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Absinthe Anecdote
05-15-2013, 10:22 AM
What is your opinion of unit challenge coins?

I’ve always thought they were a little dumb and I always ignored them for the most part. I have pretended to not know what they are on a number of occasions, picking one up when challenged and sniffing it then asking, “Is there chocolate inside? No? Not interested.”

More of a flying unit sort of a thing is you ask me but I’ve seen the Army with them and even a few civilians at DHS banging them on desktops.

The whole ritual is a little too frat boyish for my tastes.

TREYSLEDGE
05-15-2013, 10:51 AM
I thought I read once they unit coins started in the Army. SOF teams in Vietnam had them made and gave them to the indigenous soldiers they trained and fought with to help them identify them to other SOF teams. I'm not sure when the Air Force started using them, but I can see how the tradition can now been seen as a frat boyish thing.

I've always bought coins for the units I was assigned as a matter of unit pride. If I got some from commanders or other units for a job well done, thanks, but I don't put much stock in them. I haven't used them as true challenge coins for alcohoic beverages in about 10 years.

I remember in Korea, some shops sold extras of unit coins from all over the world. I saw some guys going in there and buying coins which I thought was weird. If it's not from your unit or from a GO received for a good job I don't see the point. But, then again collecting military memorabilia is a big hobby/business for some.

KellyinAvon
05-15-2013, 11:15 AM
I've been carrying mine from Taegu for nearly 20 years. It doesn't look like it's been carried for 20 years, Mr. Kim made it out of good metal (I have one I got in Iceland that has a flat place on the edge from when I dropped it). I think challenge coins (much like many things) lost their significance when the civilian world started passing them out.

SENDBILLMONEY
05-15-2013, 11:52 AM
I was cool with it when I you only got "coined" for excellence. I stopped being cool with it when some asshat could buy the identical coin from the Booster Club and initiate coin checks with it. It then became roughly akin to being allowed to buy and wear an unearned ribbon just because you thought it was cool.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-15-2013, 12:00 PM
I thought I read once they unit coins started in the Army. SOF teams in Vietnam had them made and gave them to the indigenous soldiers they trained and fought with to help them identify them to other SOF teams. I'm not sure when the Air Force started using them, but I can see how the tradition can now been seen as a frat boyish thing.

I've always bought coins for the units I was assigned as a matter of unit pride. If I got some from commanders or other units for a job well done, thanks, but I don't put much stock in them. I haven't used them as true challenge coins for alcohoic beverages in about 10 years.

I remember in Korea, some shops sold extras of unit coins from all over the world. I saw some guys going in there and buying coins which I thought was weird. If it's not from your unit or from a GO received for a good job I don't see the point. But, then again collecting military memorabilia is a big hobby/business for some.

I’ve heard a number of stories about their origin.

Aviators in the First World War used them as identification if they were shot down.

In the early days at the Pentagon officers who got too drunk in Crystal City could give them to a cab drivers and be taken home.

I don’t think that stuff about Army SOF teams using them in Vietnam is true, that legend stems from a Hollywood movie with that wrestler, Dwayne “The Rock” something.

JD2780
05-15-2013, 12:02 PM
I think the practicing of a "coin check" is stupid. I always had one on me to shut them up. I never received a drink from a coin check.

TREYSLEDGE
05-15-2013, 12:12 PM
I’ve heard a number of stories about their origin.

Aviators in the First World War used them as identification if they were shot down.

In the early days at the Pentagon officers who got too drunk in Crystal City could give them to a cab drivers and be taken home.

I don’t think that stuff about Army SOF teams using them in Vietnam is true, that legend stems from a Hollywood movie with that wrestler, Dwayne “The Rock” something.

You may be correct, but I didn't get it from a Dwayne Johnson movie. I've read it in a few historical and fictional books. They may not have originated the use of coins, but there seems to be evidence that they probably did use them to some extent.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-15-2013, 12:19 PM
You may be correct, but I didn't get it from a Dwayne Johnson movie. I've read it in a few historical and fictional books. They may not have originated the use of coins, but there seems to be evidence that they probably did use them to some extent.

I'm just fucking with you, you might be right.

