Obverse Design

The challenge coin has a small 82nd Airborne insignia in the center. This consists of a large square with a circle inside. Inside the circle are the letters "AA". The inner legs of the "A"'s are vertical and the outside legs are curved. The background of the circle is colored purple. The inside of the square is colored red. Above the square is a arc banner which says "AIRBORNE". The background inside the banner is colored purple. The "AA" refers to the nickname "All American Division" which was adopted by the organization in France during World War I. The insignia is on top of a rifle which is enclosed in a box, with a wreath behind the box. This is the Combat Infantryman badge. The background inside the box is colored light blue.

The legend along the upper edge of the medal says "82D AIRBORNE DIVISION". Along the lower edge of the medal it says in quotes "AMERICAS GUARD OF HONOR". The coin has a smooth plain raised edge, and a plain and smooth background. The background is colored a very dark purple.

Reverse Design

The central design consists of three badges staggered with one in front of the other. The highest badge is a glider with featured wings. This is the U.S. Army Glider badge. In front of it and a little lower is a helicopter with feathered wings. This is the Air Assault badge. The lowest and front-most badge is parachute with feathered wings on it. This is the badge of a Parachutist. Below the badges is a raised smooth rectangle. This is where the name of the receipient can be engraved.

Along the upper edge of the medal it says "WW-II VIETNAM". Along the lower edge of the medal it says "PANAMA GRENADA PERSIAN GULF". The coin has a smooth plain raised edge, and a plain and smooth background. The background has been colored red.

Metal Bronze finish, metal unknown, with color added. Weight Unknown. Size and Shape Round, 41 mm in diameter.
Dates Issued Unknown, after the Persian Gulf War (1991).
Issuer 82nd Airborne.
Mintage Unknown.
Rarity Common. Manufacturer Unknown. Source Plowman Collection.
Varieties There are several different challenge coins for the 82nd Airborne. With this same basic design, there is a plain (not colored) variety, a fully colored variety and a variety with only the insignia colored. The fully colored variety has a circle around the "AA" which is not on the plain variety.
Population Count As of January 27, 2006, this variety is still readily available on eBay.
Historical Note

The 82nd Division was formed in 1917 during World War I. At the time of Operation Just Cause the 82nd Airborne Division was based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In the early morning hours of December 20th, 1989, they performed a combat jump on the Tocumen-Torrijos Airport complex outside of Panama City. This was the first combat jump for the 82nd Airborne since World War II. During Operation Just Cause four 82nd soldiers were killed in action, and many others were injured.