Challenge Coins: How They Started

There are lots of things that symbolize camaraderie in the military, but only a few are as well-recognized as the tradition of having a challenge coin – a small token or medallion that represents a person’s membership of a group. Although challenge coins have been used by private organizations, they are still somewhat of a mystery for people who are not in the armed forces.

Aside from the usual size of 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter, these coins also come in odd shapes such as pentagons, dog tags, shields, and arrowheads. In general, they are made of nickel, copper, or pewter with different kinds of finishes. Most coins have carvings of the emblem or motto of the organization and some are designed with cut outs, enamel highlights, etc.


Challenge CoinsIt is almost impossible to know exactly where the practice of challenge coins started. One of the first known cases of a soldier who was monetarily rewarded for valor was in Ancient Rome. At that time, a soldier’s noteworthy performance in battle meant his usual payment and a coin as a bonus. According to some stories, the coin has a special imprint of the unit’s symbol that is why some of them keep it as a souvenir.

These days, the tradition of these coins in the military is far more distinct. Although a lot of coins are still given out as tokens for a job well done, there are officials who give them almost like an autograph or a business card. Moreover, some coins are used by soldiers like an ID badge as a proof that they are members of a particular unit. Other coins are also given out to private citizens and some are sold at fundraising events.

The First Official Challenge Coin

While nobody is certain how these coins started, one account goes back to the First World War, when a wealthy American officer gave out bronze medallions with the flying squadron’s emblem. Soon after, one of the pilots in the same unit was shot and imprisoned by the German army. The Germans took his belongings except for the small leather pouch worn around his neck that held his medallion. He was able to escape and come across a French outpost, but the French thought he was a spy and sentenced him to death by firing squad. He showed the medallion as a proof of his identity as an American combat pilot. A French soldier recognized the emblem and the execution was stopped. He was sent back to his unit after his identity was confirmed.

Col. William “Buffalo Bill” Quinn of the 17th Infantry Regiment issued one of the first challenge coins. The coins were distributed to his men during the Korean War. One side of the coin has a buffalo and the tegiment’s emblem on the other. There was a hole on top so it can be worn around the soldiers’ necks.

The Challenge

According to some accounts, the challenge started in Germany after the Second World War. The Americans posted there were engaged in the local custom of doing “pfennig checks.” The pfennig had the least value of coin in Germany, and if someone did not have one when a check was called, they had to buy beers. It evolved into a unit’s medallion that soldiers used to “challenge” one another. If the other soldier was not able to show his medallion, he had to buy drinks for everyone who had their coin.

Outside the Military

Currently, different organizations use challenge coins for varied reasons. It is now also common for fire departments and police to have these coins. A lot of private businesses use corporate coins to recognize their employees and celebrate their company’s success.

At Challenge Coins 4 Less,We offer a full range of great options to customize and protect your coin products and make them a part of everyday life. We offer a range of attractive coin options that will enhance the appearance of your keepsake coins and make them unique.

5 Reasons Why You Should Own a Home from Garden City Realty instead of Leasing One

Did you know that Garden City Realty brokers are more than happy to help the potential occupants decide whether to get a condo unit or a house itself? They give their clients different brochures together with the price brackets so they can already weigh their options before sitting down with the broker and closing the deal.

Not all brokers are trained this way since there are some brokers who are only after meeting their monthly sales quotas. They do not exert any effort especially after they have already closed the deal. What is great about Garden City Realty is that their goal is to provide the best housing options to their clients. You can also visit li-realestatefinder the winery and try out the vintage wines.

For them, they would love to explain to their future clients that there are 5 reasons why they should have their own homes instead of merely leasing.

Reason #1: U.S. Tax Breaks.

The U.S. Tax Code allows you to make deductions on the interest that you will be paying. The payables are similar to the mortgages, property taxes, and other costs that are included when you purchase the house.

Reason #2: Real Property Gain

Real EstatesOverall, the prices of homes throughout the country have increased by 5.4% in the last five years. Though there are no guarantees that the purchased investment will have a steady appreciation, having a home of your own will endow you with a higher ROI should you wish to sell it in the near future. Such appreciations will not be achieved if the invested capital is to be used instead to pay leasing fees.

