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Security Screening Benefits and Tips for U.S. Military and Veterans

Tuesday, November 11, 2014
US Military Seals

With it being Veterans Day today, we thought it would be appropriate to let our readers know about some of the services we offer for veterans as well as current members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

TSA Veterans

One out of four TSA employees is either a veteran, or is still currently serving in the U.S. Military, and we hold a deep respect for those who have served and sacrificed for our country.

Assistance for Injured Service Members/Veterans and Wounded Warriors

  • Injured, wounded service members, veterans and Wounded Warriors may contact TSA Cares to request assistance with the screening process. TSA Cares is a help line to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. Call TSA Cares 72 hours prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the airport security checkpoint.
    • Phone: 1-855-787-2227
    • Federal Relay: 711
    • Email: TSA-ContactCenter@tsa.dhs.gov
    • Hours: Weekdays 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET - Weekends/Holidays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
  • TSA verifies the status of individuals identifying themselves as a Wounded Warrior, through the appropriate military branch. Following verification, the travel information is provided to the departing/arriving U.S. airports where Wounded Warriors may use TSA Pre✓® expedited screening at available locations or experience 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 receive proper assistance at the security checkpoint.
  • Learn about the security screening procedures for persons with disabilities and medical conditions.
Picture of soldier.

TSA Pre® Benefits for US Armed Forces

  • All members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Reserves and National Guard can benefit from TSA Pre✓® expedited screening at select airports when flying on participating airlines. Use the official Department of Defense identification number as your know traveler number when making flight reservations.Accompanying family members ages 12 and under can be processed through expedited screening as well. Learn how to receive TSA Pre✓®.

TSA Pre® Benefits for Four Military Academies

  • U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy and Air Force Academy cadets/midshipmen are now eligible to enjoy the benefits of the TSA Pre✓® expedited screening program at more than 120 participating airports when flying on 11 major airlines.

Follow These Tips for a Smooth Screening Process:

  • Keep your boarding pass and ID available.
  • Remove class A uniform jackets, metal items in pockets, and metal belt buckle and submit them for X-ray screening.
  • If you are in uniform and have a valid military ID, keep on your footwear unless it alarms the walk through metal detector.
  • Check for prohibited items.
  • If you’re checking a duffle bag, put all of your clothing and lighter items at the bottom of the bag, and place your boots, helmet, books, and other larger more dense items at the top. This makes it easier for us to neatly repack your bag if we have to search it.
  • If you wish to lock your checked baggage, use a TSA-recognized lock, otherwise the lock could be cut.

Transport of Weapons by a Military 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.
  • Firearm magazines/clips for packing ammunition must be completely and securely enclose any 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 provide written certification that the weapons are unloaded.

Transport of Weapons by an Individual Soldier

  • Firearms, ammunition and firearm parts are prohibited in carry-on baggage and may be transported in checked baggage only. If you have just returned from overseas duty or any assignment where you carried a firearm or ammunition, check your carry-on bag and other belongings to ensure firearms, parts or ammunition are not present.
  • Read the rules for individually transporting firearms and ammunition.
  • Read the rules for transporting sharp objects and tools.
  • Read the list of prohibited hazardous materials.

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.
  • Contact the air carrier representative at the departure/arrival airport to obtain passes and instructions.

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Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

And if your a 20 year retiree and walking upright you get to be asked if you have a drivers license if you use your Military ID. 20 and forgotten

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

To all that have served, or are currently serving, I wish you a peaceful, safe and wonderful Veterans Day. Thank you all for your service.

West
TSA blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Please correct the misleading headline on this post. The "benefits" seem to apply only to injured veterans. If you're one of those veterans who are not injured or disabled, who get thanked once a year for your service to our nation, please move along. Nothing to see here.

Submitted by Phil on

I always use my retired military ID for TSA screening and have never been asked for any other ID, but usually get"Thank you for your service!"

Submitted by RB on

"All members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Reserves and National Guard can benefit from TSA Pre✓® expedited screening at select airports when flying on participating airlines."

This statement is patently false.

Retired military members are still part of the armed forces and do not enjoy any benefit of Pre Check. That is the respect that retired military members get from TSA.


Do all TSA employees get Pre Check automatically?

Submitted by Paul Lovell on

Nice to see that there are people other than myself that respect what others have done for us. And i believe that they should get treated correctly and shown some respect

Submitted by Anonymous on

I don't understand why veterans get any preferential treatment. Five years ago the Department of Homeland Security (TSA's parent agency)labeled veterans a potential terror threat. If anything, rather than mollycoddle these people, enhanced security screening should be the rule.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"...If you are in uniform and have a valid military ID, keep on your footwear unless it alarms the walk through metal detector.
Check for prohibited items."

