What A Deal, I Have For You!

The SgtMacsBar Challenge Coin is a must have at any Combat Control Gathering.   The front of the coin represents SgtMacsBar and CCT, while the back honors HumminJill and her love for HummingBirds.  However, notice the Lightning Bolt representing the Combat Control motto, "First There"

I've heard some explain that HumminJill sits at the end of the bar doing whatever, but I can tell you this is only a CCT Exaggeration.  HumminJill sits in the middle of the bar where she's always the center of attraction!   HooYaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

The significance of the 48*49*50 is well known within Combat Control and I almost dare not repeat it.  It's a chant, that gains momentum, to end in a thunderous roar.  This chant is mentioned on SgtMacsBar Main Page by the gentleman wearing the steel pot.  The homage is usually used to bring anything of an embarrassing nature to the fore front, for all to enjoy!

It starts when someone does something noteworthy and someone yells 48, to bring attention to this noteworthyness.  It is then continued with a resounding 49, and by this time, everyone has picked up on the chant and a thunderous 50 is heard.  Now, at the top of everyone's voice, "Some Shit" is hollered as a thunderous applause usually follows.

It's usually an honor to be acknowledged with the 48*49*50 Chant! 

Bronze Coin - $15.00 Silver Coin - $17.00 Gold Coin - $20.00

Coins can be purchased for $15.00 each, shipping and handling included.  Payment will be by check or Money Order made to Mike McReynolds and mailed to 2500 Hillshire Dr., Columbia, MO. 65203.   Coins will be mailed promptly after receiving payment or just put it on your credit card and you'll be pulling "Coin Checks" in just days.................

Contact me at SgtMacsBar@aol.com with any questions................. Coin Check 

Sometimes you just get lucky.......  I was going through some of my old CCA Newsletters from April of 1996 and came across this article written by Dave Pearson.  Bob Phillips was CCA President and Newsletter Editor at the time.  Davey sure has a way with words, enjoy..................

"Strange Traditions -- 48, 49, 50 s-o-o-o-m-e. . .S#!+"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     by Dave Pearson

In our continuing effort to educate the current CCT/Special Tactics Warrior on the mysteries of past aberrant behavior, it has come to light that a once common-place, albeit strange tradition has become lost from the contemporary language of today's operators. I refer to the well worn but little understood practice described herein. Much as in the days of knighthood, when fellow warriors would pass in their travels and salute and give greeting, CCT had a similar method of expressing mutual respect and admiration. When gathered together in groups of more than five, whether the occasion be a formal military assemblage such as a briefing, or a social gathering like a party, one member of the group would loudly proclaim "48". Upon hearing this stirring salute, several other members of the group would then quickly chime in with "49". As this inspiring cry gained new voice, more would join in with "50", at which time the multitude would the boldly shout in unison "Some……. Shit!". Immediately after which, wild laughter would ensue, and situation permitting, copious consumption of alcoholic beverages and revelry would prevail. The whole experience would prove very satisfying, further cementing the already strong bonds of camaraderie. The origins of this tradition are lost in the annals of history, but we believe that it was something akin to the 1940s ditty of "23 skidoo".

At this juncture, it should be noted that once the second number was repeated, the effect progressed geometrically, gaining momentum much like that of a small snowball rolling down a hill, ultimately becoming an avalanche. As one might expect, this could pose some interesting and potentially delicate situations in military protocol. An example of one such incident occurred during the awards assembly of the 1973 Tactical Airlift Competition at Pope AFB. This was the first ever Competition wherein OCT participated in Team to Team Competition, rather than in support of their parent Airlift Wing. The Competition proved to be a rousing success with each of the participating Teams turning in excellent performances. In those days, an entire 12-man element with appropriate mix in grades had to compete. As it turned out, the surprise overall winner was the dark horse candidate, the infamous Langley Motorcycle Gang, (much to the chagrin of the Group Weenies (Editor's Note: a.k.a. 1st Aerial Port Group, Langley AFB, VA), who had hoped that their aberrant behavior and esprit de corps would be tempered by defeat). Upon hearing the announcement by the TAC Commander, one all too exuberant SSgt (see note) let loose the opening salvo of this proud battle cry. The chorus was immediately picked up by a third of the assembled CCTers, and gained full participation by the final number. The concluding crescendo rang through those hallowed halls with all of the bravado of our National Anthem!

The silence that followed was almost as poignant as the red faces of the Command Staff and the key note speakers. Truly a glorious moment!! The ensuing investigation proved futile as no one could trace the original provocateur, and when questioned, each NCO resorted to well rehearsed survival resistance procedures, requesting medical aid and complaining of disorientation from (d)ejection and subsequent capture.

