About the Collection
About The Collection
I was first given a challenge coin in December 2000. I was at a Pentagon holiday party and had a pleasant conversation with outgoing Defense Secretary Bill Cohen about our common ties to Maine. As our exchange was coming to a close, he reached into his pocket and handed me his coin with a firm handshake. I asked a Marine at the party about the coin and he explained a bit of the tradition to me.
I didn’t think much of it, but a few years later I was given another coin by a General who was working with my organization on an issue. I was hooked. I’ve been presented with several other coins in the intervening years, and I’ve traded and purchased some coins with various collectors who have been involved in the growing challenge coin hobby for numerous years.
One of these individuals became a friend and he showed me the webpage he had created to show off his collection – which focused on Army coins. The site was well done and it struck me as a cool idea. But my coins were spread across all of the five service branches and I didn’t think my collection would make for an interesting website.
So I decided to focus on acquiring Coast Guard coins. I have two acquaintances who are former senior Coast Guard leaders and I have long admired what Coast Guardsmen and women do to protect our homeland and save lives. Plus, the smaller size of the Coast Guard as compared to the other branches makes building a collection a bit more manageable.
I have built up the collection you see on these pages over the last several years and I’ve focused on acquiring flag-rank and MCPO coins. Some of my coins were presented to me personally by Coast Guard leaders and I came across others through trades and purchases. There are also many incredible USCG unit, ship, and station coins, but I have only a few of those.
I am very proud of the collection – which is why I decided to build this site to share it with you. I think it’s a meaningful archive of these interesting and distinct tokens representing our Coast Guard’s leaders. I hope you enjoy the site and I look forward to hearing from anyone who would like to contact me!
I am grateful to Secretaries Napolitano and Johnson; Admirals Allen, Zukunft, Lee, Pekoske, Michel, Ray, Rochon, Rendon, and Gromlich; Master Chiefs Patton, Bowen, and Pearson; Captain Harry H. Dudley and Zoe Ann Dudley (who donated Vice Admiral Brice-O'Hara's coin); and Special Agent Scott Trotter and his family (who donated Vice Admiral Crea's coin) for their personal contributions to this collection. And I want to thank all of the men and women of the Coast Guard who serve our nation every day.
Producing Your Own Unit, Ship, or Personal Challenge Coin
For those Coast Guardsmen and women and other visitors looking to produce a customized challenge coin, I strongly recommend you contact CommandChallengeCoins.com (http://www.commandchallengecoins.com), a division of Capital Gifts & Awards, Inc. (http://www.capitalgifts.com). I can personally attest to the quality of their products and professionalism of their staff!
Displaying a Coin Collection
My collection is showcased in a beautiful custom display table built by my friends at Rusted Anchor Wood Works (http://rustedanchorwoodworks.com/). I strongly recommend their business, which is run by a retired Coast Guard Master Chief!