ARRL Introduces First Challenge Coin
This month, the ARRL and the Amateur Radio community celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service®, or ARES®. To help commemorate this milestone, the ARRL has introduced an anniversary Challenge Coin. The die-struck, 1.5 inch brass coin depicts the ARES 75th anniversary logo in gold with red, white and blue color fill, while the reverse shows the ARRL diamond logo against a hemisphere of the world.
Around the perimeter of the ARES® logo are the words Ready, Resilient and Responsive. “These words represent the critical need that ARES® activities have provided, and will continue to provide into the future,” said ARRL Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Mike Corey, W5MPC. “The Challenge Coin honors the service of ARES® volunteers and all Amateur Radio operators who respond to the call of public service. We hope ARES® volunteers will enjoy the honor of having the first Challenge Coin issued by the ARRL.”
While there are many stories about the origin and history of challenge coins, these medals have been popular with organizations and leagues for decades. “Challenge Coins are probably most common among the military and civil service organizations,” explained ARRL Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R. “These mementos are often used to commemorate a special occasion or to show loyalty among individuals that share pride and affinity for a particular service or agency. The coins are even popular among police, fire and EMS officials.”
The new ARRL Challenge Coin is struck with the year-of-issue, which in this case is 2010. Five diamond shapes on the coin’s head signify the five ARRL pillars: Public Service, Advocacy, Education, Technology and Membership. “We hope this is the first of a series of Challenge Coins for the ARRL,” said Inderbitzen. The ARES® 75th Anniversary Challenge Coin -- as well as commemorative T shirts and mugs -- are available directly from ARRL.