Representing Your Unit: What Is a Battalion Coin?

6 minute read

Published on: 04 Oct 2022

Last modified on: 29 Mar 2024

What is a Battalion Coin
Table of Contents

As a battalion can contain up to around 1,000 soldiers, it can be hard to find a single thing to bind you all together. For this reason, many of units will mint and distribute a battalion coin for every soldier in the unit. But, do you know what a battalion coin is, and why it is a popular symbol of U.S. military identity?

Top Article Highlights

  • Battalion coins serve as a unique and sentimental symbol of identity and camaraderie within specific U.S. military units, distinguishing members by their specific service.
  • Challenge coins are valued for their symbolic representation and the personal achievements or recognition they signify, rather than their monetary value, fostering a tradition of storytelling and pride among holders.
  • The tradition of challenge coin games, particularly the drinking game where the coin's value determines who buys the next round, adds a social and interactive element to the challenge coin culture.
  • Customization options for battalion coins are vast, allowing units to incorporate mottos, flags, and specially commissioned art to create coins that embody the unit's spirit, values, and identity.
  • Professional challenge coin manufacturers can replicate a battalion's coin design for current and future members, ensuring the tradition and recognition continue as the unit evolves.

Below, we have answered these questions and more. By the end of the article, you should have a good idea of why to recommend these items among your squadmates. So, get started and learn what makes a battalion coin different.

What Is a Challenge Coin?

Challenge coins are small medallions, emblazoned with a custom image that can fit in the palm of your hand. They represent a team, organization, or individual and are often given away in recognition of someone going the extra mile. In rewarding someone with a challenge coin, you show them that you appreciate what they have done for you and that you hold them in high esteem.

battalion coin,battalion coins
What is a Battalion Coin?

Challenge coins have a high sentimental value and often act as the centerpiece to a story the owner can tell. While they hold no large monetary value and you cannot trade them for anything specific, there are several "games" that people play with them.

The most famous challenge coin game is one that involves drinking. When carousing, a group may all present their challenge coins with the least-valuable one being who buys the next round.

What Makes a Battalion Coin Different?

A battalion coin is not meant to be from one organization to an external individual. Instead, these are intended as a reward for someone who has served in a specific battalion.

Battalion coins are individual to each group. For example, only people in the 1st Ranger Batallion would get a 1st Ranger Batallion coin. This means that you know exactly what the wielder has done to put the coin in their hand.

If someone claims that they have a 2nd Ranger Batallion challenge coin, but have never been a part of the group, you should question them. The only way someone else would get a 2nd Ranger Batallion coin would be by buying it, inheriting it, or some other nefarious method.

Not only do they show that a person has been in a specific unit, but they allow people to show certain facts about who they served with. You can emblazon the coin with the team's colors, values, and style to feel like it means something special. Then, when the unit compares itself to another, it communicates just what that group is about.

Just How Big Is a Battalion Anyway?

A battalion in the United States is a military unit that is formed of between four and seven companies. Each of these battalions can go from anywhere between 300 and 1,200 soldiers, meaning any challenge coin would need to be printed many times.

battalion coin,battalion coins
What is a Battalion Coin?

Lucky for you, a professional challenge coin printer can take your design and create a great many coins based on it. These can be repeated as many times as is necessary, not only for your current squad mates but for those who might also join later on. If you have individual details, such as years (ie 2022, 2023, etc) you can even have them changed as time goes on.

What Can I Add onto a Battalion Coin?

In theory, you can get anything you want emblazoned on battalion coins. Army challenge coins, though, are likely to have similar basic features to clearly label them as military in nature. The following are some examples that are often repeated:

Motto

The U.S. Army has many mottos for its divisions, battalions, and other groups. One of the most famous of these is the Marine Corps' motto of "Semper Fidelis".

These mottos can stretch to anything from the poetic "Per Scintillam, Flamma" meaning "Through the spark, flame" to the more literal. One such example would be the 34th Infantry Division's "ATTACK! ATTACK! ATTACK!".

These can appear around the edge of the coin, around the circumference of the coin, or anywhere else.

Flag

Each of the United States armed forces has a flag. From the U.S. Army to their Space Force, they all have unique displays of their position in the armed forces.

By using this flag on the coin's surface, you can make it clear to those who do not serve exactly the force your challenge coin applies to. If your coin states that you are "1st Battalion" and then shows the flag of the U.S. Army, for example, there will be no mistaking its specifics.

Art

To create a beautiful look for a specific battalion coin, you can commission an artist to make a piece of artwork to go on your design. This will be unique and create a style that people can feel pride in.

This might relate to the location you are based in, the history of your battalion, or one of any number of other aspects. It could even be a logo that already exists for the battalion that you might have seen.

Depending on the nature of the challenge coin, this might be two-tone or could include several colors. You should speak to your supplier for more information about what they can provide.

Where Can I Get a Battalion Coin?

A battalion coin is often given to a single soldier or worker who participates as a part of a battalion. Although, if your unit does not yet have a challenge coin, you should look into getting one to show off to other units. If you are unsure of how to get battalion coins, we have you covered.

Our team is ready to talk to you about coins we could make for you and your squad mates. We have extensive experience in creating something that is both unique and special for large groups of people. So, get in contact today and learn how a battalion coin will make your time in that battalion something even more special.

Jack Thompson

Jack Thompson was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After retiring from the military, Jack moved to Austin, Texas, to start a new chapter in his life. He has always been passionate about storytelling and decided to become a writer and podcaster. He runs a successful podcast where he discusses military history, shares personal anecdotes, and interviews other veterans. Jack also writes often about military traditions and history.

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