Throughout the military, the Challenge Coin has carried a long line of tradition, honor, and legend. There’s no shortage of stories—new and old, confirmed and tall—about great bands of bravery and their shared bond. The traditional ways to use Army Coins as Challenge coins are a mixture of camaraderie and security. Just like rings, shirts, tattoos, and patches, the coins could be made with a group or organization’s emblem. At the same time, the coin could be used to prove identity and gain safety or access. Although ID cards are used more widely and offer more information, the distinction and charm of challenge coins is unmistakable. From veterans looking for a memento of their specific service to collectors looking for pieces of history that matter, these items can quickly become collector’s items. The design of Army Coins can vary depending on unit, command, specific events, or even the act of a leader who wants to reward loyal and effective parts of the world’s greatest Army. Many commanders use their official command emblem and a motto on one side while using the Army’s seal on the other. Individual units, groups of friends, or Soldiers who fought through a specific event can design their own coins at an unofficial level. The legitimacy of these coins depends on the maker, the number of people who accept the coin as part of their group, and chronological records showing how, when, and why the coin was made. While many Army Coins promote strength and unity through professional and official design, some coins are just well made to remind the owner of tough, but tried and true times.
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