Unit coins became an Army tradition starting
during the Vietnam era and continuing today. The last 3AD unit
coins were produced for Gulf War issue in 1991. The 3AD coins
were an unofficial, but still prized, award for special performance
by soldiers and used also as gifts to visitors, to include German
dignitaries and other civilians. The coins were also minted to
celebrate specific events, as well as stamped to identify the
giver of the coin himself, such as a senior officer or senior
sergeant. The great advantage of these coins was their "on
the spot" awarding , and a complete absence of paperwork.
The above two coins at right read: (Top) "Fifty
Years Defending Freedom. The 3d Armored Division. 1941-1991.";
(Bottom) "Excellence. Then, Now, Always. Spearhead."