Really?

These people are trusted to serve our country but not trusted to carry prohibited items through security?

Are you sure you understand the actual meaning of the word 'benefit?' Because nothing in your article seems to be a benefit to anyone, not even the TSA.

Submitted by Lauren on

Retired military are deserving of these priveleges. For, they serve well for the country.

Submitted by Ginger on

Ditto what "Phil" said... must just be the sour look on the face of Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous. some people can't say thanks for anything... well THANK YOU TSA for treating this 23 year retiree and her 25 year retiree husband with the utmost respect. WE appreciate it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I continue to wait for some justification for active duty military being included in pre-check, but not retired military or holders of current DoD or LE background investigations. military retirees have at least 20 years documented service to this Nation, pretty much proving their lack of risk. both DoD and LE background investigations should reveal any risk factors. active duty military do not, necessarily, have a background check or any significant length of service. neither citizenship nor a background investigation is required to enlist in the military, in fact there are likely illegal immigrants serving. if it is really about safety, then why are potentially unscreened non-citizens allowed through? sounds like it is just pandering to an admirable group to get PR, not adjusting the rules to ease screening on those who present a lower likelihood of threat.
Let me be clear: pre-911 screening should be the norm. it is all that is required, now that cockpit doors have been reinforced and locked, and flight crews and passengers know that the rules have changed and passivity=death. however, if we are going to continue this massive waste of tax dollars on security theatre, at least have _some_ of the rules make sense.

Submitted by Anonymous on

In light of the fact that this was a Veteran's Day thread, I will refrain from commenting except to say that West's comment was unctuous at best. Nice way to pat yourself on the shoulder, West.

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Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "And if your a 20 year retiree and walking upright you get to be asked if you have a drivers license if you use your Military ID."

Military IDs, to include retired member IDs are valid forms of ID for the checkpoints. I see them come through all the time, both active duty CAC cards, and all the way back to the old school retiree cards that have "indefinite" as an expiration date (see more information on military IDs here).

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

To the anonymous that keeps writing in about retiree pre check: all the retirees that I work with have come to the conclusion that given all the whining, you must have been in the Air Force and must have been a pilot.

Submitted by RB on

GSOLTSO said...
Anon sez - "And if your a 20 year retiree and walking upright you get to be asked if you have a drivers license if you use your Military ID."

Military IDs, to include retired member IDs are valid forms of ID for the checkpoints. I see them come through all the time, both active duty CAC cards, and all the way back to the old school retiree cards that have "indefinite" as an expiration date (see more information on military IDs here).

West
TSA Blog Team

November 12, 2014 at 8:48 AM

.....................
TSA use to reject the Retired Military ID's with indefinite claiming that the ID had to have an expiration date on it. I know, it happened to me.

Also seems some other secret TSA rules have also changed. Now Conceal Weapon Licenses are not accepted per http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/acceptable-ids. Yet in Texas the same government agency ( Texas Department of Public Safety) that issues Drivers License, which are not a form of identification but a permit to operate a motor vehicle, issues the Weapons Permit, again not a form of ID but a license to do something. And the person with the CHL has had a background check but not the person with the motor vehicle operators permit.

And to top it off some states are handing out Drivers Licenses to illegal immigrants so how does anyone really know what kind of threat they represent. Proof that TSA is not engaged in Risk Based Screening.

I think many of us that still read the TSA Blog would appreciate knowing how any ID actually makes flying safer. Isn't it the screening for WEI that results in any real security?

TSA wastes incredible amounts of tax dollars on functions that offer zero, zip, nada, to improving passenger safety when traveling by airplane.

TSA is pretty much a useless organization made up of people who have no better prospects than living off the government teat.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"keep on your footwear unless alarms" Unless you're coming home on R&R and have been on a plane for 16 hours- then you'll have to take them off! TSA you get all the respect you give. None.

Submitted by Anonymous on
...And the person with the CHL has had a background check but not the person with the motor vehicle operators permit...

For the record, Texas is now requiring a full set of fingerprints from all people applying for and renewing a driver's license. I was told it was for preventing future fraudulent renewals, but it is actually for inclusion in the the state and national criminal databases. I imagine it is only a matter of time before other states follow suit, "out of an abundance of caution."

