The following article is taken from the 1 September 2005 issue of The Iron Soldier ("Official Newsletter of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team"; 2BCT served in Anbar province). A backup copy of the full issue may be found here in .pdf format. The original is at this link.


By Spec. Samantha Kerschner

Well first you are probably wondering “What’s the deal with the POGs?” They were created in Fort Worth, Texas and there is a very good reason for these POGs to be handed out. Coins are heavy and therefore cost a lot to ship over to Iraq and Afghanistan. It would be a crazy price to pay for coins to be sent to Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So AFFES decided to try and save some money by making these POGs. Obviously the paper coins are going to be much cheaper.

Are you young enough to remember POGs? That game where you used a big metal coin to slam into a stack of cutout cardboard with pictures printed on them. Well for some reason AAFES (Army and Air Force Exchange Service), is giving us POGs but if you’ve noticed, we haven’t gotten our slammers.

Don’t forget these POGs are like real money, don’t throw them away. I’m constantly seeing people turn down their POGs, or just leaving them behind. Save them for something when you get home. You can turn them in when you back to the states, at any AAFES. Just don’t try to turn in large quantities. AAFES isn’t a bank. Staff Sergeant Troy Korton of Greenville, Utah serving with the Triple Deuce (2-222 Field Artillery Battalion). Staff Sgt. Korton is a cannon crewman and also drives trucks. He just treats them like regular money. If you feel like throwing them away, just hand them over to him. POGs aren’t accepted at the post office, because they aren’t part of AAFES.

Master Sergeant Gary Simpson, of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, is the Staff Noncommissioned Officer in Charge
and doesn’t prefer one over the other, “It’s all money”. They don’t allow you to choose between POGS or coins, as your
change. As far as Master Sergeant Simpson knows there have been no counterfeit problems. On the other hand, Lance
Corporal Melissa Clark a New York resident prefers the pogs, because they’re a lot easier to count.

The POGs were not meant to become a collectible but they are being collected by service members and their families. E-bay has a nice collection available for people outside the military but they will pay a bit more than the face value. Sgt. 1st Class Smith out of Richfield, Utah serving with the Triple Deuce has a collection of over 100 different POGs. He’ll collect any unwanted POGs as well. He’s also willing to do some trading.

There are three series of POGs currently in circulation. They started out in 2001. The first series just has the value, on the front and back. 2002 started out the second series. This was the first time pictures were used on the face of the POGs. Making them more appealing. Then finally in 2003 they started putting dates on them. There are thirteen different
designs, for each value. You can go to for the complete collection.

Whatever you choose to do with your POGs, don’t throw them out. Not too many of us would go around throwing away dollar bills. Save them for a trip when you get home, or something. If anyone knows a way to get 2nd Brigade Combat Team’s pictures on them let us know.


Want your own pogs? Join the military!



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