TREYSLEDGE
05-15-2013, 12:29 PM
I'm just fucking with you, you might be right.

Ahhh... and I fell for the bait. Point for you.

Mcjohn1118
05-15-2013, 12:34 PM
If an airman (read E1-E4) receives one for excellence (Professional Team, Professional Performer or from a GO) it's cool for that airman and you may even be able to put it in an EPR. If you are an NCO, in my opinion, collect them if you wish but never put them in your EPR. I never bought into the whole coin challenge part. I will admit, I have my coins (about 30) sitting in my office. I think the dust on them are as thick as the coins themselves. Now, I don't know but aren't commanders allowed funds to purchase coins for excellence? I would think in the era of Sequestration, that would go away. I think I will submit another innovation to the VCSAF.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-15-2013, 12:41 PM
If an airman (read E1-E4) receives one for excellence (Professional Team, Professional Performer or from a GO) it's cool for that airman and you may even be able to put it in an EPR. If you are an NCO, in my opinion, collect them if you wish but never put them in your EPR. I never bought into the whole coin challenge part. I will admit, I have my coins (about 30) sitting in my office. I think the dust on them are as thick as the coins themselves. Now, I don't know but aren't commanders allowed funds to purchase coins for excellence? I would think in the era of Sequestration, that would go away. I think I will submit another innovation to the VCSAF.

Great idea Mcjohn!

However, that suggestion program sucks; I suggested that they hand out teal colored condoms during Sexual Assault Month and they just ignored me.

imported_chipotleboy
05-15-2013, 01:17 PM
If an airman (read E1-E4) receives one for excellence (Professional Team, Professional Performer or from a GO) it's cool for that airman and you may even be able to put it in an EPR. If you are an NCO, in my opinion, collect them if you wish but never put them in your EPR. I never bought into the whole coin challenge part. I will admit, I have my coins (about 30) sitting in my office. I think the dust on them are as thick as the coins themselves. Now, I don't know but aren't commanders allowed funds to purchase coins for excellence? I would think in the era of Sequestration, that would go away. I think I will submit another innovation to the VCSAF.

Yes, commanders are allowed to do that. Coins are supposed to be numbered and recipients tracked by name and reason the coins are given. I had to track all that nonsense when I was an exec.

71Fish
05-15-2013, 01:26 PM
I always thought coin checks were stupid. I never bought or received a drink because of a coin check.
Collecting coins is cool if that is your thing. I got a Pentagon coin from CJCS Gen Pace (as did everyone at Osan that day) that is pretty cool. I'm not a collector so at the moment I don't know where that coin is.

JD2780
05-15-2013, 01:36 PM
I always thought coin checks were stupid. I never bought or received a drink because of a coin check.
Collecting coins is cool if that is your thing. I got a Pentagon coin from CJCS Gen Pace (as did everyone at Osan that day) that is pretty cool. I'm not a collector so at the moment I don't know where that coin is.

I got the same coin from Pace while in Iraq.

sandsjames
05-15-2013, 01:48 PM
I can't stand the unit coin thing. However, a friend of mine is motivated by the coins. He'd rather get coined than win a quarterly award, etc...

SomeRandomGuy
05-15-2013, 01:56 PM
I can't stand the unit coin thing. However, a friend of mine is motivated by the coins. He'd rather get coined than win a quarterly award, etc...

I think that if Generals are going to hand out coins they should get a whole bunch of those $1 presidential coins. That way next time I get coined I can use that $1 to buy a bag of chips or something.

Measure Man
05-15-2013, 03:39 PM
I always thought coin checks were stupid. I never bought or received a drink because of a coin check.
Collecting coins is cool if that is your thing. I got a Pentagon coin from CJCS Gen Pace (as did everyone at Osan that day) that is pretty cool. I'm not a collector so at the moment I don't know where that coin is.

I got one from Adm Mullen at Osan...he was there with Kid Rock, Lewis Black, Kelly Pickler...Lewis Black signed my book of his that I brought, too.

Okay, I'm a coin collector. I've got a lot of them...got into the habit when I was at a traveling job and I would grab one from the bases I visited as kind of a souvenir thing...picked up a few here and there for excellence or whatever...might have even traded a few at SNCOA. Nearly all of them have a story of some type behind them...much like any other souvenir or photo one might keep.

