Defense Language Institute Challenge Coins


The Defense Language Institute is a military academy for the study of foreign language with a vision to provide the best culturally based foreign language instruction and training in the world. The Institute is an accredited school and offers an Associates in Arts Degree to all military, civilian, and foreign military students who successfully pass and complete all coursework. The mission of the school is not only to provide stellar culturally based language education, but also to train and prepare students for the application of defense through cultural understanding. 

Settled in Monterey California, the Defense Language Institute is the Department of Defense's main source for foreign language training. Since the school was founded in 1941 more than 230,000 students have earned degrees and moved onward into their careers. Graduates of the Institute’s Foreign Area Officer (FAO) program act as regional specialists and will typically be deployed overseas. They provide political, cultural, and sociological expertise as well as foreign language proficiency within their region.   

Becoming an expert in the field of foreign language takes time and dedication. Students who are able to persevere through the intense curriculum and move on to aid in military efforts all across the globe deserve both praise and gratitude. Custom Defense Language Institute challenge coins represent the sacrifices that go into dedicating oneself to the pursuit of foreign language and cultural understanding. They are carried at all times as a mark of accomplishment in their pursuits and displayed with excitement and honor. Defense Language Institute challenge coins are a mark of inclusion within a select group of experts all dedicated to the defense of our Nation through cultural understanding, communication, and patient dedication to the craft of language.   

Signature coins has been making military challenge coins and Military Academy challenge coins for over 15 years. We take special care to ensure that our clients receive the highest quality coins and the best customer service on the market. Get started with your set today! 

Course Work
The Importance of Language and Cultural Understanding

Military operations and outposts all over the world need linguistic specialists. Language experts are indispensable for cultural understanding and communication between American outposts and local governments, organizations, and citizens. The Defense Language Institute prepares students to aid in political strategy by crafting them into regional experts. They build relationships with foreign leaders, develop and execute security coordination plans, and report on political developments and trends on national and area specific levels. These responsibilities, and many other, are what make linguistic specialists so important.

The Defense Language Institute offers degree programs in four different categories. Course structures range from 36 weeks to 64 weeks and in that time students can follow tracks specific for:

  • French
  • Spanish
  • Indonesian
  • Hebrew
  • Persian Farsi
  • Russian
  • Tagalog
  • Urdu
  • Modern Standard Arabic
  • Arabic – Egyptian
  • Arabic – Iraqi
  • Arabic – Levantine
  • Arabic – Sudanese 
  • Chinese Mandarin
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Pashto

Since each of these tracts is so specialized, custom coins suit the needs of students and faculty in each category. Defense Language Institute challenge coins can be designed with specific artwork and allusions to the cultures and languages that are being studied. Giving the coins a personal touch adds to the emotional weight they carry and students are sure to appreciate references to the specific cultures and demographics they are studying. 

Get started today by filling out one of our order forms! We will get a free quote ready for you and have your first free proof of artwork ready with 24 to 48 hours. Just give us some ideas on what you are looking for in design and our artists will get to work. We offer free unlimited revisions, on top of free artwork, to ensure that you can make your vision come to life!


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Importance of Symbolism
The Institute Crest

Adopted in 1963, the crest of the Defense Language Institute has been a cultural centerpiece to the Presidio of Monterey where the school is situated. The Crest represents both the Presidio and the Defense Language Institute through symbolic reference to the intertwined heritage of each.

The crest is in the shape of a shield with a burning torch on the top. The shield face is cut diagonally into blue and red sections which are separated by an olive branch. On the top right in the blue section, there is a depiction of the Rosetta Stone. In the bottom left in the red section, there is a depiction of the specific type of cap worn by the volunteer Spanish soldiers who first came to the area with Father Junipero Serra to found a chain of missions in California. 

The torch at the top of the crest is a symbol of learning and knowledge. The colors red and blue reference the mission of the Defense Language Institute in both wartime and peacetime and the olive branch between them is a depiction of the Institute's goal of promoting peace through understanding. 

Custom Defense Language Institute challenge coins can be crafted in the same spirit as this crest and become a piece of history for the Presidio of Monterey. Designs can incorporate the same colors, motifs, and themes that make the crest so meaningful. Students who carry a Defense Language Institute challenge coin will inspire and motivate through personal reflection of the vision and mission of the school.

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Rewarding Excellence
Challenge Coins As Commemorative Tokens 

Military challenge coins have been a tradition in all branches of the United States Armed Forces for years. They are used to motivate, to show appreciation, and to recognize talent and bravery. Defense Language Institute challenge coins are used for induction ceremonies, graduations, and for milestone achievements in the same way that military challenge coins are used. They commemorate important ceremonies by adding a personalized token of accomplishment for service.

The Defense Language Institute has its own hall of fame for graduates who have shown incredible expertise and achievement in service to our Nation. Their knowledge is valuable beyond measure in the line of duty and some members of the Defense Language Institute hall of fame have saved hundreds of lives through a commitment to their craft. Including custom Defense Language Institute challenge coins to induction ceremonies shows appreciation for their sacrifices and their indispensable service, while also ensuring that their achievements will never be forgotten.

Graduating from the Institute puts alumni among the ranks of the most qualified language specialists in the world. They are the elite in their field and will prove to be remarkable resources for units, battalion, and teams stationed all over the globe. The schooling process takes time, energy, and complete immersion into a specific culture. Students must study, practice, and hone their skills to reach the end of training and their efforts deserve praise. Graduation ceremonies are the pinnacle achievement in their journey and including a set of custom challenge coins will honor the occasion. 

Custom Defense Language Institute challenge coins are meaningful and emotional symbols of a student’s struggles, triumphs, and inclusion within a select group of expert linguists. They can be used for retirements, to celebrate the completion of educational tracks, or to induct students into the school. Whatever your needs may be, Signature Coins can craft compelling designs for your unique challenge coins!      

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Get Started Today!


Signature Coins has experience working with all branches of the United States Military, as well as police departments, fire stations, and corporations all over the country. We take pride in each of our coin designs and incorporate any principle details that you think will capture the spirit of your team. We want the Defense Language Institute challenge coins that we design to accurately represent the immersive training, unyielding dedication, and extraordinary motivation that is required to complete coursework and continue onward to a career of peacekeeping through careful and thoughtful understanding.

We offer a range of competitive services including:

  • Free artwork on every order
  • Free quotes on every order
  • Free unlimited revisions on design
  • Free UPS Air Priority shipping
  • 14 business day delivery on completed orders
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee

We are committed to a goal of becoming the industry standard in customer service and quality for custom challenge coins. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to give us a call at 1.800.953.3607. Check out some of the coins we have created for our other clients in our coin gallery or take a look at a comprehensive list of our customizable options on our pricing page! We are excited to get started working on your Defense Language Institute challenge coins! Thank you for trusting Signature Coins to get the job done right!