So, civil rights violations aside, and assuming that a criminal wouldn't just opt for a fake driver's license, the driver's license may very well be equivalent to a background check at some point.
Submitted by Chris Boyce on

Let's see...the Uniformed NOAA Corps officer candidates take their basic training at the Coast Guard Academy. They qualify for Precheck.

They graduate and are commissioned in the NOAA Corps and have careers where they do things like fly P-3s into hurricanes and do deep diving missions. But, the second they become ensigns in the NOAA Corps, they become one of the unwashed suspects.

I would ask if you are ashamed or embarrassed but I already know the answer.

Submitted by RB on

Chris Boyce said...
Let's see...the Uniformed NOAA Corps officer candidates take their basic training at the Coast Guard Academy. They qualify for Precheck.

They graduate and are commissioned in the NOAA Corps and have careers where they do things like fly P-3s into hurricanes and do deep diving missions. But, the second they become ensigns in the NOAA Corps, they become one of the unwashed suspects.

I would ask if you are ashamed or embarrassed but I already know the answer.

November 14, 2014 at 8:53 AM

...................

Typical for TSA.

I have asked several times if TSA employees are gifted with Pre Check but of course Bob, West, or others on the Blog team have not responded to that question.

Wonder why? Is it SSI that TSA employees may be given Pre Check?

Submitted by Anonymous on

"[Uniformed NOAA Corps officer candidates]... graduate and are commissioned in the NOAA Corps and have careers where they do things like fly P-3s into hurricanes and do deep diving missions. But, the second they become ensigns in the NOAA Corps, they become one of the unwashed suspects."

Why should they automatically receive PreCheck benefits when the millions of travelers who have done NOTHING to warrant being treated as a terror suspect don't get automatic PreCheck benefits? What about the travelers who hold equally respectable jobs wherein they are responsible for the public welfare (e.g., teachers)? Shouldn't they get PreCheck automatically, too? What about the 13-year old kid who's never flown before?

Let's stop trying to convince TSA to give our pet group a "perk" that 99.99999% of travelers should receive by default.

Submitted by Anonymous on

To anyone who served 20 plus years in the military, as I did, should have learned one thing, that is how to hurry up and wait. Get in line, stop your complaining, and understand all of this is for everyone's safety.

Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous said...
Why should they automatically receive PreCheck benefits when the millions of travelers who have done NOTHING to warrant being treated as a terror suspect don't get automatic PreCheck benefits? What about the travelers who hold equally respectable jobs wherein they are responsible for the public welfare (e.g., teachers)? Shouldn't they get PreCheck automatically, too? What about the 13-year old kid who's never flown before?

Let's stop trying to convince TSA to give our pet group a "perk" that 99.99999% of travelers should receive by default.

While I agree 100% that the perks of pre-check should be the norm, I think the point was that during training, these NOAA Corps officer candidates automatically qualify for pre, but once they graduate, they no longer do. I think the absurdity of that is what Chris was questioning.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"...and understand all of this is for everyone's safety."

Well, if it actually made anyone any safer I might be a bit more understanding.

Submitted by B Ross on

To the Anonymous commenter who claims to have served in the military and said, "Get in line, stop your complaining, and understand all of this is for everyone's safety."

No, and stop lying. Anyone who actually served to protect the freedoms the Constitution offers would not tell this country's citizens to give up their freedoms, their right to speak out against tyranny, and stand up for justice.

Shame on you.

Submitted by Wintermute on

TSAnonymous said...
"To anyone who served 20 plus years in the military, as I did, should have learned one thing, that is how to hurry up and wait. Get in line, stop your complaining, and understand all of this is for everyone's safety."

Except the TSA is not keeping anyone safer. With a failure rate of ~70% (not counting false positives, as they are not tracked), there is no legitimate claim that the TSA is effective at anything but wasting money.

Submitted by Dave Wysocki on

Does tsa pre expire?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I sent a post yesterday. I also sent a email to the TSA email address on the website. My question was short, simple and not offensive. I still not have heard back from the TSA. If a private company had this type of customer service, and the taxpayers are your customers, the company would be out of business.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Where's my comment, blotter team? You approved other comments submitted after mine.

Which one of the blotter team has censored my message? Is it just waiting to be approved or did you delete it?

Submitted by Ali G on

I know this may the inappropriate blog to post this comment to, but I really am grateful for all veterans. It is truly sickening to see good men and women sacrifice their lives over petty politics, not only in America. I know many veterans whose lives have been ruined by PTSD and war injuries but manage to give a smile every time someone says "thank you for your service". They say that when people say that, it makes them forget all the sacrifices that they made. Because in the end it is about the safety of our country and the integrity of the people. The bonding of someone in some small town in Nebraska with a doctor in New York. All sacrifices transcend the greater good and the unity of the American people.

