Occasionally we come across a military-related item that just makes us curious. Today, it’s these “Marine wife” coins that are widely available online, wherever challenge coins are sold.
As all Marines learn early on, a challenge coin is part of military unit identity. Technically, all Marines are supposed to carry their unit coin at all times. If you are “challenged” by another service member and don’t have your coin, you owe the other guy a drink, according to the accepted rules.
The Commandant of the Marine Corps has an elaborate oblong coin featuring his signature. Other top officials, such as the secretary of Defense, also have distinctive coins. For a junior Marine, meeting one of these leaders and receiving a signed challenge coin is worth some bragging rights.
That brings us to challenge coins for Marine wives. Versions we found proclaimed “once a Marine wife, always a Marine wife,” and “I love my Marine.” One that appears to be intended to be given to spouses thanks them “on behalf of a grateful nation” for supporting their service member.
Lately it has become popular to make fun of military spouses for getting too caught up in the military hierarchy. The Duffel Blog published a satirical story about a Pentagon proposal to assign ranks to spouses, ranging from “Spouse Recruit” to “Chief Master Spouse.” Terminal Lance has hit the topic a few times.
That said, military spouses do frequently go above and beyond the call of duty to serve troops and their military communities–peruse the biographies in this list and you’ll be impressed.
So–do Marine Corps spouses deserve their own challenge coins? Have you ever given or received a spouse challenge coin? And what does “once a Marine wife, always a Marine wife” mean? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.