In military tradition, the Challenge Coin a special coin or medallion bearing an organization’s insignia or emblem and carried by that organization’s members. They are given to prove membership and to enhance morale. In practice, challenge coins are normally presented by unit commanders in recognition of special achievement by a member of the unit.
Retired Colonel Brian Diaz of Airbus Helicopters approached me to design a limited edition Challenge Coin for the first Lakota helicopter training class at Fort Rucker, the home of Army Aviation. Since these students were the first to experience this class and instruction, Diaz wanted to give them a symbol of their hard work and achievement. The class called themselves “Guinea Pigs” so I hand drew a cartoon Guinea pig pilot as their mascot, as well as the Lakota helicopter on the other side. It was very well received by both Airbus and the Lakota training class.