I've got probably close to 150-200...I keep them all in a big glass jar on my piano.

I'm sure I've bought and received drinks in coin challenges...but, I buy and receive drinks for a lot dumber reasons too.

I like the tradition, like anything it can get overdone with "special event" coins and what-not for the Dining Out, etc.

Zxc
05-15-2013, 04:09 PM
I don't participate. I've been coin checked before and I simply say with a straight face, "I don't carry one." Some people get all excited and act like they caught me in a bind, but I keep the straight, disinterested face going and they lose interest.

RobotChicken
05-15-2013, 04:19 PM
:spy Only had one...flashed once, free beers for me, never was asked again!! :gossip

seatmech2412
05-16-2013, 03:52 AM
Everytime I go TDY, I make sure to get coins from the AMU's there...... I collect them. I have been awarded several coins from various levels up to the SECDEF coin being the highest I have received. The only coin I carry on me is my squadron coin. I never coin check people, but at the same time I don't act like a douchebag when someone coin checks me and say "I don't do that......" I figure a coin only takes up a little amount of space, so if I have a coin, I don't get harassed for not having one......

fufu
05-16-2013, 04:05 AM
Everytime I go TDY, I make sure to get coins from the AMU's there...... I collect them. I have been awarded several coins from various levels up to the SECDEF coin being the highest I have received. The only coin I carry on me is my squadron coin. I never coin check people, but at the same time I don't act like a douchebag when someone coin checks me and say "I don't do that......" I figure a coin only takes up a little amount of space, so if I have a coin, I don't get harassed for not having one......

I think people who collect coins and "coin check" people are much bigger douches than those who don't play(like myself). Keeping coins you've been given(often earned) is fine and good, buying 100s to display on your desk at work is ghey.

seatmech2412
05-16-2013, 04:21 AM
I think people who collect coins and "coin check" people are much bigger douches than those who don't play(like myself). Keeping coins you've been given(often earned) is fine and good, buying 100s to display on your desk at work is ghey.

So since I don't "coin check" people or display any of the coins I collect, why are you quoting me?

seatmech2412
05-16-2013, 04:25 AM
Also, everytime I have been assigned a new ratee, I close out the session by giving them a squadron coin that I paid for out of my own pocket. Of course you can't MAKE them buy drinks if they are not carrying that coin....... On the other hand, guess who has to do push ups if they get caught without a coin.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-16-2013, 05:42 AM
Also, everytime I have been assigned a new ratee, I close out the session by giving them a squadron coin that I paid for out of my own pocket. Of course you can't MAKE them buy drinks if they are not carrying that coin....... On the other hand, guess who has to do push ups if they get caught without a coin.

So you do coin check people!

Sorry but you reek of vinegar, douchemech!

loggie94
05-16-2013, 07:01 AM
"Now, I don't know but aren't commanders allowed funds to purchase coins for excellence? I would think in the era of Sequestration, that would go away. I think I will submit another innovation to the VCSAF. "

Yes, they are...as mentioned above. But they are restrictions to who they can be given too, tracking requirements, etc. To avoid that, I purchased my own CC coins and could thus give them out how I saw fit. I hung on to some for annual award winners, etc... but mostly it was my way of pesonally saying 'thank you' to the folks bustin' their ass day in and day out to get the job done.

Like others on here, I carry one to avoid issue with those that play the game, but have only rarely initiated a coin check (and then only to screw with a buddy or an ate-up First Sergeant). My collection only consists of those that were given to me or are from squadrons I was part of, so they each have some level of personal connection. I don't trade/collect/buy coins from random units just to fill the jar.

Unfortunately, like all good things, the spread of coins has gotten out of control. I too have seen other government agencies, civilian companies, etc. giving them away like candy.

JD2780
05-16-2013, 10:52 AM
Everytime I go TDY, I make sure to get coins from the AMU's there...... I collect them. I have been awarded several coins from various levels up to the SECDEF coin being the highest I have received. The only coin I carry on me is my squadron coin. I never coin check people, but at the same time I don't act like a douchebag when someone coin checks me and say "I don't do that......" I figure a coin only takes up a little amount of space, so if I have a coin, I don't get harassed for not having one......

