Challenge Coins — A Yank thing?

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by Trip_Wire, Apr 21, 2006.

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  1. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    Most American Military units have challenge coins now days. It doesn't stop there either, now some Generals, CSMs and such have their own coins as well. I think that the trend mostly in Special Operations units. There are lots of stories about how it started and I will post a website that will give you one version as well as the actuall challenge process. I always carry both a Ranger and Special Forces coin. I don't want to be buying the rounds!

    I was wondering if the UKs military has such a thing?
  2. That's interesting, Trip_Wire. I never knew that, so I had a bit of a butcher's on t'internet and found this:

    There are loads of different versions and not just military. That really surprised me, I must say.

    Interestingly, the Kraut Old Bill have something similar on a chain in their skies, which they use as a legitimate form of ID. Click on this link and scroll down past all the card IDs to have a butcher's yourself.

  3. Similar sort of thing in the over here Trip, called flash cards, usuallly issued by the rugby club or some such organization, card flashed, you have a limited amount of time to flash your own or get the beers in.

  4. The British don't do it as such, although some have been given the coins by American or other blokes.

    In some International HQs they are given out by the commander regardless of his nationality, as I have one from a Spanish one star. (Which I carry in my wallet just in case :D)

    I knew one guy (still serving, reserves) who had one from the early 70's!!!!!

    I think the Canadians do them as well.

    The Brits sometimes have a similar thing, ie pull a card/matchstick/object out and if the other person doesn't they owe drinkies, but I don't think we go as formal as the coins or see it as much.

    I remember at Bulford there were the "Bulford Orphans" (they didn't go home that much :D) who had a laminated card with all their room numbers and phone numbers on. When the card was pulled then any one who didn't pull the card in time got a round in.

    Was told once by an old boy that he and a mate played the game with matchsticks. On a big parade one was in the squad and one was stick orderly. As the stick man approaced his mate in the squad he showed the match stick between his fingers holding hte stick. He mate slowly opened his mouth to reveal the match stick on his tongue!!!!!!
  5. I've had a small joker card in my wallet since 1991!! last had to produce it in 1994 (Just stays in wallet as a lucky charm now)

    Bootneck armourers are known to knock out a good line in spoof coins (G and B one side unit on other) which should be carried on ones person at all times

  6. I remember looking to trade a unit coin with a Brit Para that we were working with. He looked at me like I had a dick growing out of my forehead. I guess he didn't know what it was or didn't like it. :D
  7. Yes...

    <infanteer hat on>

    That's really, really gay...

    <infanteer hat off and serious hat on>

    But what are they for?
  8. They are to show the different units and places you've been. In most cases you are given them by a commanding officer or Sergeant Major for doing a good job on something to show their appreciation. (Something that does not deserve a medal or citation). Over the years you can develop quite a collection of them. Each commander/Sergeant Major designs their own coin. So, for example, if you were in the same unit for a long while and had different COs, you could have multiple coins from the same unit, but they would be different designs, signifying different eras. Make sense?
  9. Yes, that makes sense. Sort of an unoffical medal (or at least, recognition) system, right?

    And thanks for the clarification.

    Not something that i'd personally go in for myself, but fair enough.
  10. I thought the same thing when I first entered the military, but now seeing the different coins that are out there it's pretty neat. One other thing about the coin thing - there's sort of a "competition" (for lack of a better word) to see who can have a coin from the highest ranking person. For example, a General's coin generally is looked as a "trump" coin compared to a battalion commander's. A lot of General's coins are larger and more ornate (since they spend more $ on designing them) :roll:
  11. I got this one:

  12. I think the whole thing is a bit bone really............having said that, when I was about 9 I collected some world cup coins that were being given away with every gallon of petrol my old man was buying, is that similar ?
  13. Some years ago I did the US SNCO exchange thing, and received coins fro 1/152 Inf. Years later, some blokes from the same unit where in Pirbright, shooting at LDRAAM or somesuch. As soon as I found out, I legged it home and dug out said coins.

    On production of same the buggers practically fell over with astonishment and denied that any such practice existed.

    Tight fisted gits.
  14. I would say yes and no. There is normally a great sense of comraderie and good natured rivalry between units. World Cup coins would not be the same thing because they are given out for free and you have no emotional attachmen to to them in the sense that you give your blood, sweat, and tears to your unit.
  15. AirborneCal..........I've done the B, S & T thing over the years and i'm still very loyal to my mates both serving and finished but, doing an almost 'Pokemon-card-swap' thing is something that I, and lots and lots of Brit Squaddies, would find just a bit naff. That said, each to their own. PS......I actually did have a sentimental attachment to my world cup coins as i had managed to get the full set, I think my brother flogged them to a second hand shop to get some beer money when he was about 14. Oh well, easy come, easy go............the bastard !!!