5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) The Legion 2015 Army Challenge Coin / Version 1
This coin is 2 1/2 inches in diameter with epoxy on both sides.
5th Special Forces “V” Roman Legion Challenge Coin Ver. 1
The 5th Special Forces Group has had a large variety of challenge coins associated to its lineage and units. Thus artist, 5th SFG veteran, and former Task Force Dagger member Frank Allen sought to design a coin in 2015 that could be presented to members of the 5th SFG and represent the full honors of the unit. The first version of the “Legion” coin is 2.5” in diameter and was manufactured overseas in reverse 3D with a clear-coat epoxy dome to both sides of the coin to protect the designs. In recognition of those assigned to the unit, the first version of the Roman Legion challenge coins were presented to the senior Warrant Officer, Command Sergeant Major, Executive Officer, Deputy and Commanding Officer for the 5th SFG and 12 members of the unit who won the Best Team competition of 2015.
Featured on the first version’s Obverse is the unit’s all-black flash with white outer border it had held from 1985 to 2016, with the Special Forces Regimental Insignia centered on top denoting the unit’s association to Special Operations. According to the Institute of Heraldry the Regimental Insignia features,
A silver color metal and enamel device consisting of a pair of silver arrows in saltire, points up and surmounted at their junction by a silver dagger with black handle point up; all over and between a black motto scroll arcing to base and inscribed ”DE OPPRESSO LIBER” (Liberate From Oppression, a motto translated as “From Oppression We Will Liberate Them.”) in silver letters. The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 8 July 1960. The insignia of the 1st Special Forces was authorized to be worn by personnel of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) and its subordinate units on 7 March 1991. (The Institute of Heraldry n.d.)
Surmounting the flash and along the edge is “5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)” in gold lettering with two 3D engraved wreath branches near the bottom. At the bottom of the outer edge is the 5th SFG’s nickname “The Legion” also in gold lettering. Recently the 5th SFG reverted from its all black flash encompassed in a white border to its previous Vietnam-era flash with yellow and red lines as a nod to the unit’s predecessors whom established much of the unit’s first history. (Special Forces Association n.d.)
On the Reverse of the first version, against a field of black is a soldier of the 5th SFG in raised 3D burnished silver in full kit and an M4 SOPMOD with a cartridge being ejected denoting the fighting spirit of “The Legion”. Additionally, denoting the throwback to the unit’s nickname, the soldier wears a Roman Gallic legionnaire helmet with red crest. Further alluding to the unit’s legionnaire association, surrounding the edge is the Romanian laurel wreath in etched 3D that in ancient Greece was seen as the symbol of martial victory, crowning a successful commander following their triumph. In modern context it is seen as the symbol of victory. Finally, at the one o’clock position is the Roman numeral “V” in gold associating the coin to the 5th Group.
REF: The Commander's Challenge