Military veterans likely are familiar with a unique token of gratitude that is making its way into the palms of MPC and Speedway employees: the challenge coin.
Historians suggest that the coins may have been used by the Roman Empire to reward soldiers and recognize them for their achievements. These unique tokens, which are not currency, have long been used by members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard to show appreciation or professional connection. As U.S. servicemen and women transitioned back to civilian life, the concept of the challenge coin has crossed over into the private sector.
Traditionally, challenge coins are circular, however, they also can be found in more unusual shapes like shields, arrowheads and dog tags. The tokens commonly are made of pewter, copper or nickel, and designs can vary widely.
MPC and Speedway are using custom challenge coins to honor veterans, award safe working practices and acknowledge jobs well done.
Many Speedway employees served in a branch of the military; district and regional managers personally present employees with coins to thank them for their service.
Known military veterans employed at the Catlettsburg refinery were presented with challenge coins during a breakfast on Veterans Day. In Detroit, tokens were presented to employees who shared stories of meeting personal safety commitments.
The Garyville refinery presented challenge coins to veterans of the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home, to self-identified veteran employees on Veterans Day, and to employees who participated in a safety challenge. The refinery also gives challenge coins to veterans at an annual company-sponsored Combat Marine golf tournament.
The Refining organization uses the tokens to recognize employees who are nominated through the corporation’s Bring Your A-Game initiative. At the corporate level, the Emergency Preparedness Group gives one coin to Corporate Emergency Response Team (CERT) drill participants and an additional coin to a select number of people who deserve extra recognition during those drills. If CERT is deployed for an actual incident, members of that team also receive a token of appreciation. In Terminal, Transport & Rail, first responders who participate in MPC training and perform above and beyond expectations are presented with challenge coins.
The awarding of a challenge coin can be reciprocal. Garyville employees regularly send care packages to troops stationed overseas. The daughter of a former contractor at the refinery received one of the packages and sent the refinery a coin to show her appreciation.
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