Since ancient times, people have worn coins as symbols of their rank and pay. For example, coins were used by military units to identify their commanding officers and to show them precedence over other personnel. During the American Civil War, Union Army surgeon general Salmon P.
Soldiers Challenge Coin
Chase was known to give out coins to his surgeons with the stipulation that they would wear them only when performing surgery on prisoners of war. During World War II, the Red Cross was also given to members of the armed forces who had been injured or killed in action. A lot of soldiers would receive these coins on the anniversary of their deaths. The purpose of challenge coins, however, has evolved and changed through the years.
During the world war two timeframe, the Air Force consistently used coins for recognition and awards purposes. Unlike the Navy, whose coins had a religious connotation, those belonging to the Air Force were made of platinum and could be easily imprinted with a particular insignia.
As such, the coins bore the insignia of each squadron and branch of the Air Force, whether it was based in the Pacific theatre or in the Middle East. For instance, the coins for the squadron 1 flying force were usually green, while the coins for the 4th squadron (Squadron 10). For the Air Force Academy, the coins bore the insignia of each of the four squadrons which were based in Quantock, Virginia, until they became a part of the United States Air Force.
Today, many members of both the Air Force and the Army wear challenge coins as a symbol of their unit or rank, as well as an acknowledgment of their place in society cheap custom coins. Members of both the Air Force and the Army also have their own Buffalo Soldiers motorcycle club. When members of this motorcycle club see other members wearing similar colored coins with the insignia of their respective units, they often will match their color scheme, or if they are much older members, they may have actually graduated from a similar national association. Such is the camaraderie among members of these two very different organizations that both have something to teach the world about.