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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Military Personnel, Injured Service Members/Veterans and Wounded Warriors

Thank You for Your Service to Our Country!

We salute you and appreciate the sacrifice of all of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. The following are some helpful hints for screening your person, carry-on bags and checked baggage to help you achieve a trouble-free travel experience at the airport.

We provide information for family members who would like to obtain gate passes to accompany or meet loved ones at the gate and in addition provide comprehensive airport security information for severely injured military personnel.

Assistance for America's Injured Service Members/Veterans and Wounded Warriors

TSA wants to facilitate the screening of injured, wounded service members and veterans including individuals associated with a Wounded Warrior program.

Here is how it works:

  • Injured service members/veterans and Wounded Warriors (or their Care Coordinators) contact TSA Cares with details of the itinerary once flight arrangements are made with the airline.

Contact:

  • Toll-free telephone number 1-855-787-2227 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (EST/EDT) and weekends and holidays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST/EDT)
  • E-mail TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov

Injured service members/veteran and Wounded Warriors (or their Care Coordinators) may contact TSA Cares to request assistance. TSA Cares will collect all relevant information for processing and referral. For those representing or identifying themselves as a Wounded Warrior, TSA will verify Wounded Warrior status through the appropriate military branch.

  • Wounded Warriors, once official status is verified, will have their travel information provided to the departing/arriving U.S. airports where they will be eligible to use TSA Pre✓™ lanes (where available) or other expedited screening procedures.
  • Injured service members/veterans requesting assistance will have their travel information and type of assistance required provided to the departing/arriving U.S. airports to ensure they will have access to assistance, including Passenger Support Specialists, to guide and help them through the screening process.

Learn about the security screening procedures for travelers with disabilities and medical conditions.

In addition to these specialized screening processes, we also offer TSA Pre✓™ screening for all U.S. Armed Forces members, injured or not. To participate, please enter your DoD ID number in the Known Traveler Number (KTN) field while making flight reservations.

TSA Pre✓™ for Members of the Military

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces are entrusted to protect the security and values of citizens with their lives and as such TSA recognizes that these members pose very little risk to aviation security. As part of our intelligence-driven, risk-based approach to security TSA now offers TSA Pre✓™ expedited screening benefits to all U.S. service members at select airports.

Eligible service members include active duty, reserve and National Guard U.S. Armed Forces service members who possess a valid Common Access Card (CAC). Eligible travelers that would like to participate in TSA Pre✓™ simply need to enter their DoD ID card number (located on the back of their CAC) into the Known Traveler Number field when making airline reservations. Department of Defense and U.S. Coast Guard civilian employees are also eligible to participate once they “opt-in” via the milConnect website.

Screening of Military Personnel

When you arrive at the checkpoint, the following tips will assist you in getting through the screening process easily and efficiently:

  • Keep boarding pass and ID available
  • Remove class A uniform jacket, metal items in pockets, and metal belt buckle and submit them for X-ray screening
  • Military personnel in uniform, with a valid military ID are not required to remove their footwear unless it alarms the walk through metal detector
  • Ensure your carry-on luggage does not contain any prohibited items

Packing Tips for Military Personnel

Pack your heavier, denser equipment/personal items, such as boots or books, at the top of your checked baggage. Place your clothing and smaller items in the bottom of the bag. This will help TSA screeners re-pack your bag neatly if a physical search is required.

Take all valuables and electronics with you as carry-on items unless they are prohibited items.

If you wish to lock your checked baggage, use a TSA-recognized lock.

Transport of Weapons by the Unit

  • The unit must declare weapons and ammunition to the aircraft operator.
  • Weapons must be unloaded.
  • Weapons must be collectively secured in a crate and banded or individually locked in a hard-sided case.
  • Ammunition must also be securely packed in fiber (such as cardboard), wood or metal boxes or other packaging specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition.
  • You can't use firearm magazines/clips for packing ammunition unless they completely and securely enclose the ammunition (e.g., by securely covering the exposed portions of the magazine or by securely placing the magazine in a pouch, holder or holster).
  • You may carry the ammunition in the same hard-sided case as the firearm, as long as you pack it as described above.
  • A unit representative must submit the unit's official travel orders and an inventory of weapons and ammunition being transported.
  • The unit representative must certify to TSA in writing that the weapons are unloaded.

Transport of Weapons by an Individual Soldier

Firearms, ammunition and firearm parts may only be transported in checked baggage. Firearms, ammunition and firearm parts are prohibited in carry-on baggage. If you have just returned from overseas duty or any assignment where you carried a firearm or ammunition, please be sure to double check your belongings, particularly your carry-on bag, to make sure firearms, parts or ammunition are not present.

Sharp Objects and Tools - You may not bring knives and certain tools in your carry-on luggage. Tools greater than seven inches are not permitted as a carry-on and all hammers, drills, saws and crowbars are prohibited regardless of length. Pointed scissors with a blade greater than four inches are also prohibited as a carry-on. Pack these items in your checked luggage. Please sheath or securely wrap any sharp objects in your checked luggage so that it does not injure baggage handlers and security officers.

Hazardous Materials: For a list of hazardous materials that are prohibited from the airplane, please visit the Federal Aviation Administration website.

Accommodations for U.S. Military Personnel

Military Family Member Gate Passes

Family members who want to accompany a military service member being deployed to the boarding gate or greet them returning from deployment at the arrival gate may receive passes to enter the secure area of the airport.

Interested military family members should contact their air carrier representative at the departure/arrival airport for proper local procedures.

Latest revision: 15 April 2014