As an honor for the hard work and the exceptional service shown by many members of our armed forces, U.S. military challenge coins are often given. Receiving this special token of appreciation is an honor that is remembered a lifetime. Although the coins are often given by commanding officers, they may be given by one soldier to another as a token of the time they have spent together and as an acknowledgement of the bond they share.
U.S. military challenge coins represent numerous things. They can be given for going beyond the call of duty or as a remembrance of a special situation. The reason for which the coins are given is one of the things that make them valuable - not just monetary value - but as a possession that has a deep personal meaning.
The coins come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They also can be personalized in many ways. Most have a particular unit, a name, an event, logos, dates and virtually anything else that the person choosing the coin wants added. The emblems are often raised and the coins can be round, square, triangular or in the shape of a key, birds or other animals. This shape is entirely dependent upon what the person purchasing the coin chooses.
U.S. military challenge coins are made of various metals. They may be bronze, platinum, silver, nickel, gold or another metal. Many are quite valuable and a few are very rare, such as the Bulldog challenge coin. Typically the ones with a unique design and that are considered as popular collector's coins are worth more. However, the ones most often valued are the coins that were given as a commemoration for outstanding service.
For the family of a soldier that is killed in the line of duty, U.S.military challenge coins are kept and cherished as a remembrance of the sacrifice that was made. They are returned to the family with other possessions that were special to the soldier. Many that return home carry the coins on their person for the rest of their life. This shows just how special the coins are to those who receive them.
U.S. military challenge coins include every branch of the armed forces - the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard - and are considered an ultimate honor in addition to other awards received. Although their origin began with the Army Air Corp, they have come to represent all branches today. They symbolize the commitment made by all who have pledged their loyalty and protection to the United States.
The bravery of men and women who serve share a bond that is not understood by the general public. In times of conflict and in time of peace, the bond is there. Whether they are called challenge coins, honor coins, unit coins or military coins, they are one of the most well-known symbols in the U.S.
As a source of pride, U.S. military challenge coins are one of the most treasured symbols of soldiers. This includes those who are presently serving as well as retired military and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.