In the military, one of the traditions being followed from before up to know is giving away custom military coins as a gift of loyalty, gratitude, respect, and honor. Although the origin and creation of these military coins are still unknown until now, there are many noted stories which pointed out that these coins were already in use as early as the First World War. However, whether these stories are true or not is still being debated.
Different Common Names of Military Coins
Custom military coins are known by a wide variety of names. These coins are also popularly known as challenge coins, unit coins, commander’s coins, memorial coins and squadron’s coins.
What are the purposes of these military coins?
Aside from the purposes mentioned above, custom military coins were also given as a congratulatory gift to any soldier who reached a certain milestone in his or her military career. Moreover, for a soldier, before his or her deployment, these coins were given to boost his morale and pride.
If a soldier receives a military coin from his superior, he or she is expected to carry the coin at all times, anywhere they are. Most coin bearers carry these coins in their uniform’s pocket or are worn around their necks.
How much are these coins?
These custom military coins can be composed of simple designs with inexpensive prices to intricate ones with expensive prices. Expensive custom military coins usually have complicated designs as well as precious gems and stones on the surface of the coin. Military coins can be made of different kinds of metals: silver, copper, nickel or gold. Coins made of gold are treated as highly expensive ones and are often given on special occasions with the highest reward possible.
What is the Military Coin Challenge Game?
Bearers of military coins, mostly soldiers, usually practice a traditional game. Bringing of military coins of all coin bearers is a must and should be practiced all the time. This military-wide tradition should be followed at all times, with no exception. To make sure that each and everyone is complying with this tradition, one member of the military group or unit would challenge all coin bearers to see if their military coin is with them.
This tradition is played with the following set of rules:
1. One soldier needs to pull out his own military coin and should clearly and loudly state that a military coin check is being made.
2. All soldiers in the vicinity must show their own military coin.
3. Any person who does not have his or her military coin needs to buy a round of drinks for all the members who have their military coin.
4. If all the challenged soldiers have their military coins with them, then, the challenger would need to buy a round of drinks for all the participating soldiers.
5. Any person who refuses to participate or buy the round of drinks (as a punishment) will be forced to bear the consequences and worse, to turn in their military coin.
The military coin challenge game can be made anywhere: whether the soldiers are in a bar, in a kitchen, in a restaurant, in a field or in a sleeping area. This tradition is considered as a special event in the military.
Overall, the military coins are not only collected and treated as a piece of coin, it serves as a sentimental object for all the coin bearers as well. These coins are not only objects to boost a soldier’s morale and pride; it also serves as a sign to show gratitude and respect.