Military Gifts

Don't know what to get? Here are some Military Gift ideas for you

The men and women who make up our military are a unique group of people. They join for so many reasons - family tradition, a recruiter's promises of money or glory, and sometimes, simply the chance to blow stuff up. Eventually, however, these people - some of whom had no clue what the military would really be like - come to realize something, both about the military and about themselves. They realize that while their disparate origins, backgrounds, and circumstances might have brought them to a military career by as many different roads and for as many different reasons as one can count, it only takes one thing to keep them there - honor. You see, the men and women who constitute our fighting forces don't stay in the service because of politics (a fickle mistress if ever there was one!) or Uncle Sam's bevy of incentives, even if that was what they originally signed up for. They stay in uniform because having been of service changes something inside them, binding them to the cause of self and societal improvement, to one another, and to the electorate whom they have sworn to protect. In other words, they stay to make a better world. It's only fitting, then, that we who benefit should do something to say thank you. Happily, such a show of gratitude is as easy as sending someone in uniform a gift or two.

Keep reading to discover a selection of suggested gifts for your military member of choice.

Military Gifts


Military life is often very exciting, albeit in a roughshod and dangerous sort of way. Even so, life in uniform can often be quite lonely and even boring. After all, even the most hardcore military members can only work, eat, and sleep for so long before they need something else to occupy their time. That's where you come in! Entertainment items make great military gifts; something as simple as a DVD of a hit movie can not only brighten up the recipient's day, but that of his or her friends in the unit, too.

Here are some entertainment gift ideas to get you started:

  • Movies, especially classics and new releases, are awesome military gifts. If you need or want to tailor your gift to specific tastes, Google, Amazon, and IMDB (the Internet Movie Database) are good places to find more information about genres, plot, and so forth.

  • Books, magazines, and other reading material make great gifts! This isn't just applicable to the bookworms in your life, either - girls, even ones in uniform, love a good gossip magazine or trashy romance, and guys, military or not, will seldom turn down an issue of Car and Driver. This is, of course, in addition to all the niche magazines available in today's marketplace (electronics, popular culture, business, and so on), not to mention classic novels both old and new.

  • Journals are a time-honored military gift. Military legends like George S. Patton kept one, so why not help your service member of choice do the same? Even the most luxurious journals can be less expensive than you might think, and the more rugged ones, which might be better suited to life in a military encampment, can be sourced for peanuts. Even if your own soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine isn't the literary type, sending him or her the collected thoughts of Washington, Patton, Lee, or even Julius Caesar can not only eliminate boredom, but serve as a tiny little time machine, carrying them away to times and places they might otherwise never get to experience.

  • Video games, both portable and stationary, make great gifts! Xboxes seem to be the most popular choice, but Nintendo and Playstation also offer great options in both the console and mobile markets. Don't forget to include relevant cables, batteries, and a game or two!

  • Music is always a good gift idea, whether it comes in the form of CDs, MP3s (a player, like an iPod, may be required if your recipient doesn't have one), or even an instrument like a guitar or harmonica.

  • Cameras or camcorders make good gifts for those whose assignments make shooting pictures or video an option.


Sometimes all a serviceman or woman wants is something small to make life a little easier. When that time comes, these gifts are just the ticket:

  • Sunglasses and sunblock (or their cold-weather equivalent) and insect repellant

  • Multi-tools, knives, and other such objects, subject to regulations

  • Wet wipes, cotton swabs, and Q-Tips make cleaning weapons and gear quick and easy, especially in sandy or muddy environments.

  • Batteries of various sizes - somehow these are always in short supply!


While anyone in the military can attest that Uncle Sam keeps them covered on a basic level, some "normal clothes" can be a welcome change from skivvies and BDUs. Try these clothing-related gift ideas if you need inspiration:

  • T-shirts and related items related to your military man or woman's favorite sports team, band, pop culture phenomenon

  • Blankets, hats, and related items in the same vein as above

  • Hand / foot warmers

  • Boot insoles / gel liners, both for comfort and odor elimination


If your soldier or other military member is of a more light-hearted nature, why not send them a prank or gag gift? It'll make them (and anyone else who happens to be around when they open it) laugh, and give them a little respite from their normal routine. Just tread lightly if you go down this particular gift-giving path, as you don't want to get anyone in trouble!


The king of military gifts has got to be stuff from home. Whether it's sent to someone on deployment or stateside, nothing will make a military man or woman smile more than a gift that comes from home instead of a store. These could include some or all of the following:

  • Letters (the longer, the better!), handmade cards, and audio messages

  • Digital photo frames w/ photos of friends and family inside

  • Handmade items, if the gift-giver is crafty

  • Local and/or national newspapers (so your recipient can keep abreast of what's going on back home)


Et voilà - your military gift giving guide is complete! With this in your arsenal, you should have no trouble at all compiling a first-rate gift or care package that your military recipient will go bananas for! By the way, the gifts and ideas listed here are merely suggestions. They're meant to start you off and inspire you, not constrain or confine! Don't be afraid to use your imagination when coming up with gift ideas - the best presents, after all, come from the heart and have a lot of thought put into them. Just make sure that whatever you send, whether it's from this guide or not, is permitted by your loved one's regulations. Nothing spoils a gift quicker than overlooked red tape!

With that said, all that's left for you to do now, dear reader, is to start shopping and collecting stuff to send! We promise you'll have almost as much fun sending your gifts as your serviceman or woman of choice will have when they arrive. Thanks for reading, and happy gifting!