Webpage broken? Javascript may be disabled... Click Here ›


A USMC Tradition.

Marine Corps Birthday Ball Challenge Coins

Celebrate the Occasion with a set of Custom Challenge Coins


On November 10th, 1775, Capt. Samuel Nicholas set up the first recruiting station at Tun Tavern on Water Street in Philadelphia. Now considered the birthplace of the Marine Corps, Tun Tavern is where the first Marines signed into the service to aid in the naval efforts of Revolutionary War in America. 

Capt. Samuel Nicholas lead the first ever Marine landing on hostile shores on New Province Island in the Bahamas in March of 1776. Marines took the island successfully from British forces, setting the standard of success that is still expected from Marines today. Capt. Samuel Nicholas is the first commissioned officer in the history of the Marines and is considered the first Marine Commandant. He was the driving force behind the birth of the Marine Corps and set the expectation of victory that permeates through every Marine that has joined the Corps since.

Today, every Marine across the entire world celebrates the birth of the Marine Corps on the 10th of November. Marine Corps Birthday Balls have become a very traditional and formal celebration, and there are hundreds of them around the world every year. No matter if a Marine is active duty or retired, deployed or at home, in hostile territory or attending a formal birthday ball, every single man and woman in the Corps takes time to honor the birth of the most powerful and successful military force in the world.

Marine Corps Birthday Ball challenge coins are a celebration of the history and culture of the service. Just as the Marine Corps Birthday Ball has become a central tradition within the Corps, so have challenge coins. Custom Marine Corps challenge coins are meant to embody the unyielding spirit and bravery that defines every Marine. They are tangible symbols of the Marine Corps’ values and represent the long history of success and the steadfast determination to win every battle that will come to them. Challenge coins are handed out to members of teams, squads, and battalions to recognize excellence in service, dedication to the Corps, and incredible achievement.

Birthday Ball Tradition

The 13th Commandant of the United States Marines, General John A. Lejeune, delivered the first official birthday message to the Marine Corps in 1921. His message summarizes the history, tradition, and mission of the Marine Corps and it is still read to Marines today on November 10th every year. In his message, General Lejeune closes by saying, 

“So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.”

This message has played a central role in every Marine Corps Birthday Ball since. The ideals of tradition and cultivating a culture of victory, honor, and dedication by passing the torch from each generation to the next is what makes the Corps so powerful. Commandant Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr. is believed to have been the first to formalize the cake-cutting tradition at Marine Corps Birthday Balls in 1952 which has further enriched that same tradition.

Today, the first piece of cake is given to the oldest Marine in attendance who subsequently hands that first piece to the youngest Marine present. This symbolizes the passing of knowledge, tradition, and responsibility to the next generation of Marines. 

Get started with your order of custom challenge coins today! Our challenge coins are used to celebrate the commitment and courage of the Marines that defend our country. Handing out custom Marine Corps Birthday Ball challenge coins at the end of the ceremony is a personal means of commemorating the celebration. Our designers can include depictions of the venue where your group has been celebrating, Marine Corps emblems, specific unit emblems and mottos, and dates and designations. We take special care to ensure that all of our product do justice in honoring the service men and women of our Nation.


Challenge Coin Examples


Where Do Birthday Balls Take Place?

Marine Corps Birthday Balls generally take place the weekend before the actual birthday of the Marine Corps (Nov. 10th), however, within the Corps, there is always a formal ceremony that takes place on the actual day. 

Venues for Marine Corps Birthday Balls are varied. Many hotels, resorts, and convention centers play host to the celebrations every year all over the country. But Birthday Balls are not the only place where Marines celebrate. It does not matter if a Marine is retired, deployed overseas, on base, or at a birthday ball; every single member of the Corps, past and present, will celebrate on their own if they have too. Even Marines in hostile territory will take a moment to wish their fellows a happy birthday on November 10th.  

While Birthday Balls are traditional and formal, it is still a time where Marines want to have fun and celebrate. It is a time to reflect on everything that makes the Marine Corps so important. It is a time to celebrate a Marine’s personal accomplishment, commitment, and inclusion within the most incredible fighting force in our Nation. Wherever a ball takes place, you can be sure to see every Marine present in their best Class A uniforms to show respect and honor to the Corps. While it is a celebration, Marines take special care to act with formality and poise as they are still representing the Corps, and their actions reflect on the Corps. Therefore, respectfulness and consideration are prevalent through the ceremony.

When it comes to challenge coins, custom designs and artwork incorporate cues from the location or venue to add a personal touch. Marine Corps Birthday Ball challenge coins are sure to add to the traditional atmosphere of the celebration by acting as physical symbols of the values every Marine upholds; honor, courage, and commitment. Each Marine is sure to carry their custom coin with pride and display it with honor!

Call and Speak to a Specialist Today

Challenge Coins that Embody the Spirit of the Corps


Marines are celebrating their second birthday on the 10th of November every year. When you become a Marine you are becoming the embodiment of honor, courage, and commitment that is the Marine Corps. A Marine Corps Birthday Ball is not just celebrating the birth of the Marines, it is celebrating every Marine that is or has ever been in service. It is celebrating their bravery, their commitment, and their sacrifices. Commemorating the occasion with custom Marine Corps Birthday Ball challenge coins is a means of giving each Marine a symbol of their accomplishments, of their history, and of their aims for excellence in every endeavor.

Signature Coins has had the pleasure of working with many branches of the United States Military over the years. Our experience has given us a further understanding of the service men and women of our country. Our products are a reflection of the respect we have for the service and the dedication we have to produce the highest-quality challenge coins on the market that do justice in honoring the sacrifice and courage it takes to defend our Nation.

We offer a wide range of customization to ensure that you can make your vision a reality. Whatever you are looking for, our team of experienced designers can create a compelling and original piece of art that will suit your needs. 

Our services include:

  • Free quote and artwork on every order
  • Free unlimited revisions on designs
  • Free UPS Air priority shipping
  • 14 business day delivery on completed orders
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to give us a call! One of our friendly specialists would be happy to help! Thank you for choosing Signature Coins and we are excited to be working with you!



Start Your Quote &
Receive Free Artwork in 24 hours