It is not entirely clear when this noble practice began to fade from common use, however, its proud refrain may still be heard in the back rooms of seedy motels during reunions, or at any of Clyde and Kay's backyard gathering of Eagles in Florida, and whenever distinguished retired warriors gather at funerals to salute their fallen comrades. Perhaps it does not belong in the politically correct vernacular of today's articulate, clean-cut Operator, but somehow, I think a little of the color is gone, or maybe the spark is not as bright without this kind of dubious act. 'Til the next time, this is the way it really happened…………….. Ain't No Bullshit!

Note: Said SSgt is believed to be retired in the vicinity of FWB, FL. and selling autos under the initials of T.H.B. the Third. Yes, Tom, another vicious rumor based entirely upon facts... I was there.

Editor's Note: I will verify the accuracy of the above tale, as I too was there!!! I was first introduced to this glorious tradition in South Vietnam, as the various Tailpipes tied up the HF Net saluting their fellow warriors deployed to numerous locations throughout South Vietnam over the net!

Coin Check - Official Rules
A 'Coin Check' consists of a Challenge and a Response


A. The challenge is initiated by drawing your coin, holding it in the air by whatever means possible and state, scream, shout or otherwise verbally acknowledge that you are initiating a coin check. Another, but less vocal method is too firmly place it on the bar, table, or floor (this should produce an audible noise which can be easily heard by those being challenged, but try not to leave a permanent imprint). If you accidentally drop your coin and it makes an audible sound upon impact, then you have just "accidentally" initiated a coin check. (This is called paying the price for improper care of your coin.)

B. The response consists of all those persons being challenged drawing their coin in a like manner (other organizational or commemorative coins are invalid). You must produce the coin provided by your company or organization.

C. If you are challenged and are unable to properly respond you must buy a round of drinks for the challenger and the group being challenged.

D. If everyone being challenged responds in the correct manner, the challenger must buy a round of drinks for all those people they challenged.

E. Failure to buy a round is a despicable crime and will require the guilty party to suffer a penalty... as determined by your company, organization, or military unit.


A. Coin checks are permitted, ANY TIME, ANY PLACE'.


A. There are no exceptions to the rules. They apply to those clothed or unclothed. At the time of the challenge you are permitted one step and an arms reach to locate your coin. If you still cannot reach it -- SORRY ABOUT THAT!


A. Coins attached on belt buckles are considered "belt buckles".

B. Coins on key chains are considered "key chains."

C. Coins placed in a "holder/clasp" and worn around the neck like a necklace are valid and are considered a coin.


A. Never, ever be caught without your Coin.

History Of The Challenge Coin

World War I

During World War I, American volunteers from all parts of the country filled the newly formed flying squadrons. Some were wealthy scions attending colleges such as Yale and Harvard who quit in mid-term to join the war. In one squadron a wealthy lieutenant ordered medallions struck in solid bronze carrying the squadron emblem for every member of his squadron. He himself carried his medallion in small leather pouch around his neck.

Shortly after acquiring the medallions, the pilot's aircraft was severely damaged by ground fire. He was force to land behind enemy lines and was immediately captured by a German patrol. In order to discourage his escape, the Germans took all of his personal identification except for the small leather pouch around his neck. In the meantime, he was taken to a small French town near the front. Taking advantage of a bombardment that night, he escaped. However, he was without personal identification.

He succeeded in avoiding German patrols and reached the front lines. With great difficulty, he crossed no-man's land. Eventually, he stumbled onto a French outpost. Unfortunately, the French in this sector had been plagued by saboteurs. They sometimes masqueraded as civilians and wore civilian clothes. Not recognizing the young pilot's American accent, the French thought him a saboteur and made ready to execute him. Just in time, he remembered his leather pouch containing the medallion. He showed the medallion to his would-be executioners. His French captors recognized the squadron insignia on the medallion and delayed long enough for him to confirm his identity. Instead of shooting him, they gave him a bottle of wine.

Back at his squadron, it became a tradition to ensure that all members carried their medallion or coin at all times. This was accomplished through a challenge in the following manner: a challenger would ask to see the coin. If the challenged could not produce his coin, he was required to buy a drink of choice for the member who challenged him. If the challenged member produced his coin, the challenging member was required to pay for the drink. This tradition continued throughout the war and for many years after while surviving members of the squadron were still alive.


Leisure time in Vietnam was a commodity, but when it came, it was utilized to the max; catching up on sleep; writing letters home; letting off steam at the hooch bar. The latter proved to the most popular, but eventually it too could become boring and mundane. To heighten excitement and foster unit esprit de corps, Bullet Clubs were formed. These were comprised of small, elite, front-line fighters who each carried a personalized bullet from the weapons they carried in combat. The ultimate use of the bullet, usually carried in the hip pocket, was to deny the enemy personal capture.

