Home    Blog

When Do You Give Challenge Coins


April 03, 2024


As these coins aren't just a piece of military tradition anymore, it gives to ask the question; when do you give challenge coins? They are now known as a universal symbol of recognition and appreciation. Challenge coins, though started off as a military honor, have slid their way into various sectors. 

Whether it’s a police unit applauding an act of valor, or a fire department celebrating bravery, these challenge coins are leaving a lasting impression. In this article, we’ve outlined various occasions and situations where you can give a challenge coin. Let’s dive in;

The Challenge Coin Tradition: Do You Know How It Started? > U.S. Department  of Defense > BlogPhoto By Katie Lange from Defence

Recognizing Exceptional Service

When you spot someone doing great work, a quick "thank you" is good. But some go above and beyond every day. For them, consider challenge coins.

These small tokens carry a big weight in showing appreciation for exceptional effort or skill that stands out at the job. It is a lasting way to say well done that they can keep and remember always. It’s more than just words; it's recognition they can hold onto. People feel seen when their hard work gets such a nod. it boosts morale and encourages others, too.


Military Promotion Ceremonies

In military promotion ceremonies, the person climbing ranks gets a new badge. This marks their rise in status and job roles. A higher-up pins it on them as part of the ritual.

It's often done before peers to show respect for hard work and skill growth. Such moments are when you hand over challenge coins too—small tokens that carry big honor among service members, recognizing dedication and unity within units or groups they serve with. Promotions come after lots of effort; they're not just handed out at will. They signal trust in one’s abilities to lead others effectively into tomorrow's challenges.

There are several other reasons why military challenge coins are often given as rewards:


  • To recognize a special achievement. This can be for saving lives or completing a critical mission.

  • To reward military members as they rank up.

  • To symbolize a soldier’s different skills. As soldiers learn new skills, they receive coins that represent that skill.

Retirement Acknowledgement Tokens

Retirement acknowledgement tokens, often called coins, honor a person's years of work. You give these to say thank you when they leave their job for good or retire. Each coin shows the hard work and time put in over the years.

It carries symbols or words that mean something special about their career journey. Like other challenge coins, they're small enough to carry around as a lasting reminder of what was achieved and friendships made along the way.

Photo By Katie Lange from Defence

During Morale-Boosting Events

In the heart of team-building times, leaders often hand out challenge coins. They do so to lift spirits and foster a sense of unity. Picture everyone gathered for a big project win or after finishing tough training. That's when these tokens shine, marking both group pride and personal effort alike. 

They're not just trinkets; each coin holds a story or a memory shared by all who were there. These small pieces can boost morale vastly more than their size might suggest, reminding people they're valued members of something bigger than themselves.

Remember that while common in the military, such events also occur across businesses where teamwork is key.


In this modern era, we, more than often, see these challenge coins with logos or messages used as business branding platforms – sometimes given out at sales events, conferences, or trade shows to mark the event and promote an organization. Colleges, schools and sports organizations have joined in on the trend. As their challenge coins may be used as an advertising platform at local events or games.

Honoring Personal Achievements

Challenge coins are a unique token of respect. You often see them when someone reaches personal goals. Take runners, for instance; they train hard, beat their best time, and get a coin as a "well done." It's like saying your work matters here — it shines out.

They're not just for sports though! Think big life steps: graduating school or learning new job skills. Each step can get its own shining coin to mark the victory - small in size but huge in meaning—proof that effort gets seen and honored by those around you. 

Photo from The Studio

Civic Organizations and Events

In civic groups and at local events, challenge coins are often tokens of unity. They mark membership or honor special guests who help these clubs thrive. Picture a town hall meeting or community fair; think of volunteers pitching in, their hard work unseen by most.

Clubs like the Rotary recognize such efforts with a coin – it's not just metal, but also respect they can hold onto. 



Challenge coins are tokens of recognition, often given for excellence or to celebrate special achievements. You might present one during ceremonies or as a surprise to honor notable service. They're common in the military but also used by organizations and clubs.

Always keep in mind that timing is key; giving these at pivotal moments can boost morale and show deep appreciation for hard work and dedication. Aim for occasions that carry weight or when someone has gone above and beyond their duties – that's the perfect time to gift a challenge coin.


Profile Picture

Article written by

Linda Martin

At Vivipins, bags are more than just utility items; they are an extension of your style or your business's brand. As a company, we are committed to making your dreams come true. 

Our committed team, led by me, specializes in creating your bag's vision into a masterpiece. Whether for promotional events, personal use, or as a unique professional, we've got you covered.

Vivipins bags are masterpieces and can be more than storage solutions. We offer more custom options, from quality materials to cutting-edge printing designs. 

Choosing the ideal bag can be complex, but we are here to guide you in every step of the process. The team will help you with the initial design concept, selecting the suitable materials, and completing your orders. The goal is to ensure the experience is enjoyable and easy while ensuring the end product exceeds expectations. 

Start a journey with us at Vivipins to create quality custom bags. We are eager to take your ideas, turn them into reality, and turn them into quality bags that complement your personal style and brand.

Awesome! Share To :

Receive our news