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Unit Coins, or "challenge coins" bear an organization’s insignia or emblem and are carried by the organization’s members. Traditionally, they are given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale. In addition, they are also collected by service members. In practice, challenge coins are normally presented by unit commanders in recognition of special achievement by a member of the unit. They are also exchanged in recognition of visits to an organization.


The tradition of the challenge coin, begins with the challenger drawing his/her coin, and slapping or placing the coin on the table or bar. Everyone being challenged must immediately produce the coin for their organization and anyone failing to do so must buy a round of drinks for the challenger and everyone else who has their challenge coin. However, should everyone challenged be able to produce their coin, the challenger must buy a round of drinks for the group.


There are numerous stories of origin, as well as other "rules" that are sometimes applied to challenging.  Coins from higher commands or ranks beat out lower coins. Combat coins (coins issued in combat) always beat out noncombat coins. Take part in this military tradition or add to your collections while supporting your local Marine Corps League today.

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