

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    Criminal Investigation Task Force ( CITF )

    Latin translates to "Formidable Hunter"


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  4. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporting

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    Operation Enduring Freedom

    October 7, 2001-ongoing...

    Joint Task Force 170 out of GITMO ( Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba )...

    Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) is a U.S. military joint task force based at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba on the southeastern end of the island. JTF-GTMO falls under US Southern Command. Since around 2002 the unit has operated the Guantanamo Bay detention camps Camp X-Ray and its successors Camp Delta, Camp V, and Camp Echo where there are detained prisoners captured in the war in Afghanistan after the September 11th, 2001 attacks.


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  5. Spoon

    Spoon Well-Known Member

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    Shucks...thread's a bit late...gave my entire collection (about 35) to my daughter (USAF Major) last Christmas. In some circles...these coins mean a helluva lot...in other units/missions...just playing the game. When a service member is honored by a different organization/command outside of their own...that means more than most unit coins, save a few!
     
  6. 72Camaro

    72Camaro Well-Known Member

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    Not being military I have none, but my daughter has a handful of the things and has been Airman of the Year, Airman of the month a few times and nearly every where she went, including 3 times to Iraq, she would be given the coins. My wife and I are very proud of her and our youngest who also is signed up and will be an Officer after she finishes nursing college. You with the coins, thank you, you deserve it as I know they don't just toss these to anyone.
     
  7. Spoon

    Spoon Well-Known Member

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    Camaro - Is your youngest enrolled in an ROTC program thru her college years? Not necessary for member of the NC (Nurse Corps) nor really any medical profession, but the scholarship paved the way for one of my Air Force brats to become an officer and persue a career. Good wishes to her for a successful start in the Health Sciences field.

    As for your older daughter, tell her this old NCO said THANKS! We never got much of that at all from the public. We were often scorned for whatever the antis could come up with. I hope when they both vote, that they keep in mind the current Thing in Chief, 'cause he certainly isn't a commander of anything but chaos and debt!
     
  8. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    During the \Beirut Conflict I decided to try to enlist in the Navy as a reserve they didn't take me because of a Hernia.So you might say I have a Ruptured Duck.:cool:
     
  9. 72Camaro

    72Camaro Well-Known Member

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    Yes, she is at University of Portland on a ROTC scholarship and she worked really hard to get it. We told her we were not going to pay to put her through college so she worked and volunteered and is now in her Junior year. She is really something.

    The oldest is still in reserves but is now raising one of our granddaughters, her husband works on early warning systems control for F-15's and runs one of the shops. He is going out of town fairly quick with his squadron.

    The oldest and youngest will vote correctly, as well as #3 daughter who is raising her family and the husband is in construction and is being groomed to take over the company he works for, and he is 24. #2 daughter we were worried about because she is married to a liberal but she called and said she too voted for Romney. She was listed as one of those undecided (liberal trying to see which way the wind was blowing as her husband was undecided too) and finally snapped out of it. I have had a lot of discussions with her husband and a liberal mind escapes me on how they think. If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  10. Spoon

    Spoon Well-Known Member

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    Happy to hear your family's doing well. GOD's speed for a safe return of your USAF son-n-law.

    As for liberal thinkers...an oxymoron at best. The tend not to use their grey matter to THINK, but react on emotion coupled with faulty logic. Best of luck with turning him to see the light of truth...and that of GOD if he's not already a subscriber!

    Good day!

    Spoon
     
  11. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporting

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    UNITED STATES ARMY 228TH BIRTHDAY IN 2003...


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    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  12. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporting

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    UNITED STATES ARMY JAG ( JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL ) SCHOOL...


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  13. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporting

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    OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM...

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  14. SHOOTER13

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    OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM....


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  15. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Lifetime Supporting

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    VETERAN OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM...

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  16. SHOOTER13

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    49TH FIGHTER WING (MISSION SUPPORT )...

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  17. SHOOTER13

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    US NAVAL STATION GUANTANAMO BAY,CUBA...

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  18. SHOOTER13

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    US NAVAL STATION GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA (100TH ANNIVERSARY )...

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  19. SHOOTER13

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    US NAVAL ELEMENT JOINT TRANSPORT RESERVE UNIT ( MISSION SUPPORT )...

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  20. SHOOTER13

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    US AIR FORCE OSI ( OFFICE OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS ) TOKYO, JAPAN...

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