There are over 170,000 active Marines and almost all of them are familiar with Marine challenge coins. These coins are a source of pride for Marines and they often carry them around as reminders of their service. But what exactly is the history behind these military challenge coins?
Knowing where they came from can show your Marine friends you’re interested in their unique culture and that you appreciate what they do for the country. If you’re a Marine yourself, you can impress your lieutenant with your knowledge of this tradition.
Read on for the facts about military challenge coins and how they came to be.
Marine challenge coins are an enduring tradition among the branches of the military, but there’s no single origin story.
Some people trace the tradition back to World War 1. The origin of this practice is said to have come from a rich lieutenant who was captured behind enemy lines while leading his squad on a mission. The lieutenant had kept one of these small metal tokens with him at all times as proof that he was part of the armed forces.
His squad found him later on. The lieutenant used the coin to show that he was an ally, and it saved his life.
Since then, the military has given American soldiers small coins to classify themselves as fellow servicemen. Officers distribute the coins and they’re meant to be carried in a pocket or wallet at all times.
Before Marine Challenge Coins
Before Marine challenge coins, Marines could identify themselves using bullets from the enemy. They also carried dog tags as ID. This method is far more common today than challenge coins.
Marines were among the first to use more symbolic methods like coins with unit insignia on them. This allowed for quick identification when members were in a hurry or under duress.
Military Challenge Coin Cost
The cost of a challenge coin can vary depending on the design and material. A coin with a simple design may only cost $5 to $10, but other coins can cost thousands of dollars because of their rarity. Similarly, silver coins cost less than gold ones.
You can’t always buy challenge coins. Some are only available to those who served and their families.
Finding Marine Challenge Coins
Challenge coins are available online and on military bases. To find a reputable dealer, speak with a Marine. They’ll know where to find a quality coin or how to order one from the manufacturer.
Give the Gift of Respect
With their unique designs and history, Marine challenge coins are a great way to show your pride in your country’s military. Whether you’re looking for something special to give as gifts at an upcoming event or just want something interesting you can carry in your pocket, these coins are available in many places online.
And if you want to really wow the Marine in your life, check out our lifestyle and fashion blogs. You’ll find lots of ideas to help make your Marine feel like the hero they are.