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Military ID and Badge Programs: Will They Get Tougher on IDs?

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Every member of the United States Armed Forces — and family members — is required to keep an ID on them. And for good reason. 

In addition to identifying military members, the ID badge is also used to enter installations, access buildings, sign onto computer systems, use recreation facilities, get health benefits, and commissary and exchange outlets. But as it turns out, the badges that have been in place are way outdated. 

That’s why in August of this year, the United States Defense Department issued an announcement. Flimsy laminated IDs were out. In its place they were introducing the Next Generation Uniform Services Identification Card, according to military.com. Incredibly, this is the first ID change since 1993 and a response to a need to provide military members with IDs featuring updated security features to avoid counterfeiting and fraud, the director of the Defense Manpower Data Center, Michael Sorrento, said in a statement.

Beginning in July, the new IDs began being rolled out and everyone in the service should have one by December of this year, the Department of Defense announced. 

That said, these more durable IDs still need to be easy to access and on each military personnel’s person at all times. So how do service members hold on to them? That’s where ID accessories come in. 

Given the importance of these ID badges, one can imagine that keeping them safe and protected is priority number one. But whether you’re a reserve member, active duty, National Guard member, or staff person, you live a busy life and keeping track of an ID badge is just another task to add to a long list of duties. 

Given the nature of the high security access many in service hold, military badge ID holder needs are different than the average civilian. That’s why there are so many badge holders with added security features.

For instance, the Identity Stronghold IDSH1004-001B-002 Secure Badgeholder Classic was designed to provide badges with additional protection. Specifically, the squeeze-to-read technology obscures the badge unless the wearer allows it to become visible. In addition, the holder blocks RFID chips in cards from being read without permission. The durable polycarbonate material also assures the wearer that their card can take a beating without affecting the card itself.

For others, a credential wallet may be more appealing. Worn around the neck, this safe pocket not only keeps an ID badge hidden with wallet-like flaps, it can be worn under the clothing close to the body for added security. 

Specialist ID also knows that military members are not a monolith. Needs are different for every branch of service and role within the Defense Department. To that end, the company offers a variety of badge solutions. 

For active duty members in the midst of training for deployment, PT is a daily part of life. But running through obstacles courses with an ID badge around your neck is neither convenient nor safe. The Vertical Armband ID Badge Holders with Zipper Top (504-ARZB & 504-ARZW) is a great alternative. Rather than attach an ID to a lanyard and wear it around the neck, this adjustable armband keeps the ID safe around the bicep of the wearer. Thin enough to wear under a shirt, the plastic protects the card from sweat and the elements while keeping it safe and in place. 

For more formal roles, there are still more options from Specialist ID. The Magnetic Vertical Double Pocket Badge Holder (1835-1115) is a good choice for those who handle logistics. If operating from an installation or even the Pentagon, this attractive magnetic wallet can be easily revealed to provide identification or access to high security spaces. In addition, it can hold up to two standard driver's license sized ID badges so those who have to carry multiple forms of credentials have room for all of it.

But if limiting pocket space is out of the question, there are still other tools Specialist ID provides for those in the armed forces. The Black EK Patriot Shielded RFID Blocking Two Card ID Badge Holder (10916) by EK USA was specifically designed for ID badges that require extra protection. The holder can keep two government-issued CAC or smart cards completely safe from unauthorized data skimming. Easily attached to a lanyard, the added bonus of the Black EK Patriot is that its composite material is nearly indestructible, making it ideal for individuals required to keep badges on them at all times. 

With the shift to new badge IDs across the United States Armed Forces, military members will need to update their badge holders and accessories. Fortunately, Specialist ID has everything a badge wearer might need to hold, protect, and keep safe their important military ID.

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