The following is a point/counterpoint discussion about the best way to show off a challenge coin collection. Col. Joe Schumaker, an officer in the 7th Infantry Division, will be presenting the point. Mark Cahill, a former US Army sergeant, will be presenting the counterpoint.
POINT: I believe that a tiered wooden rack, preferably stained with a cherry or ebony finish, supports the best possible display of a large number of coins. The elevation allows one to prominently show their most valued coins at the top, then in descending order, so the eye is naturally drawn to the most impressive portion of the collection.
COUNTERPOINT: I got a coin once. I was in Iraq. Diyala province I think. Hot as hell. I was rubbing one out in the porta-shitter, trying to finish before I had a heat stroke. When I was done I went over to the motor pool bay where they had stacked a bunch of weapons.
There was this huge cooling fan, so I stood in front of it for a while and just hung out. Then some sergeant major from division came through and assumed I was standing guard over the gear, so he gave me a coin. I think I got some lotion on his hand when I shook it, but he didn’t say anything.
POINT: The quality and manner in which someone gives a coin also says a lot about their professionalism. I like to keep three or four in my pocket at all times in case I see some young hooah go above and beyond.
You’ll notice I’ve chosen the beveled option for the ranks, while the subtle off-yellow coloring of the unit crest really makes our motto pop in the light.
COUNTERPOINT: One time I saw my platoon sergeant use the edge of a challenge coin to cut a line of cheap coke in the bathroom of a Korean strip bar. Later he chucked it at a girl onstage and broke her nose. That was a fun Tuesday.
POINT: A properly displayed coin collection not only shows the experience and popularity of the owner, but gives subordinates something to strive for. When a new soldier walks into my office I want him to see the coin collection and think, “man I want to go out and do something great for the Army so I can get me some of those!”
They really are force multipliers.
COUNTERPOINT: You know there’s a garbage can over there right? I bet it can hold every one of those coins.