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A Sherlockian Challenge Coin from Afghanistan

A Sherlockian Challenge Coin from Afghanistan

“… You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

– A Study in Scarlet (STUD)


We are pleased to report that we now have a FOURTH challenge coin issued by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory. You can read about the other three challenge coins HERE.

The United States Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory, or USACIL, traces its history back to 1943, in the midst of World War II in Europe. The United States Army Criminal Investigation Command, or CID, was created in 1971 and oversees the operations of the Criminal Investigation Laboratory.

In addition to the original lab in Europe, additional laboratories were established in the Philippines (later moved to Tokyo) and Fort Sam Houston in Texas. A laboratory was also established in Long Binh, during the Vietnam War. The Fort Sam Houston operation was moved to Fort Gordon, Georgia in 1948 and then to nearby Fort Gillem, Georgia in 1983 where it has remained since. During the 1990s, the labs in Europe and Tokyo were closed, and all operations were consolidated in Fort Gillem. A full history of the USACIL can be found HERE.

During World War II, Disney studio animators drew up more than 1,200 humorous insignia for various units of the U.S. military. Many of these designs featured Disney characters quite prominently.

OBVERSE: U.S. ARMY CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION / LATENT PRINTS · DOCUMENTS · DNA · FIREARMS & TOOL MARKS · CHEMICAL · TRACE · DIGITAL · / (image of Mickey Mouse with deerstalker and magnifying glass, superimposed a large footprint, within a circle of footprints) / AFGHANISTAN / LABORATORY

REVERSE: JOINT EXPEDITIONARY FORENSIC FACILITIES / MAJ. BROWN / (flags of the United States and Afghanistan superimposed over an outline of Afghanistan, two helicopters in flight superimposed over a fingerprint image) / (chemical beaker) DIRECTOR (symbol)

38mm, 30 pointed star-shaped, enamel

Your editor has seen one example of this challenge coin on a online auction service’s website and that specimen sold for over $200.

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