Don’t Be Caught Without Your Challenge CoinMilitary challenge coins are well-named. When challenged by a member of your group, you must present your challenge coin immediately, or face the consequences.
This game got a foothold in the U.S. military during the Second World War It is a variation of the penny challenge that soldiers played in Germany. During a penny challenge, any customer in a tavern could loudly demand that everybody else produce a penny. Those without a penny, or the last to produce theirs, were forced to buy a round of drinks for the house.
Military challenge coins began as coins that were minted to honor the members of a military group or squadron. Should an honored member be found to be without his challenge coin during a challenge, he may have to buy a drink, or he might be forced do something far worse. The actual rules are subject to interpretation. Sub-rules exist for each group, but the basic concept for the challenge is two-fold.
If you’re asked to show your challenge coin by a fellow-member who has produced their coin, you must immediately do so. If you cannot, then you are in violation of the rules. If you are the last person to produce their coin when a verbal challenge is shouted in a bar, you are violating the rules again. The rules don’t care where you might be. If you’re in the shower, you better have your newly minted firefighter custom challenge coin, or you may have to wash the fleet of city fire trucks.
The spirit of the challenge is good fun. After all, if you buy your friends a round of drinks, you’ll have to enjoy them together. Any penalties or community service on your club’s behalf is charity work or would need to be taken care of sooner or later.
The point of the challenge is that if you were chosen to be honored with the coin, you should feel honored enough to carry it with you at all times. To forget your challenge coin is to disrespect it and if you forget it, the penalty must be paid. That’s the challenge.