Challenge Coin Origins
By: Benny the Beaver


It’s time again for Benny the Beaver to answer a question from one of his readers. One reader poses the question: “Hey, Benny. I was hoping that you could explain the coin challenge and where it came from.” Well, that’s a great question, especially considering this issue is all about the challenge coin. Well, the coin challenge actually developed over the years as an incentive for unit members to keep their coins on their person at all times.

The challenging only applies to members that have been formally given a coin by their unit. The rules vary between organizations and are not always formalized; however, the basic concept is usually the same. The challenge can be initiated at any time by any member of the unit. The challenger slaps, places, or bangs the coin on the table, and everyone around him is now being challenged. They must produce their own coin or they must buy a round of drinks for the challenger and everyone else who has their challenge coin. However, if everyone challenged can produce a coin, the challenger must buy a round of drinks for the whole group.

And here is where we have the special conditions. While some locations require you to produce your coin on the spot, others will allow a step and reach. Sometimes a time limit will be placed on how fast you must produce your coin. Also, if someone is able to steal a challenge coin, everyone in the group must buy a drink for that person. There are also rules about buying a drink for the highest rank of coin produced. The coin challenge can be a great way to boost morale in a unit, as long as everyone is willing to participate and have a few extra dollars to spend.