Understanding the secrets of enemies who would do our nation harm is the mission of the Central Security Service (CSS) and its dedicated professionals in the National Security Agency (NSA) and the cryptologic elements of the US Army, US Navy, US Marine Corps, US Air Force, and US Coast Guard. To carry or receive this coin as a gift is to signify an essential contribution to the security of every American, at home and in uniform.
CSS gathers, processes, and disseminates intelligence information from foreign electronic signals for American foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes and to support military operations. Established by presidential directive in 1972 to promote full partnership between the NSA and the cryptologic elements of the US Armed Forces, the CSS unifies US Department of Defense intelligence-gathering efforts.
The NSA/CSS core missions are to protect U.S. national security systems and to produce foreign signals intelligence information.
The obverse of this minted-in-America challenge coin features the emblem of the CSS, with the NSA symbol at the center, a five-pointed gold mullet emblematic of the common mission of the member military organizations, and the emblems themselves of the United States Marine Corps; Army Intelligence and Security Command; Air Intelligence Agency; the Naval Security Group; and the US Coast Guard.
The reverse features the emblem of the National Security Agency, whose employees are responsible for decrypting foreign intelligence, generating encryption keys to safeguard American information, and conducting data processing for the US government, and whose director is also director of CSS.
In bronze with an antique finish and highlighted with brilliant enamels, this coin has been splash-minted for exceptional detail. This coin recognizes every guardian of the United States who has worked in CSS and protected our nation from threats through cryptologic savvy.
Each coin measures 1.75 inches (44mm) in diameter.