Gifts for the people in our lives are hard to buy. Sure, your friend may like Mexican food, but is a gift card to her often-visited taco stand, a good gift? You could drive in the safe lane and get them something like gift cards to businesses they normally patronize, or you could go with the mother-of-all generic gifts; a Visa or Mastercard gift card that they can use anywhere.
Gift givers might think that they will run into unique challenges when they are gift shopping for veterans or active military personnel. But veterans, active duty and Guard and reserve personnel, aren’t really difficult to shop for with a little thought. Their adventurous, on-the-go lifestyle can offer a wide array of choices for military gifts.
To help you pick great military gifts for that special military person or veteran in your life, we’ve created our top 10 military gifts guide, with items listed in no particular order, to help find a great gift for someone who is celebrating a birthday, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Christmas—you name it.
10 Military Gifts
No matter the military occupational specialty, a knife or multipurpose tool is a must-have item for any service member or veteran. These days mostly everyone in every branch does time in the field training and even though the war on terror has drawn down, troops still continue to deploy.
A knife of a multipurpose tool is one of the great military gifts because of its wide applicability. It can not only be used on duty, but also for fishing, hunting, camping or even as an emergency tool in their vehicle.
2. Battle Mug
The military culture loves its coffee and there is no better way to drink a steaming hot cup of joe than in a Battle Mug. The Battle Mug is machined from a 10.5 pound solid bar of 6061 T6 billet aluminum into a 2 pound sculpted American made work of art.
The Battle Mug’s Picatinny rails allow optional handles, one of which can be fitted with an optional lid, and other tactical gear to be attached. Battle Mug features a M1913 Picatinny 3-rail interface system which allows the operator to mount a standard issue M4 carry handle, tactical light, laser device, holographic sight, or any tactical device imaginable for your operations. Why not? This is one of those sturdy military gifts that a person can use for the rest of their lives and hand down as a family memento.
3. Service Pride Clothing
Whether your gift recipient served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force or Coast Guard, there are tons of wearable military gifts that allow them to show their service pride, everything from hats to hoodies.
The key here is to ensure you are buying the right size. Hats can be easy if you look for one-size-fits-most, adjustable hats. Shirts and hoodies can be a little trickier, but there are ample ways to learn a person’s size without them knowing what you are up to.
4. Shadow Boxes or Display Cases
Most military personnel and veterans are pretty humble and likely have their military medals and badges tucked away in a box somewhere. Shadow boxes and display cases make great military gifts because they allow the service member or veteran to organize and display their military awards and decorations.
Even if they insist that they won’t mount them up on the wall, these military gifts are a great choice because they enable the person to at the very least organize their military awards and mementos into an appropriate storage container that can become a part of a family’s heirlooms.
5. Field Gear
Much like knives, field gear makes great military gifts because of its diverse applicability. Equipment can be used while out in the field during training, but off duty it can also be used while hiking, camping, fishing and hunting.
Items like hydration backpacks, compasses, ponchos, meal kits, binoculars, and tactical backpacks make terrific military gifts for someone who is active and loves the outdoors.
6. Tactical Gear
Along those lines, if you have an avid rifle and gun sports enthusiast you are shopping for, tactical gear can make great military gifts.
They key is to ensure you know what you are shopping for. Makes no sense to buy someone a holster when they don’t own a pistol, so get informed before you go shopping, especially when you are talking about firearm accessories.
Things like holsters and slings can be pretty specific to the model of weapon owned, so maybe it is safer to purchase something like targets, eyewear or even ear protection.
7. Gifts for the Home Office
With many Americans working from home these days a lot of investment has gone into improving home offices. If you have a veteran in your life with a home office, there are a lot of military gifts that can make their home offices have a nice touch of military culture.
Lamps, paperweights, posters, and drinkware can all bring a nice service pride touch into any home office, as can custom plaques.
8. Golf Gifts
There are a lot of military bases and many of these installations have golf courses. Odds are pretty good that the person you are shopping for is either an avid golfer or likes to hack at a ball every few months.
That’s what makes golf gifts one of the best military gifts. Balls stamped with unit insignias, golf attire, and golf towels are all great military gifts.
9. Gamer Gifts
Got a gamer in your life that you’re looking to give a gift to? USAMM has some great controller wraps in just about every camo pattern and design you can think of. These durable covers are easy to put on most controllers and they make great military gifts.
The snarling tooth wrap, reminiscent of an A-10, is a staff favorite.
10. Gift Cards
If all else fails, and you can’t find a gift that you’re 100 percent jazzed up about, consider a gift card that will allow your military loved one to pick whatever military gifts they want.
If they are still on active, Guard or reserve duty, they can possibly purchase themselves a much needed uniform item, like a new ribbon rack, or maybe they can use it to get themselves some service pride stickers for their car or truck.
The most important thing to remember is that you actually remembered to get that special military person in your life a gift and no matter what you purchase, it is sure to make them happy.