As a US Army Infantry veteran, I've always had a special level of admiration for those that have received, or awarded individuals with, challenge coins. For those that aren't familiar with these types of coins or medallions, their history contains a short and interesting story (although there are a few) that strongly resonated with us at CareerXroads and the peer-to-peer professional network at CareerXroads that has been going strong for twenty years.
In summary, a young WWI pilot was shot down over enemy territory, taken prisoner and stripped of everything except a medallion that his squadron leader had given to each pilot before the mission. This pilot managed to escape his German captors, steal some civilian clothing and make his way to a French outpost where it was unfortunately assumed he was a spy due to his attire and his inability to speak French. Before he could be executed, one of his captors spotted the medallion and recognized the allied insignia - which delayed his execution until they could successfully verify his identity.
While he waited for that verification, he was given a bottle of wine.
There are numerous versions of this story (and others) that have given birth to the tradition behind the challenge coins - but the rules are always the same. Any individual that possesses a challenge coin may show that coin to another person that has been issued a coin and challenge them to present their medallion. Any individual that cannot produce their coin must by a drink for the challenger. However, should a coin be produced after a challenge is issued, the challenger must buy a round for the challenged.
Because of our affinity for the men and women that serve their country and our deep love for sharing amazing wines with wildly talented peers within the CareerXroads network, we've awarded coins that are specific to each 2016 CareerXroads colloquium meeting to all meeting attendees. We hope that this token of professional comradery will continue to be a fun and meaningful way to engage fellow CareerXroads members around the world (we've already seen a few coins thrown down at an industry meeting or two!)
Whether at a colloquium meeting or an industry conference, CareerXroads members shouldn't be shy about challenging peers and/or the CareerXroads team themselves. After years of fantastic conversations and collaboration, we know that this is the type of challenge where everyone wins.
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