Challenge Coin Rules, History and Tradition

by November 2, 2012 11/2/12
ITS Tactical Challenge Coins

With the release of our newest ITS Challenge Coins today, I wanted to take the time to write an article addressing the history surrounding Challenge Coins and the rules, which still aren’t clear to many that have never had a “Coin Check” pulled on them.

Challenge Coins typically feature an organization’s insignia and are carried by their members. During a “Coin Check” they can prove membership, enhance morale or wind up costing you a round of drinks if you’ve forgotten yours at home. In keeping with the tradition of Challenge Coins heavily rooted in the military, we’ve produced our own here at ITS so that you can give them out for recognition or simply carry an awesome coin in your pocket in case you get challenged.

I recently presented an ITS Challenge Coin to everyone that attended our Inaugural Muster in the traditional way of palming it to them during a handshake. Below I’ve listed out the Challenge Coin Rules, which I’d never officially seen printed anywhere until Eric and I visited the Navy UDT-SEAL Museum a few months ago. These rules come from a laminated sheet they had displayed in their gift shop (photo below.)

Challenge Coin Rules

Note: A “Coin Check” consists of a Challenge and a Response.

Rules

  • The 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. (This is called paying the price for improper care of your coin.)
  • The response consists of all those persons being challenged drawing their coin in a like manner.
  • If you are challenged and are unable to properly respond, you must buy a round of drinks for the challenger and the group being challenged.
  • If everyone being challenged responds in the correct manner, the challenger must buy a round of drinks for all those people they challenged.
  • Failure to buy a round of drinks is a despicable crime and will require that you turn-in your Coin to the issuing agency.

When-Where

  • Coin checks are permitted, ANY TIME, ANY PLACE.

Exceptions

  • There are 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!

Challenge Coin History and Tradition

The story I like the best out of all the ones floating around out there, (there are quite a few and none have been proven to be the accurate account of the start of Challenge Coins) dates back to WWII when the OSS (Office of Strategic Service) was deployed to Nazi held France. Their coins were simply a local coin that acted as a bona fides during meetings to verify identity and authenticity of an OSS agent.

Specifics on the coin were examined by each party that would identify friend from foe, which prevented infiltration by a spy who might have advance knowledge of the meeting time, place and even what coin was to be presented. This helped prevent infiltration into the meeting by a spy who might have to have advance knowledge of the meeting time, place and even what coin was to be presented.

ITS Tactical Challenge Coins

The first military unit known to have a coin was the oldest Special Forces unit in the Army, the 10th Special Forces Group. Green Berets were the only known units to have coins prior to the creation of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in 1987. Since then, the Challenge Coin tradition has spread far and wide in both the military and the private sector.

There probably isn’t a US President, or government official, today without one. I think the coolest coins I have in my collection were given to me by a Rear Admiral for getting selected as Honor Recruit in Navy Boot Camp and one given to me by Texas Governor Rick Perry at SHOT Show a few years back.

What’s Your Story?

Do you have a Challenge Coin story to share or what you’ve heard to be the origin of Challenge Coins? Share it below in the comments, as mentioned, there’s nothing that’s ever been proven to be the actual start of Challenge Coin use.

Be prepared and always carry (both a gun and your Challenge Coin!)


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Cpl Moffatt
Cpl Moffatt

I was gifted my coin in 2003 from my brothers brothr in-law a Special Op's Ranger just before I enlisted into the British Army. He never told me about challenging. All he said was when you go on Ops find an American Camp and show the coin and they will look after you (BBQ's, Drinks etc).

Our family is spread across England and America but we all have a strong Military connection. very proud of everyone in my family that has fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Chris 

maxchal lengecoins
maxchal lengecoins

This is very interesting story about the challenge coins, I always think the challenge coins which used for the bravery and historical purposed how it may be introduced. This article says that why it used.Thanks for this valuable story.


TracyWilkinson
TracyWilkinson

My best coin story was one I witnessed at Devil's beach on Ft. Sherman in the Panama Canal Zone when i was a kid.

Two of my dad's buddies, MSG Ben Polston MSG Jim McLean were 7th Group guys. Jim was an enthusiastic coin checker, known to drop his coin in the most unusual places at the most peculiar times. He'd caught Ben a time or two in the past. Well Jim decided to go for a swim. He was out in the surf, with Ben watching him go. After he'd been out a while, Ben thought it would be the perfect time to wade out in the surf with his coin, with all of us laughing and watching from the beach. Ben reached him and held up his coin.. Jim smiled and pulled his out of his swim trunks!

