The Depot

10 Tactical Gifts For The Service Member in Your Life

Whether it is a birthday, the holidays, Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or marking a career milestone like retirement or a promotion, tactical gifts make great presents, and they are a great way to recognize those who work in tactical professions. Military, police, EMTs, firefighters, security personnel, search and rescue personnel, and other professionals would value tactical gifts because gear that makes work life easier, is never a bad thing.

Beyond the tactical professions, avid outdoorsmen and women can also put many of these tactical gifts to good use, especially if they use them on the job as fishing guides, hunters, mountain climbers or any other outdoor profession that can use these tactical gifts.

The veteran employees of USAMM got together and created this top 10 list of tactical gifts perfect for that tactical girl or guy. Many of USAMM’s veteran employees were not just in the military, but also worked in law enforcement, security, and related fields.

Here are USAMM’s top 10 tactical gifts.

1. Multitool
Given how many people carry multitools in the tactical professions, they should be issued. In fact, in some units they are standard issue, but if a friend, colleague, or relative does not have the good fortune of getting one for free, these make wonderful tactical gifts.

These are no longer the bulky tools of yesteryear that were carried by youth scouts and had tiny scissors that could barely cut paper, these devices have professionally relevant tools that anyone on the job can use. While some can clip onto a belt or pack in a carrying case, some are now flat and can fit into a pocket like a wallet, making these easier to carry, but more useful than ever before.

2. Tactical Seat Organizer
Let’s face it, there are careers where you can leave the job at work, but then there are careers that are a way of life. If you are in a culturally immersed profession that means being ready to do the right thing at any time. There is no off duty.

Seat organizers make great tactical gifts for those who are always prepared for the worst that life can offer. An organizer gives a tactical professional the ability to stock and stow emergency items in a tidy, organized, and mobile manner. Consider stuffing these with flares, first aid kits, chem lights, rope, carabiners, extra magazines, jumper cables, hand axe, folding saw, or whatever the tactical professional might need.

3. Ballistic Glasses
These things are rarely cheap, but they are certainly worth the investment. Tactical professionals need durable eyewear that not only protects their eyes from harmful UV rays, but also protects them from projectiles and other things that can threaten vision that are a part of working in a dynamic, rugged work environment.

These make great universal tactical gifts because the recipient can wear them on and off duty. When shopping, look for lenses that can sustain impact and frames that are made of flexible, but strong materials. Tactical eyewear should bend, but not break. Remember, the higher the UV protection and the more protective the lens, the more expensive they will likely be.

4. Bulletproof Vest/Clothing
There was a time when law enforcement didn’t need to wear second chance vests, but the American landscape has changed, and now bulletproof backpacks are being sold to help protect children at schools.

With that said, there have been unbelievable advancements in bulletproof vests and bulletproof clothing that make these exceptional, and possibly lifesaving, tactical gifts. Vests these days are not as cumbersome as those from back in the day. Armor plates have given way to advanced, super-strong fibers that can stop high-powered rounds.

At face value, giving a bulletproof vest as a tactical gift might seem out of place when shopping for an EMT or security person, but even those professionals can come under threat when responding to a call. Smaller police departments often do not have the funds to pay for bulletproof vests, so these make great tactical gifts for those who protect and serve.

5. Dog Vest
Humans have finally refined the ability to utilize canines as force multipliers. A dog used on a search and rescue (SAR) or in a natural disaster setting can search more ground, faster than any SAR team. Dog vests make great tactical gifts for a SAR professional or for any K-9 corps professional.

Some of these dog vests allow the dog to be assisted over obstacles or handled from the vest itself. Other vests offer the handler the ability to stow items on the dog, lightening the load of the handler. Most of the better vests will fit the dog snuggly, but comfortably, and they should not get in the way of the dog’s mission.

6. Packs/Bags
Whether they are going to work on a shift, or headed out on an op, tactical people need a way to carry their tactical gear and a great tactical gift is a pack or a bag.

One thing that was a common thread with the USAMM vet team when talking about this tactical gift was that all agreed that a compartmentalized pack or bag was always the best choice. When shopping, look for plenty of pockets or something specifically designed for the professional and their profession.

For this tactical gift, think lightweight and durable.

7. Flashlight
While most phones have some kind of illumination device, USAMM vets agreed that a powerful, rugged flashlight is a must-have for anyone in a tactical profession. Flashlights make great tactical gifts.

Back in the day, flashlights were often heavy, and in some cases, two feet long. These days a user can get supreme illumination with something that is just a couple of inches in length. Unlike a phone that needs to be unlocked, and then the flashlight feature has to be swiped to, a flashlight is easily engaged with just a click of a button.

There are great illumination tools that can clip onto gear or even the bill of a baseball hat and of them many offer various settings to make map reading easier at night.

8. Footwear
This was another USAMM veteran must-have on the list of tactical gifts. In many of the previously mentioned professions in this article, the professional is on their feet for a good deal of their duty day. For example, police officers, EMTs, and security personnel spend a lot of time on their feet, especially if they work in a large city where the bulk of their work is done on foot and not in a squad car. Great footwear is not just nice to have, but critical.

Proper footwear not only helps with preventing things like blisters and other foot ailments, but they can also help prevent back problems, foot, ankle and leg injuries and they can help provide the needed foot agility and support when the individual runs or negotiates an obstacle.

More and more the military boot is becoming a sneaker hybrid with ample ankle support. Couple the footwear purchase with some quality socks and this is a win as a tactical gift. But remember, footwear is something personal, so to ensure the right gift is bought, think about taking the person on a surprise shopping trip so they can select what they want and try them on. When in doubt, buy them a gift card to cover the costs.

9. Pistol/Rifle Accessories
Most people who in the profession of arms will welcome tactical gifts for their weapons. Whether it is a new, custom sling for their hunting rifle, a cool red dot sight for their pistol, or even just a comfortable holster, gun enthusiasts will relish tactical gifts that enhance their shooting experience.

Things like scopes, ammo, and other add-ons, like footwear, can be highly personal based on brand preference and capability, so consider collecting some intel before buying.

10. Tactical Apps
This is a great option if on a budget for tactical gifts. There is a plethora of tactical apps available for download and many are free or relatively low priced.

Some of these apps enable secure, hack-proof communications between people or groups, while others can identify friendly-forces in the area.

The USAMM vets group got a kick out of the map apps that helped with land navigation and target identification. The shooting apps were also a hit because they included useful widgets like rangefinders.