Challenge coins have a long and meaningful history.
Warriors and Rodeo Challenge Coins are available for purchase. Keep your coin with you as a reminder of those who are willing to sacrifice so much for our freedom and safety.
By purchasing this coin you are doing your part to keep Warriors and Rodeo's missions alive.
Story of the Challenge Coin
There are a few different stories on the beginnings of the modern challenge coin, I guess it depends on who gives you your first one. I was told this story by my Training Instructor at Lackland AFB as well as other members from different branches. This is that story…
During WWII a wealthy pilot in England bought coins for all the members of his squadron to show their pride in the squadron and show off that he had money, could have been more of the latter but we really don’t know. Little did he know that his gloating would save his life one day. This pilot was shot down over enemy territory and managed to evade the enemy until he reached the French lines where he would be able to cross to safety. This was before the days of instant identification and many men had not traveled the world. That being said, the Frenchmen didn’t know the pilot and couldn’t positively ID him, therefore they took him as an enemy. The English pilot was set to be executed but a guard noticed something around the pilot’s neck, it was that coin. The guard had seen it before somewhere. The French stayed his execution long enough to get an ID on the English pilot and found others to corroborate the story of coin and who this man was. The French then gave the man food and a bottle of wine, presumably as an apology for how he was treated.
This story has brought upon the tradition of military members carrying a coin at all times. They are now given as mementos of accomplishment, tokens of appreciation, or even to show camaraderie.
A challenge coin may be a small coin or medallion, bearing an organization’s insignia or emblemand carried by the organization’s members. Traditionally, they might give 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.