Raising Morale A Co 2-5 Cav Lean Apache

Beyond Challenge Coins: Ways to Raise Morale Within Your Ranks

Strengthening Your Team’s Identity and Unity

A Co, 2-5 Cavalry Saluting American Flag

There are many reasons people choose to create challenge coins, but regardless of why they are created, one thing stays constant: they endow those lucky enough to receive it with a great sense of pride. That is why they are such a wonderful investment for companies and team leaders. This object, simple in nature, has the ability to strengthen teams by imbuing them with a sense of identity and unity. On an individual level it also serves as a reminder of past accomplishments and achievements.

Raise Morale with Custom Belt Buckles & Patches

Though we are best known for our challenge coins, we also manufacture belt buckles and patches. Like challenge coins, they too can be used to raise team morale. An excellent example of this can be seen in a recent project done for Sergeant First Class (SFC) William Pankake of Alpha Company, 2-5 Cavalry stationed out of Fort Hood, Texas.

SFC Pankake aboard a Bradley Tank

A Co, 2-5 Cavalry 1ABCT, 1CD

A U.S. Forces Bradley Tank in Romania

Also known as Lean Apache, this small Bradley mechanized platoon is part of a cavalry unit that was created back in 1855. Prior to the Civil War, it fought under the command of Robert E. Lee and has fought in a total of 13 Indian campaigns, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and the Iraq War. Currently they support our European Allies in Romania along the Black Sea. The name Lean Apache also has a bit of interesting history behind it. Back in Vietnam there were two Alpha Companies in the battalion, A Co 1-7 and A Co 2-5. To differentiate themselves, they adopted the nickname “Lean” after their commander who was tall and skinny.

SFC William Pankake with his platoon during field training exercises
SFC William Pankake with his platoon during field training exercises

Their Source of Inspiration: Ownership & Pride

In 2020, prior to their deployment to Romania, SFC William Pankake was put in command as platoon sergeant. It has since been his goal to strengthen the platoon in every way possible, and when asked why he decided to have his belt buckles made he replied with this:

“There are a few foundation principles every human needs to strive. The main two are a sense of ownership and pride. Belt buckles are a way to create that in an organization. Everyone wants to be known. When you attach that mentality to an abstract object, it further serves to amplify those principles.”

Custom 3D Belt Buckle to raise morale

Their Belt Buckle Design

The Belt Buckle design was created with an antique silver finish. The reason that particular finish was chosen was because of the buckle’s 3D logo. The darker antique recessed areas help to give better definition to the 3D relief. The red and white banners feature the red/white colors of the cavalry banner and list the company name as well as the platoon’s nickname the “Hell Raisers”.

Custom PVC Patch to raise morale

Their PVC Patch Design

Since the belt buckles can’t be worn in combat and training exercises, SFC William Pankake got PVC patches as they can be sewn onto the sleeves of his platoon members’ uniforms. PVC patches are a fantastic option as they are both durable and appealing. Because they are made of a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material, they have a rubbery feel and can be made to have a low-profile 3D effect. The company logo on their patch has a 3D relief similar to that on their belt buckle design. One really cool feature on this particular design is the white PVC actually glows in the dark!

Bradley Tanks Mobilizing in a Romanian Field

Mission Accomplished!

When asked how his platoon members liked the custom belt buckles and patches SFC William Pankake replied, “The guys love them! I have a feeling you will have orders coming from the other companies soon, as they were all extremely impressed with them.”. We love getting this kind of feedback from our customers as it is always our goal to make the very best custom products. We take pride in our work and in knowing that those who receive our products take pride in them as well.

Soldiers from Lean Apache

Tell Us About Your Experience…

We always love getting feedback from our customers as we can use it to gauge whether we’re meeting expectations, and what we can do to improve and better meet the needs of our customers. We asked SFC William Pankake if he had ever made custom products in the past and how we compared to other past experiences. This was his reply:

“I have created company coins from a different source in the past, but by far this was the easiest and best interaction I have had to date. Lone Star Challenge Coins was extremely quick, easy to use, and provided great art designs for what little I supplied. Also, the company is very customer service orientated. I’m sticking with them for all my future needs.”

In Conclusion

Improving morale is important for any team leader. Whether you’re a platoon sergeant or a corporate team lead, you can use custom products to improve morale by creating a sense of pride and unity. All people take pride in their team and the work they do together, so celebrate it with a custom challenge coin, belt buckle or patch. It will serve as a constant reminder to those on your team of past accomplishments and achievements, as well as the appreciation you have for their hard work and dedication.

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