Military Gift Guide: 10 Perfect Gifts for Active Duty & Vets

For everything our soldiers give to us each day of the year, the holidays are our time to give back to them.

If you’ve been searching for holiday gift inspiration — look no further. This 10-item military gift guide hits all the marks, whether your service member is the rugged, utilitarian type, or prefers something a bit more sentimental. 

The items on our military gift guide start from as little as $25 to as much as $1,000, so you should be able to find something in your budget. And if you’re working with a tighter price range this year, no worries: It truly is the thought that counts. 

Courtesy of Pelican.

1. Pelican R60 Personal Utility Ruck™ Case

Price: $65

This personal utility case from Pelican is built to keep things like your phone, wallet, knife, and tools safe from nearly anything. It’s waterproof, crushproof, dustproof, and adventure-proof. It even floats. Basically, wherever you’re headed, don’t leave without taking one of these with you.

The interior is big enough to store all your essentials, yet small enough to comfortably carry around. Rigid divider trays keep everything organized, and it comes with Pelican’s lifetime guarantee of excellence. If your service member spends a lot of time outdoors, the Pelican Ruck Case is a must-have this holiday season


MedalsofAmerica.com.

2. Medals of America Custom Military Shadow Box 

Price: $50+ 

A military shadow box is a great way to show your service member some love and appreciation. Traditionally given as a military retirement gift, shadow boxes can really be used for any occasion; they can be given to service members who just received a promotion, veterans who’ve been storing their awards in some dusty old box, or family members who’d like to remember and honor a loved one who served. 

Medals of America will make a shadow box completely custom to your needs. With prices starting as low as $50, you won’t find anything better for the quality. If you’re handy or know someone who is, you can also consider building your own shadow box (which would make it that much more special). 


Map Republic on Etsy.com.

3. Map Republic DIY World Map

Price: $65+  

One of the best perks of the military is the amazing travel opportunities. Deployments or assignments in foreign countries — or even just in other states — create lifelong memories and connections for service members. 

This piece of decor is simple but stylish. It works great for empty wall space in an office, bedroom, or living room. The service member or veteran can add pushpins to all the places they’ve been, and they have the option to tack on more later when they inevitably go somewhere else exciting. It’s the perfect representation of their military service, and it serves to remind them of it every day. 


Buy.Garmin.com.

4. Garmin Fenix 6X Watch 

Price: $1,000

#4 is the most expensive on our military gift guide. For someone who loves hiking, camping, outdoor sports and other hands-on activities, this watch is the perfect companion. Not only is it incredibly durable, but it’s sleek, good-looking and technologically advanced to fit the modern consumer’s needs.

While it’s on the spendier side, it’s for a reason: This Garmin beauty has GPS, heart rate sensors, running and cycling tools, music syncing capabilities, and so much more. The battery can actually last up to 21 days without charge — not that it would need to, because it can be charged by the sun. If you’re a skier or golfer, it has preloaded maps of courses around the nation. It’s an exciting gift that makes life more convenient. What could be better than that?


Courtesy of Pelican.

5. Pelican™ V100 Vault Small Pistol Case

Price: $40

If there’s anything that military members and vets love across the board, it’s guns. Really, you can’t go wrong with a gun-related gift, especially not this one. 

There’s a reason it’s the second Pelican product on our list – the V100 Vault pistol case is guaranteed to keep your piece safe. The exterior is crushproof, dustproof, weather-resistant, and built with heavy duty handles. Inside, you’ll find multiple layers of protective foam that neatly secure the contents. With easy to open push-button latches and two steel lock hasps, this case delivers top-notch firearm protection for a great price. If your service member is an avid marksman, this case is made for them.


Cabelas.com.

6. Cabela’s Men Work Boots

Price: $100

These sturdy work boots are made with full-grain leather, waterproof finishing and comfortable insoles for all-day wear. And while they maintain the classic work boot look, they’re still attractive enough to be worn away from the job site; their style is reminiscent of a Timberland boot (without the hefty price tag). If you’re usually the boot-buyer for your family, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how long this pair lasts, and how great the quality is for the price. 


Shinola.com.

7. Shinola Leather Utility Belt 

Price: $125

Belts are sort of like socks and underwear: You rarely buy them for yourself. But, unlike socks and underwear, they tend to be a lot more expensive — especially if you don’t want yours to fall apart after wearing it twice. 

This might seem like kind of a boring gift, but it’s something every guy (and a lot of women) needs, and speaking as a guy: I would love this belt. Leather belts aren’t just utilitarian — they’re fashionable. This one specifically is made of top-grade leather that’s smooth to the touch and easy on the eyes. The metal finishes are a sleek matte black, and the belt itself is a cool-toned ash brown. Consider adding this belt, or another, to your holiday shopping cart.


Homewetbar.com.

8. Home Wet Bar Shotgun Shell Coaster Set

Price: $25 

If you want something that screams military a little louder than a belt, check out these shotgun shell coasters. They work for anyone with an affinity for guns, and they’re a subtle way to say “Please stop ruining my tabletops with your beers, honey.” 

This set comes with four hand-painted coasters made of polyresin stone, and equipped with no-slip grip that will protect your table from scratches. Each coaster is made to look like the end of a 12 gauge shotgun shell, and the set comes in a holder that simulates the actual shell casing. It’s a cool-looking and fun present to get, especially if you’ve already purchased your big-ticket items, or you’re not super close to the service member. 


The Premium Kit from thebeardclub.com.

9. The Beard Club Grooming Kit

Price: $28-59 

This is another necessity that many guys won’t buy for themselves. But everyone likes to feel a little pampered sometimes, and that’s what this grooming kit from The Beard Club does. 

You can choose three options: The club kit for $28, the deluxe kit for $48, or the premium kit for $59, based on your price range and your service member’s needs. This could be especially exciting for a new veteran who’s never been able to grow out his beard before. The products are high-quality, masculine, and just smell good. 


Courtesy of Pelican.

10. 20QT Pelican™ Elite Cooler

Price: $150

The final item rounding out our military gift guide is Pelican’s Elite 20QT Cooler, which makes for an incredibly versatile gift. It’s great for outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, your kid’s Friday soccer games, road trips, a Sunday tailgate party, and more.

At nearly 20” deep and built with a freezer-grade seal, this surprisingly rugged cooler will keep ice frozen and contents cold for quite a long time. Convenient press-and-pull latches, a sturdy, ergonomic handle, built-in cup holders, and non-skid feet all add to this cooler’s great versatility. After all, it’s called an “Elite Cooler” for good reason. Pelican products are made right here in the USA and come with a lifetime guarantee, so you won’t regret your purchase.

Hopefully this military gift guide gives you inspiration for your holiday hunt — and if you have some ideas to add, let us know in the comments below. Happy shopping! 


For more, here’s a year-round list of gift ideas for your military boyfriend (or husband).

 

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