As Mason & Hanger prepares to issue its first Challenge Coin, I would like to take a moment to define the purpose and history of the Challenge Coin, and why it is important for our company to have one of its own.
Wikipedia defines the Challenge Coin as “a small coin or medallion, bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and carried by the organizations members. Traditionally, they were given to prove membership when challenged and to enhance morale.” There are a number of different stories about the origins of the Challenge Coin, but the purpose in each of the stories is essentially the same, to serve as a way for an individual to prove their association with a particular military unit or organization if “challenged” to prove their legitimacy. Challenge Coins have become a way for people in positions of leadership to show appreciation or recognize their outstanding performance by an individual with the award of a challenge coin. Recently, they have become a popular collector’s item among service members and law enforcement personnel, with the goal of obtaining a coin from the most senior leader possible.
For example, in the military a coin from a flag or general officer would “out rank” a coin from a senior officer, which would “out rank” a coin from a Non Commissioned Officer. My son, for instance, is proud to have been awarded a challenge coin for his work in Afghanistan from the Secretary of Defense, which “out ranks” a 4 star flag or general officer’s coin. A coin from the President would also trump them all (pun intended). One of the more playful purposes of the challenge is to determine who buys a round of drinks for those present. The person holding the “least senior” coin, or failing to produce a coin, becomes the person responsible for buying the next round of drinks.
Mason & Hanger has created our own challenge coin for multiple purposes-- to recognize membership among the M&H staff, as a marketing tool, and as a gesture to recognize masterful accomplishment of one’s duties. The coin is symbolic, in a way that speaks to the work that we do and who we are as a company, similar to our tag line Building a more secure world ®, to the map of the world indicating our work in over 165 countries, to the services we offer, to the flag and eagle representing our major client the US Government, and our logo and four core values.
Mason & Hanger is a company who values the work they do, and provides a unique position in the global A&E community. The coin will be a power token and reminder to those who are presented with it.