What is a Retirement Challenge Coin?
A Retirement Challenge Coin is such a broad term that’s thrown around so much these days. It’s in its simplest form a piece of metal with some words on it. But when It is done right by people who know what they are doing it’s a trigger for a memory. It’s like an old TV that beings the good or nightmarish memories to center stage. When you hold them in your palm, they can be like a warm hug that you’re handing off to a fellow shipmate, friend or solider. Everyone’s Coin is different because every story connected to them takes a different path. When you’re designing your challenge coin, that’s something you have to keep in mind, what is my story? What am I wanting someone to feel when I place this coin in their hand? What would it feel like if someone placed this Challenge coin in my hand? There are so many different answers to these questions, that’s why in my opinion there many different type and shapes of challenge coins are so. We have already covered generally practices in how to design challenge coins, now id like to take a deeper dive on what it takes to design Retirement challenge coins. These to me are very special coins, they celebrate a milestone in one’s life, signifying an end of one era and the start of something new and exciting! What you may not know is here at Pitch and Rudder we handle coins at cost. We are not going to make a dime on your life milestone. Having served in the United States Navy for 22 Years and having my own retirement coin, I couldn’t imagine having to decide if I should make a retirement coin or not based off of cost alone. So, we took it out of the equation. You pay what we pay, period. If you’re having problems coming up ideas take a look at our Pitch and Rudder Pinterest page, its full of ideas for designs on challenge coins!
Designing Retirement Challenge Coins
When your designing a retirement challenge coin, you should really look beyond just your years of service. What is that your tours of duty meant to you? What are you looking to do on the outside after your service has ended? Was there someone or something that just stood out to you during your years of service? All of these are important when designing your retirement challenge coin. For many of us that reach this point in our lives we have spent more time in the service than out of the service, take the time to think about what you want on your coin before you just slap something together and move on. We have already talked about how to design a challenge coin on a budget and what makes a great challenge coin design, but retirement challenge coins are a different sort of beast. Your handing someone a piece of your life in this coin that spanned 20 plus years. Let’s make sure we get it right!
Examples of Really Touching Retirement Challenge Coins
Not all challenge coins are created equal and that can be said about retirement coins as well. We recently did a retirement coin for a First Class Petty Officer and his wife was making the coin for him as a gift. He was unaware of this act of kindness nor of the design. When we first started talking, the design was to be a Seal Trident with his commands listed on the back of the coin on the wings. Well as we talked, we started to realize that The FCPO was not a Team Member, but an HM assigned to the unit. Now had we been a regular Challenge Coin Company, we would have taken the money designed the challenge coin and moved on. Since we are not, we talked for a while longer got the entire story and figured out the real meaning for his coin. This retiring First class had always wanted to be a farmer and they were retiring back to their hometown to live on a farm. We designed his retirement challenge coin as a tractor tire. With his rank in the middle and his commands on the back. It turned out simply amazing.
My Personal Retirement Challenge Coin
Those that know me, know that I love my Sailors and I love to rag on the Mechs. See I’m an Aviation Electricians Mate and growing up in the Navy in aviation as an AE you are constantly pitted against the ADs. So we Joke with each other and clown around and fight, well yeah actually fight with each other whose system is causing the problem. So on the front of my Retirement challenge coin I have a joke about mechs, it says 110+110=220 which simply means two Rockstar mechs make one average electrician. I have a modified Senior Chief and AE globe with a Skull, Name and years of service. See all that is pretty standard with a retirement challenge coin. What makes my retirement coin unique is on the back. See my father passed when I was on my third deployment in the service and he was a great man! He taught me how to be successful without trying. But most importantly he allowed me to learn by watching what a good man looked like. On the back of my retirement challenge coin is a hand-drawn 3D picture of my father and the quote, “My father didn’t tell me how to LIVE, he LIVED and let me watch him do it.” When I palm someone my coin and I explain what it means and who he is, you see the sparkle in their eyes light up. That’s when you know, you’ve designed an amazing retirement challenge coin.
Retirement Challenge Coins in Summary
They can be simple and clean or as messy as our career was/is. The important part of the design is that they are yours. Your retirement coin should be the bridge between our story and your shipmates or soldiers, using your hand as the connection. There no better feeling for us as a company then receiving a thank you from one of our customers after they received their retirement coins. Custom Challenge coins are always awesome to design, but when your designing a retirement challenge coin, after spending 20 plus years serving as well is just indescribable.
Making custom quality challenge coins and Military belt buckles are one of our specialties. If you’re interested in getting a designing a custom buckle or Quality Challenge coin for your Division, Command, or Mess we’ve streamlined the process, click the get started link at the bottom of the page and someone from our design team will be with you within 48 hours to bring your vision to life. When your working with us, we want to be as transparent as possible if you’re looking for shirts, you are going to be working with Chuck’s and his Team, If you’re working with metal you will be working with Grady’s Team.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, TERRY MAYNARD, CEO AND PRINCIPLE OWNER OF PITCH AND RUDDER LLC
Terry is a 22-year Veteran of the United States Navy, a Retired Senior Chief and a loving husband with four children. With 5 years’ experience designing, manufacturing, and marketing challenge coins under his belt, it’s easy to see how his experience could help others hone their craft.