So I will say this one more time, thank you for your service.

Submitted by Military Dude on

As a former military man and a father of two now serving in the armed forces, I belive that ANY active military personnel should reap the benefits of TSA pre-check. I am grateful that we recognize and offer the military benefits in this country but this is certainly a small ask that would be relatively simple to setup.

Submitted by B Kramer on

Boy, did you guys miss one... There are five service academies, not four. You forgot the US Merchant Marine Academy. What is truly sad is that this academy is administered under the Department of Transportation, just like the TSA. My son is a midshipman at the USMMA and he, like all of his fellow midshipmen have military obligations while attending and after graduation. Let's see TSA correct this oversight.

Submitted by Ken on

As it is stated for all military members, enter your DOD ID number in the KTN box when purchasing your tickets. Even as a retiree, we have a DOD ID number on our ID cards now. I have been retired since 2010 and mine has a DOD ID number rather than my SSN. My DOD ID number is also the same as my VA ID card number that the VAMC issued me. Next time I fly I am going to try and use it.

Submitted by Dave on

No they are not, these are reserved for those who I don't know, lost limbs, can't stand in lines, or have some kind of medical conditions. No not everyone rates everything.

Submitted by William on

To say that TSA screenings are working, I personally can not tell, it seems that something is working. But I am retired military and things I have read seems that the retired military ID was accepted at one location but not another. I can not take the chance in the middle of a trip that I can not get on the return flight because TSA folks are not all in the loop. Oh and when I flew first class they give you metal knives and forks on the plane with your meals and zip through the TSA pre-screen. I guess if you pay enough your credible. I guess I'll just get one of those new drivers license with a star and get my metal utensils after I get on in first class...please don't take away the silver ware now that I've mentioned this at least we all have something to defend our selves with in first class if there is a nut on board.

Submitted by Anonymous on

It worked for me for years while active duty but now that I’m retired it don’t...I put in the same DOD ID number and it no longer gives me TSA PRECHECK and I’ve been retired less than a month... Flew the other day and had no TSA preCheck but I did app,y and pay 5he fee... It seems some retirees claim they still have it while others have been terminated....

Submitted by Evan Richardson on

Served my country for 4 years, HONORABLY, in the US Army. Went through an intensive background check to receive a SECRET security clearance. Went to War in Iraq, come home, separated honorably, have not committed any crimes. Where's the benefit for us? I already passed a background check once, likely more intensive than this "PRE check" background check, yet I need to do it again? My DD-214 should be proof enough that I am a Veteran, but based on this article, people like myself who haven't lost any limbs get treated like average civilians?

Security Theater at it's finest.

Submitted by Mark Beckstrom on

I tried. Did not work.

Submitted by Robert K Pearson on

Please explain how a Military Retiree with over 20 years and a TS security clearance can't quality for TSA Pre? I have used my DOD ID number for years even after I retired and now it no longer works when I fly. I called TSA and received nothing by double talk.

Submitted by Will on

For simplicity's sake, use your license when dealing directly with TSA, but I entered the 10-digit DoD ID number from my blue retiree ID as my KTN (Known Traveler Number).

Submitted by Will on

I believe the misunderstanding in this forum is if the retiree ID allows for TSA PreCheck.

Submitted by Will on

I entered the 10-digit DoD ID number from my blue retiree ID as my KTN (Known Traveler Number).

Submitted by Carl on

If you have retired from the military your DoD number will no longer work at the known traveler number. It takes a while after you retire to turn off your pre-check but they will. The person on the phone I spoke with said that is because we are no longer subject to background checks. Which is funny because most checks are every 10 years if you have a secret clearance. And not everyone has a clearance in the military so they don't get checks. TSA blog team you need to address this issue and the question about Honorable Retires being able to use their DoD number for a KTN. It is insulting to say you served 20+ years and retired honorably but now you can no longer be trusted. TSA please respond to this post as we would all like to know. And we would like to know how to get this corrected.

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA at JFK. 4 years Marine veterans. Work for a federal agency showed my Federal ID, was told I need a driver license, same TSA who got smart with me told me that my ID is not valid. Did a swab test on me. OH YEA, btw I am brown skin. This is call racial profiling.

Submitted by Greg on

You're not forgotten because they asked for a driver's license. Don't be dramatic. I'm a veteran as well and there is no need to act like this. You make us all look bad.