So, what the hell is a challenge coin anyway? Most people in the military know exactly what they are, but I figured a blog is a good place to write about challenge coins and to let those who do not know in on the secret.
U. S. Air Force Europe Challenge Coin
Challenge Coins were first used during World War I as a morale booster and to reward soldiers for their service. Today's challenge coins are beautifully made and reflect the particular branch of the military the person is/was in or whatever profession the person belongs to.
But more important than that, and why they are called 'challenge coins' in the first place is the meaning behind them. When someone throws a challenge coin on the bar, he is challenging everyone in his group to produce their coin also. The last person to produce his has to buy a round for his entire group. That is the most common use, but some groups carry it farther, with playful beatings etc.
An excellent gift for any soldier returning from duty is a challenge coin for his particular branch of the military. Many coins today will signify what branch, what ship, what aircraft etc. There are even Challenge Coins made for civilians, like law enforcement officers and firemen. It is a proud symbol and the people who own them carry them at all times.
Whether you are looking for one coin for someone's birthday or you want to give your entire group a token of your appreciation, challenge coins are an excellent choice. Army Navy Shop carries hundreds of styles, so take a peek.