World War I, American volunteers from all parts of the country
filled the newly formed flying squadrons. Some were wealthy
scions attending colleges such as Yale and Harvard who quit in
midterm to join the war. In one squadron, a wealthy lieutenant
ordered medallions struck in solid bronze carrying the
squadron emblem for every member of his squadron. He himself
carried his medallion in a small leather sack around his neck.
after acquiring the medallions, this pilot's aircraft was
severely damaged by ground fire. He was forced to land behind
enemy lines and was immediately captured by a German Patrol.
In order to discourage his escape, the Germans took all of his
personal identification except for the small leather pouch
around his neck. In the meantime, he was taken to a small
French town near the front. Taking advantage of a bombardment
that night he donned civilian clothes and escaped. However, he
was without personal identification.
succeeded in avoiding German patrols and reached the front
lines. With great difficulty, he crossed no-man's land.
Eventually, he stumbled into a French outpost. Unfortunately,
the French in this sector of the front had been plagued by
saboteurs. They sometimes masqueraded as civilians and wore
civilian clothes. Not recognizing the young pilot's American
accent, the French thought him to be a saboteur and made ready
to execute him. Just in time, he remembered his leather pouch
containing the medallion. He showed the medallion to his
would-be executioners. His French captors recognized the
squadron insignia on the medallion and delayed long enough for
him to confirm his identity. Instead of shooting him, they
gave him a bottle of wine.
with his squadron, it became a tradition to ensure that all
members carried their medallion or coin at all times. This was
accomplished through a challenge in the following manner, a
challenger would ask to see the coin, if he challenger could
not produce his coin, he was required to purchase a drink of
choice for he member who had challenged him. If the challenged
member produced his coin, then the challenging member was
required to pay for the drink. This tradition continued
throughout the war and for many years after while surviving
members of the squadron were still alive.
For-The-Good-Of-The-Order: Organizational, ceremonial,
personal, commemorative and limited minting – Coins come in
all shapes, sizes, minting and availability. When creating a
new challenge coin, think about the possibilities. Some are
minted in limited addition, making them more meaningful and
rare. It is up to the organization to maintain control, keep
records of minting and if presented honorably to honor
distinguished visitors, record such presentations. It is
customary when creating a coin for an organization to make it
generally available for “membership”. Folks that want to
partake in the validation of the order of the organization,
except that organizational token for play.
Presidents, senior cabinet members, foreign governments, heads
of state, throughout the armed services, fraternal, community
and novel organizations, “coining” continues to grow. They
have traveled into battle, around the globe, to the bottom of
the worlds oceans and have circled our great planet in space.
They have been permanently welded in the keels of great
vessels, left at great monuments around the world and have
remained in the pockets of those that have journeyed beyond.
"Coin Check" Rules
challenge is initiated by drawing your coin, holding it in the
air by whatever means possible and state, scream, shout or
otherwise verbally acknowledge that you are initiating a coin
check. Another, but less vocal method is to firmly place it
on the bar, table, or floor (this should produce an audible
noise which can be easily heard by those being challenged, but
try not to leave a permanent imprint). If you accidentally
drop your coin and it makes an audible sound upon impact, then
you have just "accidentally" initiated a coin check.
Suffocation – Do not leave your coin in the wrapper or
plastic that it came in
Abuse of the Organizational object – Be careful not to
damage your coin
Control – When making the challenge, always keep your
coin safely within your immediate possession and control
Individual's) challenged must respond by showing their Coin
with their own unit’s logo to the challenger within a
reasonable amount of time.
organization has formally presented a coin to an “outsider” of
the organization, it is the honorary tradition of meeting the
hosting unit with that to which they have presented – Always
carry with you when visiting, that token honorable to the
organization that presented it
are challenged and are unable to properly respond, it is
customary to buy a round of beverages for those that did
respond to the challenge.
challenge is met with an “all accounted for”, everyone
responding with their coin, the challenge is a loss and the
Challenger then hosts by sponsoring a round of beverages to
Checks are permitted anywhere and anytime. Ah, the creative
aspect of the game.
to buy a round is a despicable crime and will require that you
turn-in your Coin to the issuing agency.
no exceptions to the rules. They apply to those clothed or
unclothed. At the time of the challenge you are permitted one
step and an arms reach to locate your coin. If you still
cannot reach it -- SORRY ABOUT THAT!
A COIN IS A COIN
attached on belt buckles are considered "belt buckles".
key chains are considered "key chains."
placed in a "holder/clasp" and worn around the neck like a
necklace are valid and are considered a coin.
– Don’t leave home to visit an organization without it –
Especially if they gave it to you!
ALWAYS CARRY YOUR COIN AS A REMINDER OF YOUR COMMITMENT AND
CONNECTION TO YOUR ORGANIZATION AND SOMETHING BIGGER IN YOUR