From a Grateful American: Why the Challenge Coin is So Highly Prized

Military units have always taken pride in their individual identities, and the Romans were known for producing unique coins to commemorate certain campaigns and legions. These tokens were treasured as priceless mementos of service to the republic.

Although the challenge coin in its current form has been around since World War I, it has only come into wide use in the U.S. military in the last few decades. The legend of the coin goes back to the volunteer airmen from America who flew in battles over France and Germany and used the coins to help prove their identity. There are also records of guerilla units in the Philippines using silver coins with unit insignias to identify themselves to allied forces.

Special coins were struck by certain units in Korea and Viet Nam. According to the history of the Special Forces, a Green Beret unit led by Colonel Verne Green commissioned a special coin in 1969 with the unit’s logo and motto of the 10th Special Forces. That is believed to be the only modern challenge coin actively in use until the mid-80s. Today, most military units and many offices of the government have their own unique challenge coins.

These coins are generally used as a means of special recognition and for building unit esprit de corps. They are collected and prized by those who receive them as a way of recording significant events in their lives.

Many Americans today are asking, “What can I do to thank and support our veterans?” One night, after viewing the film “American Sniper,” we were left with a great sense of awe at what our military men and women and their families sacrifice for each of us. We sat as a group, wondering how we could do more. While there are many needs, we decided on a special coin, something each of us can seize upon and say, “This I can do...”

We have designed this version of the From A Grateful American Coin as one way for you to express your personal gratitude to the veterans you know. They understand the significance of the challenge coin, and will value your effort in providing them with this tangible expression of your appreciation for their service. The coin also provides a number of benefits to a veteran when they register online, including a beautiful certificate of recognition from a grateful nation.

Visit “” to learn how you can order challenge coins for the veterans you know and meet.

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