We laughed so hard it hurt.

charles
charles

how many coins are made and how many people get one? I have one from a general wayne A downing

Jim S
Jim S

Maybe I should start carrying my SECDEF coin if 'trumps' is the rule. ;)

Topher
Topher

My most favorite challenge coin is my High School coin. I graduated class of '99 from Balboa HS DoDDS in Balboa, Panama.

Carl Cascone
Carl Cascone

As an HM(SS)IDC "submarine qualified independent duty Hospital Corpsman, I got sent all over and everywhere. The operators I was with always played fair. On the first trip to the bar on what came to be known as "Drunk Ops" after ""training"" We made sure everyone had something to CHECK. As things happen, stuff happens and coins are lost and can't be replaced while "underway". So we would buy our owed drinks given to those of us that could attend, then have a safety meeting. "Whatta ya got Doc? Was called out one night at the club in Kadena, or Okinawa, all I had was chap stick and taped up dog tags. EVERYONE at the bar had Both. Until we left the island, we checked tags and chap stick. True Story...Good Times!

Ron Walsh
Ron Walsh

I received my very first coin when I was promoted to Sergeant. It was handed to me by my CO. It is one that I carry always. Over the years, I have picked up a few new ones, but my favorite recent coin I got after completing a Costa Ludus training class. I will be getting my next one from Chris Costa at the end of January.

I know it sounds stupid, but things like this really do go a long way to help remembering where you have been.

Ron Walsh
Ron Walsh

I received my very first coin when I was promoted to Sergeant. It was handed to me by my CO. It is one that I carry always. Over the years, I have picked up a few new ones, but my favorite recent coin I got after completing a Costa Ludus training class. I will be getting my next one from Chris Costa at the end of January. I know it sounds stupid, but things like this really do go a long way to help remembering where you have been.

dan
dan

I carry my ship's coin and sailor's creed coin everywhere.

Milo
Milo

I'm a non military ex-contractor. I was given a coin for volunteering to go out to a FOB that had sustained a bad attack.

Before I left my foreman took me to the head of our department's office where the sergeant that oversaw out base was waiting. Both thanked me and the sergeant palmed me a coin when he shook my hand and left. Not having a military background I asked my foreman about it later and he explained what it was.

I felt pretty honored, even though I know they've become pretty common. Sadly, it ended up getting left at the FOB since I had to rush to catch a bird out and had been bumped 8+ times I just shoved my nearest belongings in my bag.

Milo
Milo

I'm a non military ex-contractor. I was given a coin for volunteering to go out to a FOB that had sustained a bad attack. Before I left my foreman took me to the head of our department's office where the sergeant that oversaw out base was waiting. Both thanked me and the sergeant palmed me a coin when he shook my hand and left. Not having a military background I asked my foreman about it later and he explained what it was. I felt pretty honored, even though I know they've become pretty common. Sadly, it ended up getting left at the FOB since I had to rush to catch a bird out and had been bumped 8+ times I just shoved my nearest belongings in my bag.

Blake
Blake

I, like a few others that have commented, am not prior military. But I do have a couple of unique challenge coins. Two times a year, I work at a NASCAR track & have been in the same spot for years. Well I have gotten to know one of the PR guys & turns out he's retired Air Force. So he brought the challenge coins to the team, having ones made up. Since I have helped him out, he gave me one & has challenged me before. Another one (and my first) is an AFOSI coin. Got it from an Airman up there. Also have an FBI one.

C.C. Chapman
C.C. Chapman

I had never heard of challenge coins until several years ago a listener of my podcast sent me one as a thank you.

He had been listening to my show for years and wanted me to have one from his unit as a special show of appreciation. It was a total surprise and still is one of my most cherished possessions.

C.C. Chapman
C.C. Chapman

I had never heard of challenge coins until several years ago a listener of my podcast sent me one as a thank you. He had been listening to my show for years and wanted me to have one from his unit as a special show of appreciation. It was a total surprise and still is one of my most cherished possessions.

RW
RW

The Ranger Batts had coins in the 70s.

