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Thread: Unit Coins

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    Default Unit Coins

    What is your opinion of unit challenge coins?

    Iíve 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, ďIs there chocolate inside? No? Not interested.Ē

    More of a flying unit sort of a thing is you ask me but Iíve 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.

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    Default Re: Unit Coins

    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.

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    Default Re: Unit Coins

    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.
    This calls for a delicate blend of psychology and extreme violence. Vyvyan, The Young Ones

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    Default Re: Unit Coins

    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.

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    Default Re: Unit Coins

    Quote Originally Posted by TREYSLEDGE View Post
    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.
    Iíve 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 donít think that stuff about Army SOF teams using them in Vietnam is true, that legend stems from a Hollywood movie with that wrestler, Dwayne ďThe RockĒ something.

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    Default Re: Unit Coins

    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.

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    Default Re: Unit Coins

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    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.

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    Default Re: Unit Coins

    Quote Originally Posted by TREYSLEDGE View Post
    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.

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    Default Re: Unit Coins

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    I'm just fucking with you, you might be right.
    Ahhh... and I fell for the bait. Point for you.

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    Default Re: Unit Coins

    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.

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