Challenge Coins Display
The Challenge Coins in Canada
- The first appearance of a challenge coin within the Canadian Forces was that of the Canadian Airborne Regiment. Although conceptualized in the early 1970s, it was not officially adopted until the Regiment returned from Cyprus in 1974.
- Recognized as an "Americanism", the widespread use of challenge coins is new to the Canadian Forces (CF) and was introduced by General Rick Hillier as the Canadian Army began to work closer with the US military. While many regiments and military establishments purchase them as 'challenge coins', most branches and schools within the CF use them for presentation purposes.
- Every new officer cadet at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, is issued a challenge coin upon completion of First-Year Orientation Period. The coin is engraved with the name of the college in French and English surrounding the college's coat of arms on the obverse. The cadet's college number and the Memorial Arch is on the reverse surrounded by the motto in both languages.
- Members of the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Branch Fund are issued challenge coins with the current RCEME badge and the member's branch fund membership number on the obverse side, and the original pre-unification RCEME badge and branch motto on the reverse side. Usually, these are issued to craftsmen at the Canadian Forces School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, in Borden, Ontario, where branch fund membership is first offered.
- Many of the CF training centres and staff colleges have a unique coin – some available for the students to purchase, others available only by presentation by the establishment or the Commandant for exemplary achievement while attending the facility. General Walter Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff and the Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officer often present their personalized coins to deserving soldiers.
- Police, security and fire departments have embraced the concept and have found coins to be an excellent means of team building and creating a sense of brotherhood or belonging. Many feature a patron saint, badge or representative equipment.