PFUFA CHALLENGE COIN
I would like to take a moment to introduce you to our PFUFA Challenge Coin. There are many elements, aspects, and rules to this coin. But let me start with a brief history of the challenge coin.
Challenge Coin History: During WWI, a wealthy Lieutenant ordered small bronze coins struck with his squadron’s insignia. These coins were gold plated, and he passed them out to each of the pilots in the unit. One of these pilots put his coin in a small leather pouch and wore it around his neck during all his missions. Shortly after the coin was received, the pilot was shot down and quickly captured by the Germans. All of his identifications were taken, but the pouch was overlooked. While in the process of being transferred to a permanent detention camp, this pilot escaped. He avoided recapture by putting on civilian attire and made his way back to Allied lines. As he approached, he was stopped by a French patrol. He was mistaken for a spy or saboteurs, and the French prepared to execute him. He was desperate to prove his identity, and he pulled out his unit coin. One of the French recognized the coin, and upon further investigation, the pilot’s identity was established. After his return to the unit, the coin became mandatory for all personnel to carry. To ensure this policy was followed, the pilots would ‘challenge’ each other at any time. If a pilot was discovered to not have his coin, he was required to buy a ‘drink of choice’ for the challenger.
Since its early beginnings, the challenge coin has been used by military units to build loyalty, morale, and esprit de corps. The purpose of the coin is to show that ‘you belong to a unit’ and that the ‘unit belongs to you.’ Additionally, coins have taken on a ‘collectors’ aspect in which they show where you have been or whom you have associated with (i.e. Sergeant Major or Commandant of the Marine Corps’ coin).
During the annual business meeting of the 2008 Reunion, current members were given a brief history of the challenge coin and issued their coins. They were instructed about how to challenge and what the coin means.
All members of PFUFA, past and present, are eligible for a coin. If anyone has paid at least one year’s worth of dues, then that member can receive a PFUFA Challenge Coin. Draft Prospects and Potential Veterans are not eligible for a coin, since they are not considered full members.
The PFUFA Challenge Coin was created with the specific purpose of giving each member a TANGIBLE connection to our organization. This coin is your membership card, if you will. Please carry it with pride.
Coin Specifics: As pictured above, the PFUFA Challenge Coin is a 2” inch brass coin. The ‘heads side’ of the coin has our name, our logo, and our established year. On the ‘tails side’ are the words “Annual Reunion Canton, OH,” our website address, the outline of the Hall of Fame, and the PFUFA Year of the member. Stamped around the edge of the coin is the PFUFA Motto. The coin is also covered in a heavy epoxy that protects the coin.
Challenging: The concept of challenging is basically this; you are questioning the loyalty of a member to our organization by producing your coin and asking the member to produce theirs. By doing so, you are issuing a challenge. If the member has their coin, you are responsible to purchase ‘the drink of choice’ for the one challenged. If the member cannot produce their coin, they are responsible to purchase ‘the drink of your choice.’ (Going to get the drink is part of the deal.) So challenge wisely.
Coin Rules: The following are rules and standards that apply to the PFUFA Challenge Coin. Please respect our coin and follow them.
2. At the discretion of the president, a PFUFA Challenge Coin may be given to ‘special individuals’ who have demonstrated themselves to be worthy. This should be reserved for individuals or businesses that have worked closely with PFUFA or have contributed to the betterment of our group. Individual members should refrain from ‘passing out’ coins. Remember, the purpose of the coin is to identify belonging to PFUFA (or a very close association). Questions regarding this should be directed to the president.
3. Eligible members will be issued their first coin, and it can be shipped to them at no cost. Any coin thereafter will be purchased at the current price to include shipping if applicable. Members that have not been issued their first coin are not eligible to challenge or be challenged.
4. As a member, you should have your coin ON YOUR PERSON AT ALL TIMES. This is a challenge coin, and you can be asked to produce the coin at ANYTIME!! Make sure you have it with you.
5. Once challenged, the member must produce the coin on the spot! The member will NOT be given time to ‘retrieve’ the coin. If the coin is not on their persons, they must pay. (Debts should not be incurred, but are authorized.) [Alternative payments may be discussed and agreed upon if no funds are available. Some units accept push-ups as payment. Just a thought.]
6. Mass challenges or “COIN CHECKS” may occur in which no payment is required. Senior members (such as officers, committee chairmen) may initiated a Coin Check by producing their coin and asking all members in the area to produce theirs, or by placing/tapping their coin on a table/bar and asking to see all others. Organizational functions are a perfect place for such Coin Checks to occur. This is a great way to identify those ‘not having their coin’ to those that do. So beware. [If, however, 100% of the members have their coin, the senior members will be required a payment or alternate payment.]
7. Your coin is your coin. It will have YOUR PFUFA YEAR on it. Using someone else’s coin in a challenge is unauthorized. If you lose your coin, it needs to be reported to the organization.
8. The PFUFA Challenge Coin shall not be defaced in any manner. Drilling holes, marking it, gluing it to other items, or in any other manner damaging the coin is unauthorized.
9. The PFUFA Challenge Coin is NOT authorized to be used to settle bets (i.e. flipping a coin).
10. The coin identifies you with our organization and, as such, needs to be safe guarded at all times. By carrying the coin, you are carrying the honor and name of our group. Protect both.
Karl Sides (Ram Man),