Coins of the Coalition – Challenge coins

Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them. “I didn’t have Photoshop and I looked up Photoshop and I didn’t want to pay for it. So, actually to design this coin I used Paint and I used PowerPoint. At first, I just drew it on a piece of paper and then submitted it to the chain of command, to say, ‘Hey, this is kind of what we want.’ We used the outline of Iraq since we were going to be out here. On the front of the coin we put the OIR symbol and the words ‘Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve’ feeding around the edge of the coin. Then we used the Iraq flag in the background for the front of the coin and then put all the flags of the nations that help out with the OIR campaign that was on the official OIR website. I took each individual one and had to crop it down, make it small, get the best picture quality for each one, and then fit seventy something of these flags in there to include everyone. At one point we were going to get rid of them just because there were so many. The front of the coin was supposed to be three dimensional – like the back is – and it was supposed to pop out, but because of all of these flags I couldn’t. So I had the option of having this pop out or leave in the flags. When I was manipulating the picture it just looked too blank because there was such a big open spot. I decided to leave the flags in and not make it three dimensional and just make it a nice clean coat over it. On to the backside, we put the United States flag in the background because that’s what country we’re with. And then we put our unit name: Expeditionary Medical Unit rotation eight as well as all of the jobs associated with our unit. The top one, the gold leaf with the acorn in the middle,
Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them. “I didn’t have Photoshop and I looked up Photoshop and I didn’t want to pay for it. So, actually to design this coin I used Paint and I used PowerPoint. At first, I just drew it on a piece of paper and then submitted it to the chain of command, to say, ‘Hey, this is kind of what we want.’ We used the outline of Iraq since we were going to be out here. On the front of the coin we put the OIR symbol and the words ‘Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve’ feeding around the edge of the coin. Then we used the Iraq flag in the background for the front of the coin and then put all the flags of the nations that help out with the OIR campaign that was on the official OIR website. I took each individual one and had to crop it down, make it small, get the best picture quality for each one, and then fit seventy something of these flags in there to include everyone. At one point we were going to get rid of them just because there were so many. The front of the coin was supposed to be three dimensional – like the back is – and it was supposed to pop out, but because of all of these flags I couldn’t. So I had the option of having this pop out or leave in the flags. When I was manipulating the picture it just looked too blank because there was such a big open spot. I decided to leave the flags in and not make it three dimensional and just make it a nice clean coat over it. On to the backside, we put the United States flag in the background because that’s what country we’re with. And then we put our unit name: Expeditionary Medical Unit rotation eight as well as all of the jobs associated with our unit. The top one, the gold leaf with the acorn in the middle,

Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them.

“I didn’t have Photoshop and I looked up Photoshop and I didn’t want to pay for it. So, actually to design this coin I used Paint and I used PowerPoint. At first, I just drew it on a piece of paper and then submitted it to the chain of command, to say, ‘Hey, this is kind of what we want.’ We used the outline of Iraq since we were going to be out here. On the front of the coin we put the OIR symbol and the words ‘Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve’ feeding around the edge of the coin. Then we used the Iraq flag in the background for the front of the coin and then put all the flags of the nations that help out with the OIR campaign that was on the official OIR website. I took each individual one and had to crop it down, make it small, get the best picture quality for each one, and then fit seventy something of these flags in there to include everyone. At one point we were going to get rid of them just because there were so many. The front of the coin was supposed to be three dimensional – like the back is – and it was supposed to pop out, but because of all of these flags I couldn’t. So I had the option of having this pop out or leave in the flags. When I was manipulating the picture it just looked too blank because there was such a big open spot. I decided to leave the flags in and not make it three dimensional and just make it a nice clean coat over it. On to the backside, we put the United States flag in the background because that’s what country we’re with. And then we put our unit name: Expeditionary Medical Unit rotation eight as well as all of the jobs associated with our unit. The top one, the gold leaf with the acorn in the middle,

Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them.    “I didn’t have Photoshop and I looked up Photoshop and I didn’t want to pay for it. So, actually to design this coin I used Paint and I used PowerPoint. At first, I just drew it on a piece of paper and then submitted it to the chain of command, to say, ‘Hey, this is kind of what we want.’ We used the outline of Iraq since we were going to be out here. On the front of the coin we put the OIR symbol and the words ‘Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve’ feeding around the edge of the coin. Then we used the Iraq flag in the background for the front of the coin and then put all the flags of the nations that help out with the OIR campaign that was on the official OIR website. I took each individual one and had to crop it down, make it small, get the best picture quality for each one, and then fit seventy something of these flags in there to include everyone. At one point we were going to get rid of them just because there were so many. The front of the coin was supposed to be three dimensional – like the back is – and it was supposed to pop out, but because of all of these flags I couldn’t. So I had the option of having this pop out or leave in the flags. When I was manipulating the picture it just looked too blank because there was such a big open spot. I decided to leave the flags in and not make it three dimensional and just make it a nice clean coat over it. On to the backside, we put the United States flag in the background because that’s what country we’re with. And then we put our unit name: Expeditionary Medical Unit rotation eight as well as all of the jobs associated with our unit. The top one, the gold leaf with the acorn in the middle,
Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them.
“I didn’t have Photoshop and I looked up Photoshop and I didn’t want to pay for it. So, actually to design this coin I used Paint and I used PowerPoint. At first, I just drew it on a piece of paper and then submitted it to the chain of command, to say, ‘Hey, this is kind of what we want.’ We used the outline of Iraq since we were going to be out here. On the front of the coin we put the OIR symbol and the words ‘Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve’ feeding around the edge of the coin. Then we used the Iraq flag in the background for the front of the coin and then put all the flags of the nations that help out with the OIR campaign that was on the official OIR website. I took each individual one and had to crop it down, make it small, get the best picture quality for each one, and then fit seventy something of these flags in there to include everyone. At one point we were going to get rid of them just because there were so many. The front of the coin was supposed to be three dimensional – like the back is – and it was supposed to pop out, but because of all of these flags I couldn’t. So I had the option of having this pop out or leave in the flags. When I was manipulating the picture it just looked too blank because there was such a big open spot. I decided to leave the flags in and not make it three dimensional and just make it a nice clean coat over it. On to the backside, we put the United States flag in the background because that’s what country we’re with. And then we put our unit name: Expeditionary Medical Unit rotation eight as well as all of the jobs associated with our unit. The top one, the gold leaf with the acorn in the middle,

Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them.
“I got it from one of the best first sergeants I ever met. I got it right before they left. I left to come up to Iraq in July and as soon as I left, within two months, they PCSed out of there so this is like the last coin they gave out before they left.”
U.S. Army Pfc. Sean Corprew, southwest Asia network help desk technician

Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them.
“This coin shows me that what I do is being appreciated, so it goes a long way.”
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Devin Odom, special vehicle maintenance

Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them.
“My battalion sergeant major, Command Sgt. Maj. Eicher, he received an email asking to send a female, a senior NCO, to meet the Second Lady Karen Pence. I went to have a meeting with her along with officers and other NCOs across the post. The Second Lady, she was wondering about how we felt being females working in this great organization and our roles and what we do. And about our experiences. We shared our knowledge and stories about what we have done during our military careers.”
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeannette Perez Santiago, S3 operations NCOIC of Task Force Attack

Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them.
“It was the night of the attack and we were just doing our mission issuing fuel to Special Forces guys. We were moving at speed, the time was really good, and we got complimented on it. When they needed it we were already out there. It was a real stressful time and I felt like we were really recognized for something that we probably thought was just our job, but it helped the aircraft get from one place to another. It was a huge accomplishment of mine, like a medal. It was my first, so I felt the need to give it to him. That coin symbolized hard work and dedication and he was one of the best NCOs that I’ve ever had. I just feel like those memories with him will always be cherished so I’ll always appreciate him, so he deserved that coin.”
U.S. Army Spc. Quinntnei Hayes, petroleum supply specialist, standing beside a photograph of Sgt. 1st Class John David Hilty who died in March

Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them.
“This coin is actually really special to me. As a behavioral health tech, I had the opportunity to go and do a traumatic event debriefing, it’s a defusion debrief, for the Marines who lost two soldiers. It’s the first process in healing, essentially, having them gather around and discuss what happened and their feelings on the matter. A lot of times, you think they’re Special Forces, right? They don’t need that, or they don’t need behavior health assets of that kind. But they were really appreciative.”
U.S. Army Sgt. Mary Rodgers, behavioral health specialist

Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them.
“Myself and another petty officer were volunteers and assisting with an evolution with the 25th Infantry Division. It was a couple weeks ago, and they were just asking for some volunteers to help out with a few things on LSA Hooligan. Clean-up crew, stuff like that. Nobody else wanted to volunteer, so just me and HM1 were the only ones that were able to go over and participate. The command was really appreciative of it, of our help. We didn’t feel that is was something that they should be responsible for. Being the Navy and having some knowledge in infection control, we were able to go over there and take care of it.”
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Johnathan Bellomy, preventive medicine technician

Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them.
“Working here at the post office, we had a lot of backlogged mail. When we got the huge rush of mail, I — with a couple of my peers — took lead and helped get it pushed out very quickly. The 1st TSC ended up having more mail than usual, so what we ended up doing was aiding them and moving it to their mail room and organizing it to get it to Syria. Whether it would be sending it through 630th or Gimlet, we coordinated with those units to help 1st TSC get their mail to Syria. After that, they insisted on giving someone a coin. When they had the idea of giving it to a lower ranking specialist who’s here, my name got brought up for a few of the bullets, the reasons why. They came in a couple times and I helped them out a few times, so they immediately gravitated towards me. They were like, ‘Hey, Spc. Santiago does a great job, is it possible that we can give him a coin?’ A couple weeks later their chief and command sergeant major came by one day, really quick, and presented me with this coin. It was my first coin, so it actually means a lot more that it’s my first coin and I got it out here on deployment.”
U.S. Army Spc. Alexander Santiago, postal clerk

Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them.
“It was my first opportunity as a First Sergeant to take Soldiers into a combat zone and have a successful mission and make sure everyone got back safe.”
U.S. Army Master Sgt. Timothy Small, Base Operations Support – Integrator operations NCOIC

Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them.
“When designing the coin for the Kurdistan Coordination Center, it was important to me to capture all of the aspects of the team here. On the front side of the coin, centered is a 3D version of a caltrop, the 3rd Corps insignia; the KCC and the Kurdistan Region Security Council, the KRSC; as well as the flags of the nations that make up the team at the KCC. On the reverse side, I used the logo of the KRSC with the phrase of the Coalition, “One Mission, Many Nations.” This coin represents the partnership of the KCC and the KRSC. For me to be able to serve in the position that I’m serving in, and to be able to have an opportunity to design a coin between two organizations, to actually give out coins to Soldiers and service members and recognize them for their service and their accomplishments that they’ve done for the team is also what made it important to me.”
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Uhrig, senior enlisted advisor for the base commander of Erbil Air Base

Challenge coins are traditionally given to individuals to signify membership in an organization or commemorate an outstanding achievement. While it is not uncommon for service members to receive more than one coin in their career, many only carry the one that is most important to them.
“I signed up to be an infantry officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. It’s four phases. So, the first phase is your basic military officer qualification course which is 14 weeks long. Once you’ve done that, you’re sent to a training center in Gagetown, New Brunswick where you do your final three phases of your infantry officer training. So, phase two is more combat arms officer training and then phase three and four, that’s infantry specific training. Phase three is dismounted platoon commander and phase four is mechanized platoon commander. In between those two phases, you submit a memo where you choose three choices of battalion to go to. There are nine battalions in the Canadian Armed Forces Infantry; there’s three in the Van Doos, which is the French, three in the Royal Canadian Regiment, and then three in the Princess Patricia’s. My first choice was the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. When I finished my fourth phase, and after they do deliberation at the board where they pick where guys are going, I got my selection of 2nd Battalion. At our graduation ceremony, you get your cap badge for your beret and they hand you a coin that’s a limited number. It’s specific numbering so your coin is registered to you. So, they gave me the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Coin, and that’s pretty much one of the only ways you can get that coin.”
Capt. Matthew Bonnar, Canadian Army infantry officer

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