Reason #3: No Owed Money with the Federal Income Tax

Buying a house from Garden City Realty will give the buyer a savings plan since he will not be at a loss when he sells the property within the next few years. It is mandated by law that married couples who have acquired such assets will have savings of as much as $500,000 without having to worry about owing Federal Income Tax with unpaid dues.

Reason #4: Sense of Freedom and Ownership

If you decide to lease a condo unit or even a house in this manner, your customization of the unit’s interior will be limited. You cannot add another floor to your house or tear down the small room to design it as adjoining with the next room. There are many possibilities you can have when you own the house you are living in.

Reason #5: Social Awareness in Living with a Community

Living in a rented space will not give your home an identity since it may not be yours if you fail to pay the rent. If you have your own home, the house itself becomes an extension of your personality that allows neighbors in the community to associate the place with its occupants. It is like saying “The gentleman who lives in the house with the purple roof is to be elected as the new homeowners’ association president.” It is a much more cordial appellation than “the one who lives in apartment 4G.”

7 Biggest Mistakes Keynote Speakers Do

Many keynote speakers who fail to take their career to the next level often commit mistakes that make them boring and unbelievable. Do not be one of them; avoid these seven biggest mistakes:

1.Not establishing eye contact

When you are facing hundreds of audiences, it is easy to lose connection or not consider establishing it in the first place. The point is not really to establish eye contact with all of them. Rather, it is to show that you are trying to communicate on a personal level, with sincerity and compassion. Those you establish eye contact with will feel the connection, while those who see you do it will feel your authenticity.

2.Imitating other speakers

When you try too much to copy the style, tone, gesture, and message of other keynote speakers, the audience sees you as unbelievable, like an amateur trying to make a parody out of well-known public speaking figures. You cannot establish a successful career as a speaker if you keep on hiding behind somebody else’s shadow.

3.Speaking in a monotone

Many keynote speakers think formality always sounds monotonic – that sounding animated will make them look immature and inappropriate. However, old school public speaking is now getting more frowns as newer generations enter politics, academes, and business circles. Younger audiences are more energetic, so the last thing they want is to hear a speaker talking like a radio announcer in the 60s.

4.Starting with long acknowledgment and introduction

It is not new for speakers to start by greeting the other guests, organizers, and audience, and throw some compliments like businessmen trying to fawn over a client. It is a form of courtesy, but the lack thereof does not imply the opposite.

Motivational SpeakerAudiences hate to hear routine greetings because they also tend to anticipate boredom, which is what long speeches are known for. Just by using your first minute on unnecessary acknowledgments, you already lose the chance to catch your audience’s attention and pique their interest. The introduction of VIPs is the responsibility of another speaker, usually the one who gives the opening remarks and not of keynote speakers. The VIPs will understand if you do not mention them at all, unless they are attention seekers of course.

5.Not taking time to mingle with the audience

Formal events usually have “networking breaks” before, in between, and after a program. This is for the guests who want to establish connection with others, like businessmen trying to gain contacts or introduce their businesses with potential clients and investors. You should take advantage of these opportunities to show your authority and establish your credibility, especially if there are influential people in the audience (such as journalists). You can create more impact if your audience already has high expectations of you.

6.Over-preparing and over-practicing

When you practice your speech too often, even minutes before you appear, there is a possibility that you will sound unnatural and speak too fast. The audience will know if you rehearsed too much because you’d sound exactly like that. Just understand the essence of your speech, and let it come out like you really mean it.

7.Reading a speech verbatim

Doing it this way is wrong for four reasons.

First, it is easy to get lost in your own speech if you follow your note word for word. Your eyes can miss where you ended and you are gone. The audience knows when you are lost.

Second, you might sound like reading it, which reduces credibility and authority. Some people in the audience might even think that you are reading somebody else’s speech.

Third, it reduces your chances of establishing eye contact, simply because you are busy reading your speech line by line.

Lastly, there is a chance that you miss the important parts that need emphasis and connection.

Instead of writing your speech word for word, leave some parts where you only have keywords and key points to share. The flow will sound more natural this way.