So no forcing a guy to buy me booze because he doesn't carry a pointless piece of metal with him makes me a douchebag. Wow, you're awesome I guess.

At table with 12 people at for the AF ball our DO walked up and did that stupid stunt. Guess who was going to have pay for booze for a bunch of other people. A SrA that couldn't afford to do that. When I said no thanks, other people started changing their minds as well. The AF is like silly frat, just like I said.

JD2780
05-16-2013, 11:30 AM
Also, everytime I have been assigned a new ratee, I close out the session by giving them a squadron coin that I paid for out of my own pocket. Of course you can't MAKE them buy drinks if they are not carrying that coin....... On the other hand, guess who has to do push ups if they get caught without a coin.

Another dumb rule, push-ups for not having your coin. It's your troop though. Have at it.

Chief_KO
05-16-2013, 12:21 PM
I enlisted in 1982, there were no coins then (at least widespread). First I ever seen a coin check was in 1988 at Robins (by former members of a joint unit). First unit coin I ever received was in 1990 (Korea).
Only coin story I have...went to combat dining in (Korea) in 1994. When I got there I realized I forgot my coin...went to the shop and dug through the extra parts box and found a large flat washer. Worked like a champ!!

JD2780
05-16-2013, 12:31 PM
My only cool coin story was in 04 in samarra. We just finished taking the city back, and we had started doing our withdrawal. The platoon commander I had been working with had me go with a different squad than normal and that squad was linking up with General Casey. It was neat, yet frustrating. While it was cool he was there with us in that crapshoot of a city, I was on the mic every ten seconds it seemed talking to apaches. Got a coin, first one I actually earned I think. Saw a full bird on that operation also, actually running and taking cover moving with his PSD ( personal security detachment Bob) to get to our company commander. It was cool to see a rank like that getting dirty and being in harms way with his guys.

Mcjohn1118
05-16-2013, 12:52 PM
"Now, I don't know but aren't commanders allowed funds to purchase coins for excellence? I would think in the era of Sequestration, that would go away. I think I will submit another innovation to the VCSAF. "

Yes, they are...as mentioned above. But they are restrictions to who they can be given too, tracking requirements, etc. To avoid that, I purchased my own CC coins and could thus give them out how I saw fit. I hung on to some for annual award winners, etc... but mostly it was my way of pesonally saying 'thank you' to the folks bustin' their ass day in and day out to get the job done.

Like others on here, I carry one to avoid issue with those that play the game, but have only rarely initiated a coin check (and then only to screw with a buddy or an ate-up First Sergeant). My collection only consists of those that were given to me or are from squadrons I was part of, so they each have some level of personal connection. I don't trade/collect/buy coins from random units just to fill the jar.

Unfortunately, like all good things, the spread of coins has gotten out of control. I too have seen other government agencies, civilian companies, etc. giving them away like candy.

Ok, so I'm looking for some details. Maybe if SRG is on, he can assist. I know that Title 10, 1125 allows for the use of appropriated funds to purchase trophies, or like items to present for excellence. This is where we derive our authority to buy a Commander's Coin. However, AFI 64-117 prohibit the use of the government purchase card to buy gifts. I recently read a CENTCOM IG report with GAO comments that validated this AFI. GPC holders downrange used their GPC to buy Commnader's Coin and it was a violation. So, how do unit's purchase the coins and what is the spend limit. Think of all the commander's in all services that have Commander Coins for excellence. And they are supposed to be tracked yet when IG or higher HQ leaders pass out coins, it's like Halloween so there is no tracking. I am curious to see how much is really spent.

SomeRandomGuy
05-16-2013, 01:00 PM
Ok, so I'm looking for some details. Maybe if SRG is on, he can assist. I know that Title 10, 1125 allows for the use of appropriated funds to purchase trophies, or like items to present for excellence. This is where we derive our authority to buy a Commander's Coin. However, AFI 64-117 prohibit the use of the government purchase card to buy gifts. I recently read a CENTCOM IG report with GAO comments that validated this AFI. GPC holders downrange used their GPC to buy Commnader's Coin and it was a violation. So, how do unit's purchase the coins and what is the spend limit. Think of all the commander's in all services that have Commander Coins for excellence. And they are supposed to be tracked yet when IG or higher HQ leaders pass out coins, it's like Halloween so there is no tracking. I am curious to see how much is really spent.

