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A United states Navy Tradition.

Navy Birthday Ball Challenge Coins


Around the world, Navy Birthday Celebrations are encouraged by the acting Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) every year. It was in 1972 when CNO Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt authorized October 13 as the official birthday of the Navy and as a day to celebrate. As he put it, the purpose of a Navy birthday celebration is "to enhance a greater appreciation of our Navy heritage, and to provide a positive influence toward pride and professionalism in the naval service."

Both active duty and retired Navy personnel partake in Navy Birthday Balls all over the country each year. Many local military bases and institutions throw their own celebrations where formality and heritage are put on display. Guests dress to match the Navy Class A uniforms required of Navy personnel. While it is a celebration, both former members and enlisted members of the Navy are representing the organization and their actions reflect the values and heritage of the Navy. Respect and honor, therefore, on imperative and each person is committed to personifying the core values of the Navy.

Just like Navy Birthday Balls, Navy challenge coins are a longstanding tradition for celebrating the honor, courage, and commitment of the service men and women protecting our shores. Commanding officers often hand out custom challenge coins to soldiers for successfully completing missions, for incredible accomplishment, and to show gratitude for their commitment to the Navy. Excellence in service is required of all Navy personnel and custom challenge coins are a personal and meaningful way of recognizing their dedication.

Navy Birthday Ball challenge coins commemorate the celebrations that take place on October 13th every year. They symbolize the history of the Navy as well as the dedication and the standard of excellence for its members. 

October 13th, 1775

The Continental Congress voted to commission and outfit two sailing vessels with the goal of intercepting and capturing British munitions and supply ships on Friday the 13th of October in 1775. This legislation laid the foundation for what would become the United States Navy as we know it today. In the Revolutionary War, more than fifty armed vessels were sent out to sea and almost 200 British ships were overpowered and taken.

Once the war for independence had concluded Congress could no longer support the Navy with their current structure of government, so they released all the Navy sailors and sold the remaining vessels in the fleet. It was not until the ratification of the Constitution of the United States that the government had the power to set up and maintain a Navy force. In 1794, Congress commissioned a fleet of six frigates that fell under the command of the War Department until the formation of the Department of the Navy in 1798

So started the traditions and histories of the United States Navy. Today, the Navy has more than 300,000 active duty personnel with an additional 97,000 ready reserve members. The fleet consists of over 400 ships and submarines. From the humble beginnings of just six ships, the United States Navy has grown into the greatest power at sea in the entire world. 

Every October, this history is celebrated at Navy Birthday Balls. Navy Birthday Ball challenge coins are meaningful representations of how far the Navy has come and of all the victories it has achieved. The Navy has played a key role in every war the United States has been involved in, including the War for Independence. It is fair to say that without the birth of the Navy, the United States may never have developed into what it is today.  

Navy Birthday Ball challenge coins celebrate the importance, the honor, and the accomplishments of the United States Navy. Get started with your custom order today!


What to Expect at a Navy Birthday Ball

Navy Birthday Balls are celebrated all over the country. Local branches of the Navy League organize birthday balls in local areas and all members of Navy and their families are encouraged to attend a celebration nearest to them. Navy Balls usually consist of a general reception and cocktail hour, followed by dinner and an address from the keynote speaker of the event. Keynote speakers use their time to commemorate the histories, traditions, and aims of the Navy in their speeches. The purpose of the whole celebration is to remember where the Navy has come from as well as the accomplishments achieved through the brave service men and women who have given the Navy such a successful history. 

The night concludes with live entertainment and dancing. It is important for those men and women in attendance to remain courteous and professional while in uniform. Their actions are a reflection of the United States Navy, therefore, Navy personnel present themselves respectfully while still remembering to have fun and celebrate!

Navy Birthday Ball challenge coins are respectful and meaningful gifts to be handed out at the conclusion of the celebrations. Custom coins can be designed to incorporate details of the venue, of the individual units or teams in attendance, or of the colorful history of Navy Birthday Balls from the past. It is important to include personalized details that serve as reminders of the event and of what the event symbolizes. A Navy Birthday Ball challenge coin should be a representation of the courageous history of the United States Navy and should evoke the feelings of honor and dedication in service!

Get started with your order of custom Navy challenge coins today!

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Custom Challenge Coins Made Easy


Challenge coins are personal and unique in design. They highlight specific aspects of a team, event, or organization and impart strong emotional connections. For teams and squads, designs include specific emblems, mottos, and nicknames. Organizations include specific imagery and logos that represent the core values taught to all members as well. Receiving a custom Navy challenge coin is receiving a small piece of your team’s history. It represents your personal dedication to the Navy, your promises to protect our Nation’s shores, and your acceptance within a team of elite sailors that make up the most powerful force on the oceans of the world!

Signature Coins has all the tool you need to make your vision a reality. We have created an easy system for our customers to follow through the ordering process. It starts with receiving free artwork on the coins you need and ends with you holding your custom coins in as little as 14 business days!
(3 step ordering process)

  • First
    • Get started with one of our order forms and give us a little information on what you are looking for in your custom coins. We will provide you with a free quote on the entire order and our artists will have a proof ready for you to view within 24 to 48 hours.
  • Second
    • Let us know what you think of the artwork! If there is anything you would like us to change or add, just let us know. We would be happy to oblige! We want to make sure you have every opportunity you need to make your design come to life the way you pictured it! We offer free unlimited revisions on all artwork so make as many adjustments as you need!
  • Third   
    • Once you are happy with the artwork, the number of coins you need, and the quote, finalize your order. We offer free UPS Air priority shipping on all of our orders, so as soon as production is finished on your coins they will be on their way in no time. Delivery usually takes 14 business days after finalizing an order

Check out our coin gallery to see what we have made for our clients in the past and get an idea of what we have to offer! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to give us a call at 1.800.953.3607. We would be happy to hear from you! Thank you for choosing Signature Coins and we look forward to working with you.



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