The Past, The Present, & The Future of Military Challenge Coins

Challenge coins have a rich military history, and are a key part of military life for the foreseeable future.

Challenge coins are an integral part of military life, but we are unaware of what challenge coins are for many on the outside. Well, for starters, a challenge coin is a coin designed with a specific reason in mind. They are presented to confirm membership to a group, though they can honor a person for special achievements, milestones, and other accomplishments. 

Challenge coins are small metal coins that can fit in the palm of your hand. These small tokens have unique layouts representing the organization it was made for. Typically, challenge coins boast emblems and logos of the organization, as well as mottos, memorable dates, and other notable details. Challenge coins are usually round in shape, though they can be made in nearly any shape imaginable. They can even have color added for a truly unique and eye-catching appeal. 

Challenge coins hold a special place in military life, and they have a long history that dates back to ancient Roman times. Soldiers were presented particular coins with their daily wages to honor a job well done. While the look of these coins has drastically changed over the years, the reasons they are presented have remained the same. 

The military adopted modern challenge coins during World War I. The most popular origin story is that a wealthy leader had custom coins made and then presented them to his men. The bronze medallions featured the flying squadron printed on them. As the story goes, one of the pilots was shot down and captured by enemy forces. He was stripped of his equipment except for a small pouch that carried the medallion. The pilot escaped his captors and fled to France, captured and mistaken for a spy. After showing his coin to French troops, they recognized the emblem and returned the pilot to his unit. Since then, challenge coins have been a mainstay in the military, used across all branches to honor and acknowledge the bravery, dedication, and loyalty. 

For soldiers these days, challenge coins are commonplace and tell the story of one's career. Coins are used to commemorate particular events notable occasions such as promotions, missions, and other notable moments. They are also presented to public officials to honor their service. Challenge coins are a great way to commemorate any extraordinary achievement. While military challenge coins are the most popular and standard, custom coins can be created for events, celebrations, or honor. They are an excellent gift to pass along to loved ones to remember something they have done. 

While service members are known to develop large collections during their time in the military, challenge coins have grown in popularity far outside of the military. First responders, law enforcement agencies, and other entities also use challenge coins. Much like the military, these challenge coins are used to honor remarkable accomplishments in the line of duty. Government agencies and politicians even use challenge coins to recognize first responders in their communities, forming a sense of honor and unity. 

Challenge coins have many purposes, but it all depends on why it was made in the first place. As we mentioned, they can be used for membership, recognition, team building, commemorating special events, or even for marketing and promotion. Challenge coins are presented to members of specific units or those who served on a certain tour of duty. They have also been used for security purposes, as service members may have been required to show them to prove their loyalty. 

Challenge coins are also great ways to reward team members. Giving a coin for outstanding performance builds pride and morale, and folks take great honor in receiving them. The challenge coin tradition keeps members of the military connected. Veterans display coins from units they have served in or missions they have been on, as well as those that commemorate fallen comrades. While they are also presented to first responders for their heroic efforts during tragic times. 

Challenge coins pay tribute to events that members of an organization endured together, in turn forming a bond that will last a lifetime. Military challenge coins are mementos of the experiences shared and should be prepared with care and pride. 

Here at, our coins match the standard of excellence set by our dedicated men and women in the U.S. military. Quality and value are two important aspects of what we do. Our challenge coins are produced from the best materials, which results in the finest quality challenge coins you will find. Our craftsmanship adds to the allure of your coin. We craft coins with pride and deliver products that you will be proud to carry and display. 

Challenge coins are meant to be distinguishable and memorable, telling a story with meaning and detail. We do not compromise with elements or quality, which means you can rest assured that you will get high-quality coins without the high cost. 

The best part about challenge coins is that you have complete control over the look of your coin. With nearly twenty years of experience, we have created coins of all sorts, including honor coins, memorial coins, military coins, and many more. When making a custom coin, it's important to think about the recipient, the presenter, and the coin's purpose. Include details that are relevant such as dates, imagery, and more. Add logos, symbols, and emblems to the recipient and add color for a unique approach. 

Regardless of what you have in mind, we can bring your ideas to life. Our team of artists and graphic designs are among the best in the business, and they will work with you to produce the perfect challenge coin. We have the experience and the team to construct something extraordinary for you. That customer service sets us apart from the competition. 

At, we offer free artwork, design, and revisions, which means the coin you have envisioned is the coin you will receive. No matter what type of coin you need, we can help produce it. 

Give us a call toll-free at 1 (855) 272-8451 or email us to find out more. Let's start creating custom challenge coins that you can present with pride!

Jesse Daugherty

Jesse Daugherty


Hello, I'm Jesse Daugherty, a music enthusiast, sports aficionado, and an avid supporter of the arts. I'm a writer and content creator. For the past 5 years, I've shared my knowledge of custom challenge coins and other promotional products, exploring their designs, meaning, and purpose.