John
John

...to the "one step, arms reach" rule... In my day, when we "sanitized" for a mission it meant everything to the micro-detail. The rule was "suspended" until we reported for the debrief, but once you hit the door it was game on.

DocCoy talked about "...coin in the soap dish...", we always wore them under our watch because you just never know... jc

John
John

...to the "one step, arms reach" rule... In my day, when we "sanitized" for a mission it meant everything to the micro-detail. The rule was "suspended" until we reported for the debrief, but once you hit the door it was game on. DocCoy talked about "...coin in the soap dish...", we always wore them under our watch because you just never know... jc

Gianni D
Gianni D

I would love to create some challenge coins for my cub scout pack. Does anyone know where they can be purchased.... Maybe Ill have the boys make them out of some material. Create our own rules sans the drinking. :)

Aaron K
Aaron K

My coolest coin was given to me by a pair of Air Marshalls. I work for a gear manufacturer and was able to take care of them on some stuff with little notice. As a token of appreciation, they gave me a FAMS coin.

Doc Hewett
Doc Hewett

My favorite story is one I was involved in as a new Corpsman to a Recon unit.

We were policing up out in the field at 0'dark-thirty prior to the trucks arriving at day break to take us back to garrison. I'm looking for trash and anything else on the ground when I spy a shiny coin. Turns out to be a Marine Scout Sniper Coin belonging to a Sgt in my Platoon. I asked whose it was and the rightful owner stepped forward with a shamed look on his face and gratefully accepted it from e and thanked me. The Platoon Sgt informed me that that was a hard coin to earn and that he owed me for finding it and that 50 push-ups would be a good start. The Sgt in question did not hesitate and dropped down and pushed them out for me and then requested mt permission to recover.

This made a big impression on a young Corpsman among a bunch of hard chargers as to what a challenge coin was and what it meant. I also received drinks of my choice anytime from him frequently.

This was before they were handed out like candy, and is why I cherish mine to this day.

Good write up Bryan as always.

"Doc"

Doc Hewett
Doc Hewett

My favorite story is one I was involved in as a new Corpsman to a Recon unit. We were policing up out in the field at 0'dark-thirty prior to the trucks arriving at day break to take us back to garrison. I'm looking for trash and anything else on the ground when I spy a shiny coin. Turns out to be a Marine Scout Sniper Coin belonging to a Sgt in my Platoon. I asked whose it was and the rightful owner stepped forward with a shamed look on his face and gratefully accepted it from e and thanked me. The Platoon Sgt informed me that that was a hard coin to earn and that he owed me for finding it and that 50 push-ups would be a good start. The Sgt in question did not hesitate and dropped down and pushed them out for me and then requested mt permission to recover. This made a big impression on a young Corpsman among a bunch of hard chargers as to what a challenge coin was and what it meant. I also received drinks of my choice anytime from him frequently. This was before they were handed out like candy, and is why I cherish mine to this day. Good write up Bryan as always. "Doc"

John
John

The tradition of the "handshake pass" comes to us from our British cousins.

In the past, officers were awarded medals while the enlisted gents (who did the work) stood in formation and watched.

As the "story goes", the Sergeant Major(s) would discretely reward those enlisted men who had excelled in the battle / operation by moving through the formation and with a handshake, pass the soldier a coin of significant monetary value. The British were not known for fairly compensating their enlisted troops, that was reserved for the gentlemen officers who usually had little to do in the engagement. The SGMs leveled the playing field a bit because they probably "acquired" the funds from unknowing officers...their form of justice.

I will say, in defense of our cousins, the times have changed! I was privileged to work with some SAS and RAF Regiment brothers during OEF and OIF; the officers and enlisted are definitely a team these days, but it's still a cool tradition. jc

John
John

The tradition of the "handshake pass" comes to us from our British cousins. In the past, officers were awarded medals while the enlisted gents (who did the work) stood in formation and watched. As the "story goes", the Sergeant Major(s) would discretely reward those enlisted men who had excelled in the battle / operation by moving through the formation and with a handshake, pass the soldier a coin of significant monetary value. The British were not known for fairly compensating their enlisted troops, that was reserved for the gentlemen officers who usually had little to do in the engagement. The SGMs leveled the playing field a bit because they probably "acquired" the funds from unknowing officers...their form of justice. I will say, in defense of our cousins, the times have changed! I was privileged to work with some SAS and RAF Regiment brothers during OEF and OIF; the officers and enlisted are definitely a team these days, but it's still a cool tradition. jc

Charles
Charles

The most beloved coin in my collection is one that I received from a Special Forces Ranger whom I cared for after the Mogadishu Mile. (He took and RPG fragment to the brain.) It's the only one that has my name and rank engraved on it. Nearly 20 years later, I still carry it, albeit in a plastic case because it was getting so worn.

