Airspeed LPA Part One – The Tradition of Military Challenge Coins

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As I’ve produced this show over the past five years, I’ve found that, although many in the audience love military aviation, most don’t have a deeper knowledge or appreciation of the customs, traditions, and insider information that go along with it. So I’ve come up with an occasional series that’ll help to fill in those gaps.

“Lieutenant Protection Association” or “LPA” is a largely Air Force term for an organization in most squadrons that helps to advise the newer members (first and second lieutenants) about how to integrate into the fighting unit and, on occasion, provide protection from the captains, majors, etc. in the organization. There are analogues in lots of other military organizations and there’s no particular reason to call this series the LPA other than the fact that this information bears a fleeting resemblance to what you’d learn in an LPA (and the fact that “gouge,” the term for a concentrated package of information, has zero chance of being understood by the target audience for the series).

For the first episode in the series, I invited Jordan Haines to come on and talk about the dos, don’ts, traditions, and heritage of those round metal objects called challenge coins. Jordan runs, the company in Washington State that has been supplying Airspeed’s challenge coins since 2009. I ran into Jordan personally at ICAS in December and it seemed natural to pull him through the USB cable and let him be the one to introduce the Airspeed LPA to this fascinating subject.

And, even if you don’t think it’s fascinating, this is an episode that could save you buying more drinks than you had planned on buying. Surely, a worthwhile investment of your time.

Airspeed received no promotional or other consideration for bringing Jordan on the show. Airspeed pays retail for its products from CoinForce and brought Jordan on for the pure and simple reason that he’s an excellent resource on this subject matter. That’s how we roll here at Airspeed.

More information about CoinForce and challenge coins:

Wikipedia entry:

About Steve Tupper

Stephen Force is the superhero alter ego of mild-mannered tech and aviation lawyer, commercial pilot (glider, with private privileges in ASEL, ASES, AMEL, IA, and DC-3 (SIC) type-rated), and Civil Air Patrol lieutenant colonel Steve Tupper. Steve writes, records, and brings you the inside story about everything that really matters in aviation. He's flown with the USAF Thunderbirds, he's and airshow performer and air boss, and he's one of only five pilots ever to earn a FAST card in the glider category. Follow Steve's ongoing quest to do all that is cool in aviation at or on Twitter as @StephenForce.


  1. I'm immensely proud to be an Airspeed challenge coin holder!

    Scott Gilliland

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