Did you know that the first military challenge coin was given over 50 years ago? Since then, they have become much more commonplace. Military challenge coins are symbols of appreciation for valor, loyalty, and similar attributes.
So, it should come as no surprise that many people hold them in high esteem.
However, there is certain challenge coin etiquette that you need to keep in mind. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about military challenge coin rules so that you can avoid mistakes in the future.
Table of Contents
When Do Military Personnel Get Challenge Coins?
There are many different occasions when military personnel can receive challenge coins. For example, they may be given to commemorate an event or a milestone.
They could also be given as a sign of appreciation for exemplary service. In some cases, challenge coins are even given as rewards for completing a difficult mission. These don’t always have to be combat related, either.
For example, someone who works stateside in the military could be given a challenge coin for their leadership. You could think of a military challenge coin as a form of a medal.
However, it is much more personal since somebody else will give it to you directly as opposed to the military itself. For this reason, many people find military challenge coins to be extremely sentimental.
What Is the Difference Between a Commander’s Coin and a Unit Coin?
A commander’s coin is typically given by a commanding officer to show appreciation for exemplary service. A unit coin, on the other hand, is usually given to members of a unit as a sign of camaraderie and unity.
Although both coins are given during different circumstances, neither is more important than the other. Both hold a substantial amount of weight and should be revered equally.
What Are the Military Challenge Coin Rules?
Interestingly, there are no official military challenge coin rules. However, there is a certain etiquette that you should follow.
For example, it is considered rude to refuse a challenge coin when it is offered to you. Additionally, you should never ask for a challenge coin. If someone offers you one, it is considered a great honor.
Asking for one is considered highly disrespectful. If you are given a challenge coin, you should always carry it with you.
This is because you may be challenged to show your coin at any time. If you can’t produce your coin when challenged, you may have to buy the challenger a drink.
On the other hand, if you successfully produce your coin, the challenger has to buy you a drink. Of course, you could substitute similar small purchases instead, such as a meal or non-alcoholic beverage.
What Other Rules Should I Know About?
Something many people overlook is the fact that challenge coins are not meant to be worn like jewelry.
In other words, don’t put your coin on a chain and wear it around your neck. Additionally, you should avoid carrying your coin in your pocket with your loose change. Not only is this considered to be bad etiquette, but it can also damage your coin.
If you are in a situation where someone else does not understand the rules to a challenge coin, it is your duty to explain the rules to them. You should also keep in mind that a challenge can occur anywhere, anytime.
Finally, there are no exceptions to any of the above rules. To break them is to tarnish the honor that was bestowed upon you by the person who gave you the coin.
When it comes to military coins, in particular, this is something you want to avoid at all costs. Put simply — always respect the coin and the tradition behind it.
If you keep this information in mind, you won’t have any trouble avoiding problems in the future.
What Should You Do if You Lose Your Challenge Coin?
If you lose your challenge coin, you should inform your commanding officer as soon as possible.
They may be able to replace it for you. Additionally, you should try to retrace your steps to see if you can find your coin. Revisit the most recent locations that you were at. Ask around to see if anybody happened to find the coin.
For instance, you may have left it on the table of a bar after a night out with friends who also had challenge coins. If all else fails, you will just have to accept that you lost it and move on.
If you find yourself in this situation, you should keep two things in mind: you should not ask for placement, and you should tell the person who gave you the coin what happened as soon as possible. Depending on the situation, they may choose to replace your coin for you. Otherwise, you will have to wait until someone else gifts you one in the future.
You can check out this page to learn more about challenge coin gifts for veterans.
Don’t Neglect the Challenge Coin Rules
As you can see, there are a few military challenge coin rules that you should be aware of. By following this etiquette, you can avoid making mistakes that you may have otherwise made in the future.
This will also allow you to fully enjoy the benefits of owning a challenge coin. Looking for other useful articles like this one? Our blog has plenty of info that can help you out in the future.