It makes no difference if you are active duty at the present or are retired from the Marine Corps. Every person who serves their country deserves the utmost respect that we have to give. This is a sacrifice of time away from their loved ones and home. In the heat of battle or the support they provide wherever they are these brave men and women show the utmost courage and dedication. This is why the Marine Corps challenge coin is so special.
This coin has a long history. The men and women who are honored to carry them are bonded by the service they provide and this is a representation of that service. The brotherhood and sisterhood of the U.S. Marine Corps is one that cannot be understood unless you are a part of it. The Marine Corps challenge coin is a bond that is shared.
These coins are often given to members of a unit by their commanding officer. With the sense of pride of ownership, the challenge coin is the ultimate way the different branches of the service can provide a special connection between the men and women serving. The coins often have the unit number on them and the branch they represent.
The Marine Challenge coin is a highly regarded coin amongst the members of the armed services. The possession of one is an honor and they are often made of valuable metals. Highly polished and protected to preserve the good looks, the coins have even been given to Presidents. President George W. Bush had the honor of receiving a challenge coin on a visit to Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq. On September 3, 2007 he received a coin from a combat patrol unit of the U.S. Marine Corps.
The coin has many versions and has been in existence since World War I. One story is from the Vietnam War. The marines would carry something they considered lucky – a piece of ammunition that missed hitting them. They were small pieces of ammunition to begin with and then they began to get larger. The commanders were supposed to have banned the carrying of these pieces of ammunition and started giving marines a metal coin.
The coin was stamped with the crest of the unit to which they belonged. The men could carry these coins without being in the danger some of the larger pieces of ammunition could have caused. The pride was also a factor in carrying a coin that your fellow comrades carried as well. The bond provided was a much needed morale booster.
One of the traditions of the Marine Corps challenge coin as well as the other armed services coins was that if challenged in a bar by a fellow marine who took their coin out, everyone else had to produce theirs. If they could not, they would have to buy the drinks for everyone. If they had their coin, the challenger had to buy the round of drinks.
The tradition of this honor coin is the best way to make sure all members carry their coin on them at all times. The rules are a little different for the different branches but they stick to much of the basic challenge as we know it today.
View More About Marine Corps Challenge Coins at Unit Coins