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5 Thoughtful Gifts for Military Dads This Father's Day

gifts for military dads

Every year children head to retailers to try to find the ideal gift to give their dads on Father’s Day. For some, it is a struggle because they care so much about their dads that they want to find something perfect. For others, it comes easier because their dads might be easy to shop for; a bottle of bourbon and some cigars, and he’s happy.

This year, the venerated veterans of USAMM have done it again. We put our heads together and came up with a list of great gifts for military dads. Why should you listen to us? Well, we had dads and some of us are dads. Not to mention, as veterans, we all served, so we are three for three.

Our gifts for military dads list is presented in no particular order and we hope it makes it easier to shop for pappy, poppa, daddy, dad, dada, pop, the old man, viejo; or the guy affectionately known as father.

1. 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 gifts for military dads because they allow the service member or veteran to organize and display their military awards and decorations.

Even if your dad insists that he won’t mount the shadow boxes on the wall, these military gifts are a great choice because they enable the recipient to organize their military awards and mementos into an appropriate storage container that can become a part of a family’s heirlooms. Military service is something to be proud of and shadow boxes or display cases are really nice gifts for military dads.

Do they already have a shadow box or a display case? Then read on.

gifts for military dads

2. Service Pride Clothing
Whether your gift recipient served in the ArmyNavyAir ForceMarine CorpsSpace Force or Coast Guard, there are tons of wearable military gifts that make awesome gifts for military dads and allow them to show their service pride. USAMM happens to have everything from hats to hoodies to golf shirts.

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. Find something that they are wearing and check the tag. For example, maybe they have a favorite spring time hoodie that they keep near the front door. Sneak over, check the tag and get the size.

USAMM recently released, new for 2023, a truckload of new t-shirt designs that are guaranteed to appeal to any dad. They make hip gifts for military dads.

3. Gift Cards
USAMM veterans hate to admit it given the stigma gift cards have, but we love gift cards. What makes these super gifts for military dads is that a dad can turn around and buy whatever they want. We all agreed, we would rather get something we like, than receive something we would prefer to return (like socks).

If you are on the prowl for some gifts for military dads, and all else has failed, 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.

gifts for military dads

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.

4. Gifts for the Home Office
With millions of 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 gifts for military dads that can make their home offices have a nice touch of military culture. And this isn’t just for veterans. Many active, reserve and National Guard personnel have home offices to keep up with their unit workload, so they would certainly enjoy these gifts for military dads as well.

Lamps, paperweights, posters, and drinkware can all bring a nice service pride touch into any home office, as can custom plaques.

5. 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. These are totally awesome gifts for military dads and a USAMM veteran favorite.

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 gifts for military dads that can be used for the rest of their lives and handed down as a family memento.

gifts for military dads

The best part about the Battle Mug is that it is something that can be used for cold and hot beverages alike, so they’re great at the barbeque and even better around the campfire. And when your dad’s military buddies see it, they will definitely want one and he will be the envy of his military pals. Oh yeah, and they are customizable. 

The most important thing 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. And if none of this sounds good to you, remember, the gift of time is the greatest thing we can give each other, so don’t sweat it. We're sure your military dad would love it.

10 Holiday Gifts for Military Dads They’ll Love


In pop culture, dads are the repeat recipients of bad gifts. During the holidays and on their birthdays, they have gone down in history as the guy who is always in need of socks, an ugly tie, or a bad sweater.

The venerated veterans who work at USAMM put their collective brain power to work to create a list of the top 10 gifts for military dads. We should know. Many of us are dads, we’re veterans or we have dads who are veterans. We like to think we know what gifts military dads would like.

Below is the USAMM top 10 list of gifts for military dads in no order. Hopefully this list can help you as you set out to do some holiday shopping.

1. Golf Outing
Golf has exploded in popularity over the last couple of decades and it is more accessible for everyone. Back in the day, people had a choice, go to a golf course or visit a golf range. In recent years, modernized golf ranges for the masses have been built and the those are attracting more and more people to them. You don’t have to be a great golfer to enjoy a golf outing which makes this one of our top 10 gifts for military dads. These outings are affordable, and you can usually buy a gift certificate to present.

2. Cornhole Set
If you’ve never played cornhole, you need to get out more. This tailgate party and backyard favorite also has exploded in popularity in the last couple of decades. Game sets vary in quality and price, but they are also affordable making these gifts for military dads a great choice. If you really want to impress your military dad, there are companies that sell cornhole sets in military themes. Like the golf outing, this is a great way to spend time outside with your military dad.

3. Knife/Multitool
We’ve mentioned this in previous top 10 list articles, but knives and multitools are great gifts for military dads. While many dads might love the utility of a multitool, there is a lot to be said for the simplicity of a single blade pocketknife. These can slide into their pocket, and some can clip onto their belt or pocket. Whatever their preference, these are practical and useful gifts for military dads that won’t break the bank.

4. Lighter
Your military dad doesn’t need to smoke in order to receive a lighter as a gift. Lighters are phenomenal gifts for military dads especially when you can get the lighter customized with your dad’s name and maybe get his unit and service information added to it. If your military dad does smoke, this is a great way for him to light his stogies or other products. These can be a little pricier, but the old man is worth it.

5. Booze
If your military dad doesn’t drink alcohol, skip this paragraph. However, if your military dad appreciates a good stiff drink every now and then, nice bottles of his favorite poisons might make great gifts for military dads. Whiskeys, cognacs, wines, and beers (or any other type of liquor your military dad likes) will be well-received gifts for military dads. If he has served overseas, help him reminisce by presenting him with a bottle of something unique he used to drink when he was overseas (Soju, Ouzo, Apfel Korn, champagne). 

6. Cigars
Not all military dads smoke, but if yours does, cigars make great gifts for military dads. You can get him a fistful of his favorites, or a variety pack. If you really want to impress the man that imparted life lessons, buy him a small humidor with a few starter smokes, a cigar ashtray and a cigar cutter.

7. Oil Change
Yep, you read that right. There are plenty of quick oil change shops and buying a gift card for the military dad in your life will keep him from spending his free time working on his car or truck. Be sure he’s okay with this gift though because some men do not like anyone touching their rides, except for them. However, if your dad needs a break, these make great gifts for military dads.

8. Service Pride Items
Odds are pretty good that your dad had pride in his service. Everyone is different and shows their service pride in different ways, so it is important to know what kind of service pride gifts for military dads you can buy. Hats, t-shirts, decals, mugs and home items are solid choices for the military dad in your life. You can collect a lot of intelligence from your unsuspecting dad just by talking to him about some of the things he likes or paying attention to what he wears.

9. Shadowboxes/Coin Displays
Shadowboxes and coin displays are always homerun gifts for military dads. Everyone who has served has something to put in a shadowbox or in a coin display. Even if the dad you’re shopping for is modest, they can store items in a shadowbox for safekeeping. The boxes do not have to be put on a wall for display. Getting your hands on your dad’s DD Form 214, which normally includes all of the medals, badges and awards he’s been awarded by the military, is a great way to ensure that we he has earned is included in the shadowbox.

10. Time
We agreed that the best gift to give a military dad is the gift of time. Buying something is great but spending time with your dad is even better. All of the items mentioned above make great gifts for military dads, but if you couple them with time spent with your military dad, that’s the best holiday gift of all.

Remember, your military dad not only is an integral part of your family he is also an integral part of the U.S. military, and he has likely endured a lot for the country and for your family. Give him your best this holiday season because he’s certainly given that to everyone else.