Great article, having never seen the rules set down in print. Now someone else needs to explain "dead bug!"

Charles
Charles

The most beloved coin in my collection is one that I received from a Special Forces Ranger whom I cared for after the Mogadishu Mile. (He took and RPG fragment to the brain.) It's the only one that has my name and rank engraved on it. Nearly 20 years later, I still carry it, albeit in a plastic case because it was getting so worn. Great article, having never seen the rules set down in print. Now someone else needs to explain "dead bug!"

Keaton
Keaton

I received my first challenge coin upon swearing in at my enlistment. After I had received the coin in a hand shake I was given a velvet box for it along with a printed paper explaining the origins of the coin. I wish I could find that paper now but I do remember the gist of what it said. It claimed that the origin of the coin came when an officer was awarded a medal for the act of one of his enlisted men. At that time only officers were awarded medals and as such were awarded medals for acts of valor committed by an enlisted soldier since they were not allowed to be rewarded with them. Anyways the said officer felt that this was wrong. He later cut the ribbon from the medal and secretly gave it to the enlisted soldier by way of a handshake. Thus starting the tradition of awarding coins through the "secret handshake."

I was a Chaplains Assistant in the Army for six years, my favorite coin was given to me by the Army Chief of Chaplains MG Douglas L. Carver, while serving in Ramadi, Iraq.

Keaton
Keaton

I received my first challenge coin upon swearing in at my enlistment. After I had received the coin in a hand shake I was given a velvet box for it along with a printed paper explaining the origins of the coin. I wish I could find that paper now but I do remember the gist of what it said. It claimed that the origin of the coin came when an officer was awarded a medal for the act of one of his enlisted men. At that time only officers were awarded medals and as such were awarded medals for acts of valor committed by an enlisted soldier since they were not allowed to be rewarded with them. Anyways the said officer felt that this was wrong. He later cut the ribbon from the medal and secretly gave it to the enlisted soldier by way of a handshake. Thus starting the tradition of awarding coins through the "secret handshake." I was a Chaplains Assistant in the Army for six years, my favorite coin was given to me by the Army Chief of Chaplains MG Douglas L. Carver, while serving in Ramadi, Iraq.

Tim
Tim

In 94/95 I served with the 46th Engineer unit in Haiti. We were assigned to the UN and went down to help out a Hurricane went thru and destroyed Port-au-Prince my section went to build a bridge in a town called Jacmel.

We got a visit from the Sgt. major of the Army to see the projects we have been doing and the progress of the bridge. He went around shaking hands and passed out coins (that was my first coin) I was excited and didn't want to lose it so that night I put it in my foot locker a couple days later I found it missing. I was very pissed finding it gone.

Tim
Tim

In 94/95 I served with the 46th Engineer unit in Haiti. We were assigned to the UN and went down to help out a Hurricane went thru and destroyed Port-au-Prince my section went to build a bridge in a town called Jacmel. We got a visit from the Sgt. major of the Army to see the projects we have been doing and the progress of the bridge. He went around shaking hands and passed out coins (that was my first coin) I was excited and didn't want to lose it so that night I put it in my foot locker a couple days later I found it missing. I was very pissed finding it gone.

Jack
Jack

I was notorious for never carrying a challenge coin and had to buy numerous drinks when deployed. However, I think its a fantastic tradition of camaraderie and I hope that it will last a long time. My two favorite coins are: One given to me by the 1st Sergeant while attending the U.S. Army's Airborne School and a FBI Department of Justice coin given to me when I completed Anti-Terrorism Training from the FBI. Great Job on you all's coins; they look fantastic!

DocCoy
DocCoy

Drinks or if in Uniform/On duty it was 50 elevated push ups for the cat that forgot his coin, with no limit on how many times someone could coin check you.

