The Navy is an old branch of the military – over 200 years old – originating in 1775. Commitment, honor and courage are three characteristics of the men and women who are part of this branch of the military. Their dedication to their country and to each other is one of the traits that make the Navy the proud tradition of service it has been for so many years.
The Navy Admirals challenge coins are an honor that is cherished by the receiver. They may be made from several different types of metals. The typical metals used are nickel, copper, silver, gold and bronze. During the Desert Storm conflict the Commanders excellence coin was introduced.
The dedication of the commanders and the leadership they provided to those under their command created a need. Acknowledging the courage, strength and devotion they displayed was met by the creation of a challenge coin to honor their dedication to the men and women of the Navy under their command. There are many Navy challenge coins for members of this elite branch of the military.
As with the unit coin, the challenge coin origin has been the subject of much discussion. However it is thought to have originated in the Vietnam era. The story behind this belief is that Special Forces Units had a tradition of carrying a personalized bullet. When they would go to a bar if they were challenged to produce the bullet and did not have it, they would have to buy the drinks for everyone else. If he did have it, the challenger had to buy his drinks for the rest of the evening.
The bullet escalated into more types of artillery shells as the military members tried to out-do each other. As a way of reducing the risk of all this live ammunition being carried around, the challenge coin was developed.
The Navy Admiral’s challenge coin is unique to the units under their command. The higher the ranking of the receiver of the coin, the more valuable the coin. But the monetary value of this coin is not the most important aspect. The honor of receiving the coin and the meaning behind it are the most valuable aspects of all. The coin represents the dedication and service that is shown by the receiver.
The Commanders give coins to their personnel as a symbol of the loyalty and hard work they do so it is only appropriate that the Commander would receive a challenge coin to honor their leadership and commitment to the personnel they command. The coins are one way of showing their strengths and beliefs have not gone unnoticed.
Today there are many people who collect these coins and often display them. From the NSA South Potomac coin, that was presented by the commanding officers to personnel for their excellent service, to the Special Operations coins, the many challenge coins that are given to the members of the Navy and their leaders mean more than words could ever describe.