Here you go. AFI 65-601V1. Basically you can buy unit coins but they cannot be personalized and they have to be tracked.

4.31.2. Mission Accomplishment Awards. Air Force activities may use appropriated funds to purchase special trophies and awards authorized by those AFI 36-XXXX series instructions which pertain to mission accomplishment or a MAJCOM/Base/FOA/DRU supplement thereto. Included are trophies, plaques, emblems, certificates, organizational coins, and similar items that are designed for display purposes. For organizational coins, do not personalize them by stamping the presenter‘s name on the coin and the presenter‘s name is not to be added after the coin is cast (EXCEPTION: Secretary of the Air Force, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, four (4) star general officers and four (4) star civilian equivalents are authorized to personalize coins). The coins are to be presented as cast from the die without further embellishment, i.e. presenter‘s name engraved. They are organizational coins, not personalized mementos. Use only the organization‘s name and the position of the presenter (e.g. Commander 33rd FW Eglin AFB, FL). The prohibition against personalizing stationery in AF Supplement to DoDI 5330.03, is applicable to organizational coins for the same reasons – it creates frozen stock (waste) when personnel change and requires an additional expenditure to change the die from which these items are cast. Appropriated funds are not legally available to procure ―commemorative‖ coins. Merchandise items such as belt buckles with a nominal cost, as determined by local Command authorities, and which display the activity logo, insignia or other inscription that clearly identifies its purpose meet Comptroller General criteria for mission accomplishment awards. Air Force activities may use such items for mission accomplishment awards to the extent authorized by agency directives or instructions. The authority for merchandise-type items for mission accomplishment awards for civilians is 5 U.S.C. 4501-4507 (see Comptroller General Decision B-243025) and for military, 10 U.S.C. 1125 (see Comptroller General Decision B-247687).

http://static.e-publishing.af.mil/production/1/saf_fm/publication/afi65-601v1/afi65-601v1.pdf

meatbringer
05-16-2013, 03:15 PM
I can understand why many people would like to collect the coins for display or memorabilia, but the whole coin check nonsense is for douchebag frat boys and kids who think they're in a war movie (You know those kids, the ones who wear their dogtags anywhere that's not the desert). If you want a beer, just ask me and I'll buy you one.

Tak
05-16-2013, 03:18 PM
No joke, I submitted an a1c once for an achievement,
They were leaving to a special duty after doing 1 yr 10 months
At minot, not approved because of 2 yr req, they
Recommended coining instead.

BOSS302
05-16-2013, 03:31 PM
(You know those kids, the ones who wear their dogtags anywhere that's not the desert).

2005, al-Udeid. Working in the old CAOC compound. Something that sticks in my memory to this day is of a Captain who had a Rambo-style knife tied to his boot along the ankle. That thing was ridiculous.

Absinthe Anecdote
05-16-2013, 03:41 PM
No joke, I submitted an a1c once for an achievement,
They were leaving to a special duty after doing 1 yr 10 months
At minot, not approved because of 2 yr req, they
Recommended coining instead.

So what did you do?

Stand outside their bedroom window with a boom box raised over your head until they relented?

Absinthe Anecdote
05-16-2013, 03:50 PM
I can understand why many people would like to collect the coins for display or memorabilia, but the whole coin check nonsense is for douchebag frat boys and kids who think they're in a war movie (You know those kids, the ones who wear their dogtags anywhere that's not the desert). If you want a beer, just ask me and I'll buy you one.

Post of the thread!

If you can get away with it, take the rest of the day off and go have a beer.

Measure Man
05-16-2013, 03:59 PM
I can understand why many people would like to collect the coins for display or memorabilia, but the whole coin check nonsense is for douchebag frat boys and kids who think they're in a war movie (You know those kids, the ones who wear their dogtags anywhere that's not the desert). If you want a beer, just ask me and I'll buy you one.

