From Jim MacClay, Web Staff
Photo by Web Staff
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Small Sampling of Unit Coins
AKA: "Challenge Coins"
Diameters shown: 1.5 to 1.75 inches


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."

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