​​​​Core Values Challenge Coin

Toastmasters' Core Values are:

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Service
  • Excellence

The Core Values Challenge Coin reminds our members of those values by always being with us - in pocket, purse, etc. The Challenge Coin is a way of letting our members know that they are part of our Oviedo Toastmasters family

The challenge coin tradition had its genesis in the military.

One particular story dates military challenge coins back to World War I (1914-1918) and a wealthy military officer who had bronze medallions struck with his flying squadron insignia stamped on them. He presented the coins to each member of the squadron before they departed on missions over Europe. One day, a pilot was shot down over Germany and later captured by German soldiers and held captive as a prisoner of war. He was stripped of all personal belongings and identification by the Germans and only had his personal clothing and a small leather pouch that contained a squadron coin inside. The pilot eventually escaped his German captors and made his way back to France. The French, who retained him, thought he was a spy. Upon discovery of the squadron medallion, he was recognized as an American and later returned to his unit. The coin saved his life and earned him the recognition as an American Soldier.

But there’s no doubt that military challenge coins are a big part of military culture and increasingly so in the civilian world. Challenge coins are a great way to boost morale, identify allegiance and are a terrific way to extend one’s appreciation by saying “thank you” with coin in hand and a firm handshake. Moreover, challenge coins–specifically in military units–demonstrate “proof of membership” and affiliation with a specific unit or element extending esprit de corps and morale in its proud members. Then, there is the time-honored tradition of slamming your unit challenge coin down in bars to see who has theirs. He who is last or without buys the first round. The traditions of unit challenge coins date back to the World Wars, but their true origin is steeped in myths and legends. Regardless, challenge coins are fun to give, receive and display.

The Toastmasters Challenge Coin was designed to remind us of our core values. Make sure you always have it in your pocket, purse, or somewhere where you can get it within "one step and one reach" or you may find yourself buying the first round for your fellow club members!

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