USMMA Military Challenge Coins

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by aooga15, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. aooga15

    aooga15 Parent

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    This years USMMA Challange Coins are now available for sale. PM me if you are interested and I will give you the information on where to send a check. The cost is $20.00 plus $2.00 shipping. The Indiana/ Kentucky/ Tennessee Parents group is in charge of this- proceeds go back to benefit the students.

    History of Military Challenge Coins
    During WW 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 about his neck.
    Shortly 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.
    He succeeded in avoiding German patrols and reached the front lines. With great difficulty, he crossed no-man's land. Eventually, he stumbled onto a French outpost. Unfortunately, the French in this sector had been plagued with saboteurs who sometimes masqueraded as civilians wearing 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 it 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!
    Back 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 the challenger could not produce his coin, he was required to purchase a drink of choice for the 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.

    The tradition of the Challenge Coin continues to be practiced throughout the military.
     
  2. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Interesting story, but shouldn't they be called USMMA Maritime Challenge Coins?
     
  3. aooga15

    aooga15 Parent

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    not sure?

    SamAca10- well, honestly I have no clue! :confused: I'm actually just the messanger. :redface: When the USMMA 2015 parents asked earlier in the year what the challange coin was... someone found "the history of" and that's what I posted. :wink:
    The actual USMMA coin for this year is a USMMA specific coin. I'm not really sure if it has a special name or not? I just call it a Challange coin. DS was honor plebe after INDOC and was "coined" by the 4 star Admiral (2nd in charge of the Navy) and it was pretty special (that was the admirals specific coin). the one for sale is specific to the USMMA. (btw, I purchased 4 of them.. they're very nice)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  4. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Thanks for the information aooga. I have heard other tidbits about the coins but never a tale of their origin. Now, while I was reading the story I couldn't help but imagine the fighter pilot as Snoooy, ala Snoopy and the Red Baron! I could see him creeping through the tall grass,,,,lol.

    "10,20,30,40,50 or more. The bloody Red Baron was rollin out the score. 80 men died trying to end that spree. The bloody Red Baron of Germany"

    Anyone else?
     
  5. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Seeing as every midshipman (save for the foreign nationals) are in the Naval Reserve they are in the military.

    And even if they weren't I think calling the coins military challenge coins would still be applicable seeing as that is the background of them.
     
  6. aooga15

    aooga15 Parent

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    thanks

    I've received some e mails/ pm's with folks wanting to purchase a coin. Thank You all very much! :smile: Proceeds go 100% back to the students through our Parents Association Group.
    ((Info on how to purchase the coin will be sent back either by e mail or by pm.)) :biggrin:
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Anyone and everyone has coins these days. Heck, I have a fairly sweet one from a Walt Disney threat analyst. Not sure they should ALL be called military challenge coins... challenge coins are fun enough.
     
  8. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I've heard this story often repeated. I've also heard another "history of coins" involving Senior NCOs cutting the medals off of the officer's uniform to present to someone who earned the medal, and somehow that transforming into a "coin." Not sure if I believe all or none of them.

    Still getting a coin is nice.
     
  9. KP2013Momm

    KP2013Momm Member

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    I tried to pm you and for some reason the system would not let me.
     
  10. aooga15

    aooga15 Parent

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    coins

    Hi KP2013Momm I send you the info in a pm I am not sure why pm didn't work- sorry about that. Let me know for sure that you got my message- I can also send you a picture of the coin through an e mail if you pm me your e mail address. thanks again!
     
  11. Kram1

    Kram1 Member

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    Well, I tried to PM you as well and it says you have chosen not to receive PM's. Strange...could you PM me with the info on how to obtain a coin? Thanks.
     
  12. aooga15

    aooga15 Parent

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    I apologize to anyone trying to pm me but for some reason can't. I'm confused as my setting says I can send and receive? Must be doing something wrong- I have PM'ed everyone back and given them my e mail address... and with that will give info on the coin and even can show a picture of the coin. I apologize for any inconvenience....
     
  13. KP2013Momm

    KP2013Momm Member

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    no problem. I think my reply to your pm went through.
     

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