WHAT IS A CHALLENGE COIN?
A challenge coin is a small coin or medallion, bearing a unit’s insignia or emblem and carried by the unit’s members. Traditionally, they are given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. In addition, they are also collected by military 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.
The tradition of a challenge is the most common way to ensure that members are carrying their unit’s coin. The rules of a challenge are not always formalized for a unit, and may vary between units. The challenge only applies to those members that have been given a coin formally by their unit. This may lead to some controversy when challenges are initiated between members of different organizations and is not recommended. The tradition of the coin challenge is meant to be a source of morale in a unit, and forcing the challenge can cause a reverse effect. The act of challenging is called a “Coin Check” and is usually loudly announced.
The challenge, which can be made at any time, begins with the challenger drawing his/her coin, and slapping or placing the coin on the table or bar. In noisy environments, continuously rapping the challenge coin on a surface may initiate the challenge. (Accidentally dropping a challenge coin is considered to be a deliberate challenge to all present.) Everyone being challenged must immediately produce the coin for their organization and anyone failing to do so must buy a round of drinks for the challenger and everyone else who has their challenge coin. However, should everyone challenged be able to produce their coin, the challenger must buy a round of drinks for the group.
While most holders of challenge coins usually carry them in their pockets or in some other readily accessible place on their persons, most versions of the rules permit a challenged person “a step and a reach” or if an individual has an extra coin to pass it off to the person closest to him or her. Coins on belt buckles or key chains are not acceptable for meeting a challenge. However, a coin worn around the neck is acceptable for meeting a coin challenge.
Traditionally, the presentation of a coin is passed during a handshake. Some units provide strict time limits to respond to a challenge. Traditionally, rules of a challenge include a prohibition against defacing the coin, especially if it makes it easier to carry at all times. If the challenge coin is attached to a belt buckle or key ring, or has had a hole drilled in it to attach to a lanyard, it no longer qualifies as a challenge coin. A safer place to carry the coin is in a pouch worn around the neck.
The Operation Worship Limited Edition Challenge Coin is provided as a “Thank you” to gracious donors who support this ministry and to Chaplains and Commanders in recognition of their faithful service to our brave men and women who serve in the Military. Challenge Coins are considered Highly Collectable within the military.