When an individual entered the Hooch Bar, he would be challenged by fellow team members to produce his bullet. If he did, the challenger would pay for his bar tab for the rest of the evening. If he failed to produce his bullet, he bought drinks for everyone for the remainder of the night. Eventually, personalized bullets took on disbelieving proportions. Some "teamies" took to carrying 20-, 40-, or 105mm cannon shells. Clearly, these were not personalized coup de grace munitions but rather manifestations of perceived individual prowess in combat or perhaps on R&R.

At the height of the Bullet Club's heyday, it was not an uncommon sight to see strewn across a bar room table a very respectable representation of the full range of bullets, rockets, cannon and artillery shells used in Southeast Asia. In order to gain control of the situation -- and to avoid accidental discharge of the large, fully functional munitions -- bullets were traded for coins, which reflected the unit's symbol and pride. Each coin was personalized by a controlled number and/or the individual's name. The rules remained the same, although today they are greatly expanded. Loss of one's coin was and remains tantamount to eternal disgrace and banishment. To forget to carry one's coin in anticipation of challenge results in a minor death.

Emerging from those small, elite groups using bullets are today's coin challengers. Known to strike anywhere at anytime, they insidiously stalk the challenge, waiting for the just the right moment to attack. An innocent bystander may never hear the challenge -- only the challenge's despairing cry, "...Ah! I forgot mine!”

Operation Desert Storm

Within days of his liberation from a prisoner of war camp, Sgt. Troy Dunlap received two Iraqi coins from an employee of the hotel where he and the other U.S. POWs were being housed by the Red Cross following their release. "One for you and one for me," he told Maj. Rhonda Cornum who also had been taken prisoner when their UH-60 helicopter was shot down by members of Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard during Operation Desert Storm. "We joked that we could use them like military coins. ... We planned how we would use the Iraqi money to 'coin' our friends when we got back to Fort Rucker," Cornum wrote in her book, "She Went to War."

"Coining" is a relatively new U.S. military tradition, but has roots in the Roman Empire, where coins were presented to reward achievements. In the U.S. military, the tradition goes back to the early 1960s. A member of the 11th Special Forces Group took old coins, had them over-stamped with a different emblem, then presented them to unit members, according to Roxanne Merritt, curator of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum at Fort Bragg, N.C.

A former commander of the 10th SFG picked up on the idea, becoming the first to mint a unit coin for a U.S. military unit. The 10th Group remained the only Army unit with its own coin until the mid-1980s, Merritt said, when "an explosion took place and everybody started minting coins." Originally, the coins, which bear the unit crest on the front and whatever design the unit wants on the back, were given out by commanders and sergeants major to recognize outstanding acts performed by soldiers in the course of duty.

"They're a real morale booster," said Duvall, "and tell the soldier, 'you're a member of our unit' which builds unit cohesion. The soldiers carry their credit card, driver's license and unit coin - their wallets are permanently deformed." Don Phillips, a former commander of the 20th SFG, designed a coin for his unit and presented it to his soldiers when he retired. "Another unit asked me to make a coin for them, and then another, so I went into business making them," said Phillips. To date, Phillips has made coins for "between 600 and 700 units." The tradition has spread to the other services and is even being adopted by paramilitary units like the U.S. Marshall's SWAT team, according to Phillips.

The proliferation of coins and their availability to the general public in post gift shops has caused Dr. Joseph Fisher, Special Operations Command historian, to view them as "not as special as they used to be; there are so many of them out there now." But that doesn't stop Fisher from carrying his with him at all times.

Making the coins available for purchase has added yet another dimension to the tradition - collecting. SMA Richard A. Kidd has approximately 300 of the coins on display in his office "museum." He has even issued an open invitation to soldiers visiting the Washington, D.C., area to stop by his office "even when I'm not here" to see his collection of unit memorabilia. According to Phillips, World War II soldiers were given a coin when they mustered out of the service.

But it wasn't until the Vietnam era that a "challenge-response" was added to the tradition of giving unit members a coin. The initial challenge was to prove membership in a particular unit by producing the unit coin.

That was followed by the addition of the requirement to "buy a round" if a soldier didn't have the coin. "Buying a round isn't the only challenge these days," said Phillips. "Drinking is frowned on, so the challenge can be anything. If you don't have your coin, you get the detail." Kidd still uses the original premise in distributing coins and carries some with him whenever he travels. "It's a way to immediately recognize "above and beyond the call of duty" actions on the part of a soldier when you're in the field," said Kidd.