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

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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:
    • 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

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