Ask a military veteran about their life in the service and they will mention several places that they lived or visited. The fact is, military service is synonymous with mobility and travel. Every few years, the services ask its people to pack up and head to a new assignment. It makes military personnel some of the most traveled people in the United States.
When a military member must PCS, or experience a permanent change of station, they leave behind friends and co-workers they’ve bonded with and they head off to start anew elsewhere. When members of a shop, office or unit depart, it is customary to get those people military going away gifts as mementos of their time.
The venerated veteran employees of USAMM got together over some cold ones recently and talked about their favorite military going away gifts and while some can’t be mentioned on these pages, we think this is a pretty good list of military going away gifts that can help you shop for a battle buddy or wingman who might be leaving and heading to a new assignment.
Here is USAMM’s list of military going away gifts in no particular order.
This thing is awesome and frankly, one of the best military going away gifts you can buy. If you belong to an infantry unit or work in a military profession that carries a rifle, they will love this gift. The Battle Mug is fully customizable. Not only can you put their name, rank, and unit information on it, or anything else that you think belongs on there, but you can also add a rifle-like handle, railings, and their ribbon rack to it. This isn’t one of those military going away gifts that they will set aside and place on a shelf. This rugged mug will get used regularly and will be a career heirloom for whomever receives it. Your departing friend will likely use this thing a lot at his/her assignment and often think about the times you guys had together.
The Alder plaques are unique military going away gifts that can capture a service members entire career or just a snapshot of it. In other words, if you have someone who is leaving because they are retiring, these are super affordable and really nice. These are great military going away gifts because there is plenty of room on the high-quality wood’s surface to include a career’s worth of military awards and badges, or just limit it to awards or badges earned during a specific period, like the assignment they are leaving. Either way, these fully customized Alder plaques are colorful and ideal military going away gifts.
Navy Custom Ship 3D Laser Engraved Plaque
There are a lot of choices for military going away gifts for sailors or old sea dogs. One of our favorite military going away gifts are the ship 3D laser engraved plaques. They make wonderful PCS military going away gifts because the sailor/former sailor can select his/her ship class, name, and hull number, and it will all be custom engraved. These are great for quarters, offices or man cave or she shed. More importantly, this will encapsulate their assignment and they can proudly display it.
Shadowboxes will always be incredible military going away gifts, but these tend to be presented upon retirement from the U.S. military. This is a go-to gift which obviously can be personalized by adding the individual’s awards, badges, and mementos. They can also be customized by having a brass plaque engraved and placed inside the box which has the recipient’s name and military information on it. To do this right, make sure you work with the service member’s family and the human resources team to ensure all the right medals, badges, ribbons, are included in the shadowbox.
Custom Navy Caps
Caps make great military going away gifts because like the 3D laser plaque, they can be customized to the liking of the wearer. They can proudly display the ship of last assignment and the sailors can rock these caps at veteran events and patriotic holidays. A great military going away gift is one that the departee can wear as they leave.
Custom Rank Hats
Whether the person you are shopping for is enlisted, warrant or commissioned officer, they will love a Custom Rank Hat. These military going away gifts are awesome and include the person’s name and rank and they come in multi-cam and coyote colors. These are great especially for personnel who are getting promoted as they depart. It is nice for them to have something with their new rank on it.
Navy Ship Wrapped Canvas
Customizable Navy ship class wrapped canvas prints are unique military going away gifts because they are artwork that will bring color to any room or office. Much like their 3D engraved plaque cousins, the recipient can customize their print to any ship class and hull number. And they cost much less than the plaques, but like the plaques, they are still very affordable for a quality customized product.
Water bottles, mugs, flasks, and steins can all be customized and make great military going away gifts. Name, rank, and other personalized information can be placed on these items and consider including the unit’s emblem.
Consider a custom canvas as a type of soft plaque. These come in various colors, including an OCP pattern, and different items and wording can be placed on it to customize it for your service member. These can also make great going away presents when a person leaves an assignment.
You’ve heard the phrase, been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Well, you can actually get a customized shirt that allows your departing teammate to tell everyone where he’s been and what he’s done. Wearable gifts are awesome and make great gifts for those who might not be fans of I Love Me walls.