• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Coins?

JRH93

New Member
Reaction score
0
Points
110
I am a new member in the CAF (1 year) and I was given a numbered DPALC coin. I am wondering what coins are, I realise its a token but I am looking for the history behind it, how are they earned, how many coins are out there, what do you do with them.
Any information would be appreciated.

DD
 

dangerboy

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
708
Points
1,160
The coins are given out in recognition of a job well done (usually).  It seems every unit or higher commander seems to have them and depending on them is how many they have.  You don't do anything with them really, some people have coin holders in their office and display them there.  Other people throw them into a drawer and forget about them.
 

Wolseleydog

New Member
Reaction score
0
Points
60
"Coins" are memento keepsakes that seem to be increasingly common in military circles.  They are generally given out in two ways:
(1) as indicting membership in something (a unit, a qualification etc).  These are typically numbered; or
(2) increasingly common nowadays -- as a token, gift, keepsake etc, often as an "attaboy" award or memento for visiting a unit.

As with so many things, they are probably an Americanism seeping into common Canadian usage.

As a final point, the old Canadian Airborne Regt coin probably desrves mention .  It was a type (1) coin -- awarded to an individual only when they earned their white wings (i.e. actually qualified and served in the CAR).  But the really interesting thing was the coin "challenge."  Having earned it, one was expected to carry it at *ALL* times.  The challenge was, another qualified coin holder could produce theirs and demand that the victim produce theirs.  If the demandee could not produce it, then they lost the challenge, which typically meant buying a round.

Cue anecdotes about guys doing things such as taking their coin to a jewelers shop to fix a mount so it could be hung from their dogtag chain so as to always have it, even in the showers at the shacks etc....
 

CombatDoc

Full Member
Reaction score
2
Points
230
DD, if you google "challenge coin" you'll learn all about them.  They were initially an American tradition (CAR excepted) that have been widely adopted within the CAF.
 

Gronk

Jr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
110
I wouldn't be too quick to say this is an American tradition adopted by Canada's military. I know of a WWII Patricia that "coined" every Pat he ever came into contact with (including the regimental band). I don't know how far back this tradition goes.
 

dangerboy

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
708
Points
1,160
I think that the handing out of coins as recognition of a good job is an American tradition that we have adopted within the last 10-15 years, not the Regiment/Branch coins.  They are two separate types of  coins with different meanings and purposes.
 

TCM621

Sr. Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
201
Points
430
dangerboy said:
I think that the handing out of coins as recognition of a good job is an American tradition that we have adopted within the last 10-15 years, not the Regiment/Branch coins.  They are two separate types of  coins with different meanings and purposes.

^ This. One of the driving forces behind the idea of Coins for recognition was General Hillier. He felt it was to hard to get people medals (and other awards) through the system. However, he could mint a coin and give it to who ever he wanted. Now, everyone who can mint a coin has. Some people are stingy and others seem to give them to anyone.
 

rmc_wannabe

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,946
Points
1,310
Tcm621 said:
^ This. One of the driving forces behind the idea of Coins for recognition was General Hillier. He felt it was to hard to get people medals (and other awards) through the system. However, he could mint a coin and give it to who ever he wanted. Now, everyone who can mint a coin has. Some people are stingy and others seem to give them to anyone.

If anything this has made it harder to award deserving folks medals.

Reading some of the citations for the MSM and MSC are shining examples of someone who did a good job, but their CoC pushed more paper than someone else who just pushed for them to get a coin.

I remember reading the Awards and Honours Matrix for TFK and finding it confusing as hell. I can see why some command pers would just say "Screw it, give'm a coin."

IMHO, we have Comd Commendations and CDS commendations for a reason. A credible way to show someone's accomplishments and have it documented. If the merit is higher, give a MSM or MSC. Coins are a cheap solution to a systemic issue with honouring people who do a good job. It may be an American tradition we adopted, but this is very much a Canadian habit. "Just doing your job" is bullshit.

I will close with this very fitting Cartoon from Terminal Lance:

2010-07-09-Strip_50_NAM_web.gif


 
Top