Ever wonder what a challenge coin is? Well if you’ve ever been in the military you know that a challenge coin has been around for quite some time. They are coins emblazoned with a unit logo meant to instill pride, esprit de corps and identify those with coins as a member or friend of that group. This tradition has been passed down to those in the Police and Fire services and now the New Haven Police Emerald Society!
How did the tradition get started? There are several myths and even less facts…….. However one story suggests it dates back to World War I. The legend goes on to say that a wealthy pilot had the coins made for his unit. He kept his on his person and after being shot down over Germany and eventually captured they never took his coin. He escaped with no identifiable items or paperwork, but he did have his coin. After he was discovered by the French they assumed he was an enemy. When they were going to execute him he pulled out his coin that had his unit insignia on it. The French recognized his unit insignia so he was spared. That’s an amazing story.
However one theory that seems more likely says that during the Vietnam War there was an Army Infantry run bar that kept non-infantry soldiers away by having non-infantry soldiers buy drinks for the whole bar if they couldn’t prove they were in combat. The proof started with weapons and ordinance but was becoming hazardous so they had coin sized items emblazoned with the units insignia on them with became an acceptable form of proof.
This tradition was then known as a coin check and has evolved into the term “Challenge Coin” (just don’t get caught without one…). The tradition has been handed down to Police and Fire
Which ever account you prefer is perfectly acceptable. Become part of the tradition and purchase your own New Haven Police Emerald Society Challenge Coin. If you can’t make it to one of the monthly meetings then purchase it online through the website store www.nhpes.com/store/ .
Don’t delay as they are selling fast. The more you buy the cheaper the price. If you don’t have a paypal account that’s fine as you can checkout through the paypal site and use your credit or debit card on our online store tab.