Back in 83 it got so bad that you didn't take a shower with out a coin in the soap dish.

DocCoy
DocCoy

Drinks or if in Uniform/On duty it was 50 elevated push ups for the cat that forgot his coin, with no limit on how many times someone could coin check you. Back in 83 it got so bad that you didn't take a shower with out a coin in the soap dish.

Brian
Brian

A few years back I happen to be in the right place at the right time and got hooked up with a program called Patriot 7. The program initially created for OSI agents and security forces Airmen preparing to deploy. Here is more about Patriot 7 http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123140752

You have seen some of the results of Patriot 7 on the news! I was lucky to get to work with some real Patriots. I received a coin from the 21st Secretary of the Air Force for the support that I gave to the program.

Being a Army Guard guy getting a SEC of the Air Force is cool!

Brian
Brian

A few years back I happen to be in the right place at the right time and got hooked up with a program called Patriot 7. The program initially created for OSI agents and security forces Airmen preparing to deploy. Here is more about Patriot 7 http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123140752 You have seen some of the results of Patriot 7 on the news! I was lucky to get to work with some real Patriots. I received a coin from the 21st Secretary of the Air Force for the support that I gave to the program. Being a Army Guard guy getting a SEC of the Air Force is cool!

Ricardo
Ricardo

Thanks for the article! I earned an ITS Challenge Coin at the Inaugural Muster and didn’t know it’s significance. (I’m glad I played along during the handshake!)

Robert Jackson
Robert Jackson

When I arrived at my unit after AIT, 3rd Plt, 59th MP Co, I was given a pfenning (german equivalent of US penny ) I was told that I must keep it on my person at all times and must produce it when challenged by a Pfenning check. If I refused to produce had to buy the round, if we all had our pfennings, the challenger had to buy. This was April 1984. I still have that damn pfenning. I was bought an aweful lot of beer because of that coin.

Kenny
Kenny

Great article. I joined the Marine Corps Reserves in 1985, shipped over to the Navy Reserves in 1991 (when I received my A&P and wanted to work on planes) and my enlistment ended in 1995. But, I didn't hear about challenge coins until 2006 when I was at Osan Air Base, South Korea for my civilian job.

I like the non-colorized coin. I bought the ITS spy coin last year because I really like the unfinished look. I switch between carrying it and a USMC "Semper Fi" coin.

Kenny
Kenny

Great article. I joined the Marine Corps Reserves in 1985, shipped over to the Navy Reserves in 1991 (when I received my A&P and wanted to work on planes) and my enlistment ended in 1995. But, I didn't hear about challenge coins until 2006 when I was at Osan Air Base, South Korea for my civilian job. I like the non-colorized coin. I bought the ITS spy coin last year because I really like the unfinished look. I switch between carrying it and a USMC "Semper Fi" coin.

randyp.b
randyp.b

Answers many of questions I had. Great article Bryan!

Ivan Mieth
Ivan Mieth

I'm 18 and not in the military, but I do have a humble collection of five coins which I may have on me at any time.

-A Scout Oath/Law coin I received upon bridging over to Boy Scouts.

-A Sheriff's Dpt. coin I received from the county sheriff when I started asking him questions about his 1911 at a LE expo.

-An Eagle Emblem coin a friend got me for my Eagle Court of Honor.

-Another Eagle coin that contains a knife and scissors that the same friend got me for my CoH.

-The same friend (who has great taste in gifts btw) gave me another challenge coin when I graduated high school.

I think the concept of the challenge coin is an awesome way of commemorating special events in one's life

Ivan Mieth
Ivan Mieth

I'm 18 and not in the military, but I do have a humble collection of five coins which I may have on me at any time. -A Scout Oath/Law coin I received upon bridging over to Boy Scouts. -A Sheriff's Dpt. coin I received from the county sheriff when I started asking him questions about his 1911 at a LE expo. -An Eagle Emblem coin a friend got me for my Eagle Court of Honor. -Another Eagle coin that contains a knife and scissors that the same friend got me for my CoH. -The same friend (who has great taste in gifts btw) gave me another challenge coin when I graduated high school. I think the concept of the challenge coin is an awesome way of commemorating special events in one's life

Ben A.
Ben A.