Ever notice how a Dining In/Out is just a big formal game of quarters?

You know, "Oh, you clapped your hands instead of rapping your spoon on the table...you have to take a drink...from the grog"

Measure Man
05-16-2013, 04:02 PM
Captain who had a Rambo-style knife tied to his boot along the ankle.

That is AWESOME.

SomeRandomGuy
05-16-2013, 04:05 PM
2005, al-Udeid. Working in the old CAOC compound. Something that sticks in my memory to this day is of a Captain who had a Rambo-style knife tied to his boot along the ankle. That thing was ridiculous.

What is wrong with carrying a Rambo knife? All Airmen are warriors!

Absinthe Anecdote
05-16-2013, 04:17 PM
What is wrong with carrying a Rambo knife? All Airmen are warriors!

Saw a guy open an MRE with a big ass Bowie Knife during an exercise at Osan.

KellyinAvon
05-16-2013, 04:19 PM
2005, al-Udeid. Working in the old CAOC compound. Something that sticks in my memory to this day is of a Captain who had a Rambo-style knife tied to his boot along the ankle. That thing was ridiculous.
I was in CAOC compound Jan-May 05. I'd have remembered that. There were Aussies there, maybe it was a Crocodile Dundee knife. Now that's a knife!

RobotChicken
05-16-2013, 04:28 PM
Saw a guy open an MRE with a big ass Bowie Knife during an exercise at Osan.
:spy Outta P-38's no doubt...:clock

Absinthe Anecdote
05-16-2013, 04:43 PM
P-38s were used for C Rations not MREs.

Look at this dazzling array of emoticons to keep yourself amused. :director:hippie:dance:lock1:flame:attention

RobotChicken
05-16-2013, 04:46 PM
:brick So why bring a knife to a p-38 fight?? :clock

BOSS302
05-16-2013, 11:34 PM
I was in CAOC compound Jan-May 05. I'd have remembered that. There were Aussies there, maybe it was a Crocodile Dundee knife. Now that's a knife!

Where did you work at in the compound? This Captain was sometimes in a flight suit, sometimes in DCUs. When on job orders, I saw him in the ISRD building downstairs. Otherwise, I'd see him in the DFAC or at the Green Bean coffee stand. With that ridiculous knife tied to his boot. I don't think anyone told him to take it off simply because they wanted the "joke" to keep on going.

The Aussies had a skeleton dressed like a pirate with a parrot doll on its shoulder outside their little trailer next to the A7 trailer. They also had a huge inflatable kangaroo in their little ISRD cluster. The Exec (Full Bird Colonel, exec to Gen. Seip) - perhaps you remember him by the name of "Ragin' Cajun" due to his red hair and short fuse - demanded that they remove the skeleton and the kangaroo.

The skeleton pirate and the kangaroo remained in place.

meatbringer
05-17-2013, 12:01 AM
What is wrong with carrying a Rambo knife? All Airmen are warriors!

The best is when a maintainer (such as myself, so I can poke fun), goes to the desert and gets all the kevlar and their gun. All we do is wear it to and from work for probably a total of an hour a day. What's the first thing they do? They take a picture of themselves in all the gear holding their M16, with dog tags showing and post it on facebook. Their families and friends back home think they are over there dodging bullets and getting in gun fights. It's embarrassing.

JD2780
05-17-2013, 03:26 AM
The best is when a maintainer (such as myself, so I can poke fun), goes to the desert and gets all the kevlar and their gun. All we do is wear it to and from work for probably a total of an hour a day. What's the first thing they do? They take a picture of themselves in all the gear holding their M16, with dog tags showing and post it on facebook. Their families and friends back home think they are over there dodging bullets and getting in gun fights. It's embarrassing.

I love seeing that stuff. It makes them look bad ass with the fence in the background!!

RobotChicken
05-17-2013, 04:00 AM
:ranger I liked C-rats...didn't need a plastic water canteen to cook it with, if our metal one froze,thaw it out on a fire our your A$$ and have coffee. NON-hackers...AC tents???? Course the peanutbutter one would explode in the fire!!! LOL!!!! Now that was REAL WARRIOR CHOW!!! :lol:cheer2:pizza:popcorn:usa2:clock