A veteran-owned company, Ranger Industries, LLC, has been cranking out patches, coins, pins and more to build esprit de corps, recognize milestone achievements and commemorate anniversaries since the 1980s, and it all started at a Ranger battalion.
“In 1981, I designed a patch for my Ranger unit,” said Gene Frink, the company founder and a veteran of B Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Infantry. “Gave it to guys in the unit, and they loved it ... so I launched what eventually became this company.”
That patch wasn’t regulation, of course, so the Rangers couldn’t wear it on their uniforms, but it became a memento along the lines of challenge coins.
Starting the company seemed a logical next step, Frink said.
The coins were on display in early March at the Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict symposium in Washington, D.C. The SO/LIC symposium was put on by the National Defense Industrial Association.
“I started designing coins for battalion commanders in other units on Fort Lewis and it just kind of grew,” Frink said. “Over the years, I’ve done coin designs for presidents of the United States, and I’ve done many commanding general coins.”
Former President George W. Bush, for instance, commissioned a coin after a commencement speech at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, he said.
“Also, we’ve done coins for Gen. [George] Casey and Gen. [David] Petraeus when they were Multi-National Force commanders,” Frink added.
The company isn’t limited to coins, though.
“You’re literally only limited by your imagination,” said Russ Wilson, sales manager at Ranger Industries, LLC, and a fellow Army veteran.
“That’s something unique that no one else has to offer, and that’s because Ranger Industries pushes the boundaries,” Wilson said. “We don’t just want to make ‘a coin,’ we want to push the envelope and make something unique.”
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq. Follow on Twitter @Kyle_Rempfer