Usually issued by the military, a challenge coin is a medallion featuring organizational symbols that members of the military carry and may choose to bestow to others. Historically they were used to prove an individual’s membership to a military unit/organization or to boost morale. Today, commanders often give them to recognize achievement.
The practice now extends beyond the military. The NFL, police, firefighters and even NASCAR issue challenge coins to their members.
Congress approved the issuance of challenge coins for Medal of Honor recipients in 2009. Gary Roche received quite a few from some of our nation’s most venerated heroes during the 2013 Medal of Honor convention at Gettysburg.