When i was attending my First Term Airman's Course (FTAC) in Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC, I came across a poster in the Airman Professional Developement Center's Heritage Room with some good origionation stories to the tradition.

It stated that there are many different origination stories, but one of the oldest claimed that the "coin check" tradition itself came before the coins were used. The story goes that members of a certain unit ( I cant remember which unit or even what branch) used large-calibur rounds of live amunition for the challenge. Each members round was personalized to the individual's liking. A challenger was to raise his round for the other members to see in order to initiate the challenge.

Some time later, it was deemed unsafe by the members to carry around live amunition in thier pockets, and personalized coins were integrated in place of the rounds.

Another story was of a pilot who's aircraft was shot down in enemy territory (again i can't recall where or when this story took place neither). He had survived the crash and was quickly taken prisoner by the enemy. He always kept a particular coin from his unit whenever he flew as a sort of good luck charm. He was somehow allowed to keep his coin during his imprisonment.

After some time he managed to escape and find his way to allied forces. All forms of his identification were taken from him before his rescue, and the only way he was able to prove his identity was with the coin that he was allowed to keep that referenced to his unit. This story was thought to give the part of the tradition to always have a challenge coin on you at all times.

I hope these stories make a good read to all.

Thanks!

Ben.

Ben A.
Ben A.

When i was attending my First Term Airman's Course (FTAC) in Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC, I came across a poster in the Airman Professional Developement Center's Heritage Room with some good origionation stories to the tradition. It stated that there are many different origination stories, but one of the oldest claimed that the "coin check" tradition itself came before the coins were used. The story goes that members of a certain unit ( I cant remember which unit or even what branch) used large-calibur rounds of live amunition for the challenge. Each members round was personalized to the individual's liking. A challenger was to raise his round for the other members to see in order to initiate the challenge. Some time later, it was deemed unsafe by the members to carry around live amunition in thier pockets, and personalized coins were integrated in place of the rounds. Another story was of a pilot who's aircraft was shot down in enemy territory (again i can't recall where or when this story took place neither). He had survived the crash and was quickly taken prisoner by the enemy. He always kept a particular coin from his unit whenever he flew as a sort of good luck charm. He was somehow allowed to keep his coin during his imprisonment. After some time he managed to escape and find his way to allied forces. All forms of his identification were taken from him before his rescue, and the only way he was able to prove his identity was with the coin that he was allowed to keep that referenced to his unit. This story was thought to give the part of the tradition to always have a challenge coin on you at all times. I hope these stories make a good read to all. Thanks! Ben.

Adam
Adam

I'm a photographer for the army, and travel to certain locations to do Official photos for our soldiers. One of the bases I work out of is in Florida, home of 7th Group Special Forces Airborne. I consider what I do, and how I do my job as a token of gratitude to the service of our men and women. This one time I was out there I had a soldier show up for his photo to be taken before the promotion board would close. That morning he came in and realised that he was missing his unit affiliation and that he couldn't take his photo. I told him not to worry, and to go back home and pick it up and once he returns I'll fit him in between appointments. After he came back and had his photo taken he went to shake my hand and thank me. I realised there was something in his hand, and he thanked me for everything I do to support them, and how I go out of my way to make things work for them. As a token of appreciation, he gave me his challenge coin. To this day I keep it on me and I have a reputation out there, that when they know I'm coming out to photograph, I've got booked appointments AND people still trying to walk in and get a photo done.

Carl Cascone
Carl Cascone

Yup. under the watch..while in the shower..easily hidden under a casio.

Sean
Sean

I got one from an Air Marshall back in 04. I was flying from DC to Seattle on United Employee Space-A tickets that were donated by my friend's dad, and since it was close to Thanksgiving, her mom had suggested I fly in my service uniform to help ensure I actually got a seat on the flight. Long story short, I got a seat and was upgraded to 1st class for free. Once we landed at Sea-Tac, and we were on the tram to the baggage claim, a guy I recognized from the flight told me he was prior air force and thanked me for my service. He then palmed me a coin when he shook my hand, and told me not to look at it until after we got off the tram and he was gone. I was pretty surprised and awestruck when I finally opened my hand and looked down to discover that it said US Air Marshall - Seattle Branch.

Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith

I wish I was in your scout troop. No one ever gave me a challenge coin for getting Eagle (or even for bridging for that matter).

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