Military Challenge Coin
Challenge Coins Custom Coins General Officer Coins Military Challenge Coins Promotional Coins Unit Challenge Coins

Coin Check: Military Challenge Coins Ranking, Explained

Do you ever wonder how military challenge coins are ranked? Well, wonder no more. Here’s a quick explanation of military challenge coins rankings.

Legend has it that military challenge coins were used as a form of identification by an elite flying squad in WWI.

But, it wasn’t until the Vietnam War that army challenge coins really took off. Since then, their popularity has steadily grown, and now, the coins are part of a challenge game.

Ever wonder, ‘what is a challenge coin?’

The ‘challenge’ of these coins is being able to present yours whenever a fellow group member requests a coin check. If you don’t have your coin, the drinks are on you. But, to decide whose coin is best, there are established challenge coin rankings that players must follow.

Find out where your army challenge coins rank in this guide.

Military Challenge Coins Rankings

The following ranking system is the deciding factor in who wins in a coin check:

Medal of Honor Recipient Coins

Some recipients of the Medal of Honor have challenge coins to give to troops and veterans.

Getting to shake the hand of a true American hero is impressive. But, if you’re also lucky enough to receive a Medal of Honor challenge coin, you’ll never have to buy a round in a coin check.

Just make sure to always have it on you!

Military School Coins

Alongside their diploma, many military school graduates receive a challenge coin. School coins take second place in the ranking system because of the effort it takes to receive one.

These challenge coins provide a sense of honor and membership, making them the perfect memento for an important event.

General Officer Coins

Most general officers buy challenge coins to give to their troops. And, as general officers are paid more than captains, their coins are usually higher quality.

The difficulty of getting one of these coins depends on the general officer. Some officers hand their coins out frequently, however, more often, you have to do something outstanding to receive a general officer coin.

Unit Coins

Unit commanders can commission coins with the unit’s insignia and hand them out to deserving troops. But, unit coins are also sub-ranked:

  • Branch Coins
  • Divisional Coins
  • Brigade Coins
  • Battalion Coins

Unit coins take fourth place in the rankings because they’re the most common army challenge coins.

Promotional Coins

To spread brand recognition, some companies commission branded military coins to give out to troops and veterans.

Promotional coins only count if they are from a military-related company, or were given out during a military event or installation.

Exceptions to Challenge Coin Rankings

As the highest-ranking challenge coin, a Medal of Honor challenge coin can’t be beaten. But, there is some flexibility over other rankings if the whole group agrees that the coin meets the following criteria:

Best Design

A coin with a great design can overcome its lower rank. For example, if a unit coin is well-crafted or unique, it could beat an uninspiring military school coin.

Best Backstory

All challenge coins tell a story. If there is an impressive story behind your challenge coin, it could beat a higher-ranking coin.

How to Rank Military Challenge Coins

Now that you know the hierarchy of military challenge coins, you can attempt to avoid paying for drinks at your next coin check!

Check out our ordering guide to commission your own challenge coins, or contact us for a price quote.

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