The Holiday season is upon us and you have probably started to think about gifts. Gift buying can be a challenge no matter who you might be buying for. Buying gifts for Marines might make things even trickier.
You love and care for this person and appreciate the sacrifice they are giving to our county. It’s only natural to want to give them the world in return. However, with the majority of their time spent in their uniforms, clothing and accessories can be difficult to figure out what falls within regulation.
With frequent deployments and regular moves to different duty stations, things for the home might not be needed. Ultimately you should talk to your Marine and try to figure out what sort of things they might want and need. You will probably be surprised by their requests as they might ask for things very basic or something unique you wouldn’t have thought of.
In the event that you are not able to communicate with your Marine or they are one of those who “don’t need anything,” here is a list that might give you some ideas. Remember, that no matter what is gifted, it is that thought that counts and we’re sure your Marine will appreciate any gesture.
Skivvies Shirts & Shorts
A Marine that might not ask for anything, will never turn down any of these must-haves. Anything worn under their uniform is going to need to be replenished more often than their civilian wardrobe. You can’t go wrong with a pack of socks, underwear, or their undershirts they wear on a daily basis.
They are also going to be a much-appreciated gift in a relatively low-price range. It is recommended, if you can, to check what sort of brands and colors your Marine likes to wear before buying.
A nice pair of sunglasses would come in handy no matter where your Marine is located. For your Marine to wear them with their uniform, they need to be non-reflective, black, and preferably matte black.
Get your Marine the gift of Marine Corps history with a Glass Beach Mug.
This unique mug is a replica of the WWI-era mug used in Marine Corps mess halls based on fragments found near Glass Beach, Cuba. The mug is microwaveable making it ideal to reheat coffee if need be. An added benefit, a portion of all proceeds goes to support Marines and their families through the Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS).
A watch is a great accessory that can be worn daily and be helpful in their work. Any type of watch is fine. From an inexpensive digital or analog watch to a smartwatch, all fall within regulation. Just make sure that the watch is ALL black and again preferably matte black to be able to wear with their uniforms.
Medal/Ribbons/Awards Travel Case
The gift of organization will come in handy, especially when getting ready for an inspection or the ball. A nice zipper case or organizer that is specifically for holding their medals, ribbons, breast insignias or anything else that might go on their uniforms would make a great gift.
Like anyone, gift cards are much appreciated by Marines. If their favorite restaurant or coffee place sells gift cards, it is always nice for a treat on the town and a break from the chow hall.
Some other useful cards could be an Amazon gift card. It gives them the ability to buy a want or a need at any given time.
The MCX also sells electronic gift cards. Here they can use the money to buy anything from haircuts, uniform pieces, dry cleaning, or anything useful for their civilian life.
Lastly, an Uber or Lyft gift could be very useful for the Marine without a car or one that likes to get off base from time to time.
This is a bigger purchase item, but one that your Marine might appreciate a lot. Even if your Marine is still living in the barracks, they are allowed to have their own TVs.
You will want to consult with your Marine before buying this as a gift though. They may already have one or might be going on a deployment soon and it will just sit in storage. Size might matter as well depending on the space they have.
If you are gifting a TV or if they already have one, a gaming console would pique the interest of a lot of Marines. The more junior Marines will spend a lot of time on base and in the barracks. Having the luxury to play their favorite video games would make for a nice past time while they are not working.
Whether your Marine has a TV, tablet, or smartphone, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime are great gifts that can be used on various devices.
The subscriptions add up depending on how many your Marine uses. So, taking that out of their monthly budget for a few months to a year would be very helpful. Again, talk with your Marine to see if they will be able to use the service. Even if they are deployed and have access to the internet, the service might not be available in that country.
Plane tickets are expensive and become more expensive the closer you wait to your departure date to buy. It’s common for Marines to not know until the last minute that they get to come home. An added bonus, you won’t risk them not enjoying this gift. Assuming they use the gesture to come home, it is a gift the whole family will enjoy.
Hiking Gift Basket
Your Marine will spend a lot of time hiking and going on ruck marches. Putting together a gift basket with all the hiking essentials is sure to bring them happiness and joy to their feet. Some things you might want to include in the gift basket are:
- A good pair of socks (such as Darn Tough Socks)
- Hydration Essentials (salt sticks and nuun tablets)
- Chapstick for drier climates (checkout Duke Cannon)
- Hand & Boot Warmers for the colder season
- A gift card for new combat boots
Every time your Marine goes into the field they’re required to wear tactical gloves. Marines can spend a few days or weeks at a time out in the field, so their gloves will see a lot of wear and tear. Getting them a good pair will give them one less thing to worry about it.
Self Care Items
Being squared away, and always looking their best is important to every Marine. Getting them a gift that they will use every day is a great way to help ensure your Marine will always look their best.
Instead of getting them the traditional brands they might get on their own, splurge on some items from this Veteran-Owned Bussiness, Doc Spartan.
With items for males and females, you’re bound to find a gift perfect for self care.
To complete your gift of self-care items, why not get your Marine a toiletry bag from Sword and Plough. This veteran-owned business makes one of a kind bags and accessories out of repurposed military surplus and durable military-grade materials.
It’s not always easy to buy for Marines, but not impossible. Hopefully, with some of these suggestions, you can make your Marine smile this holiday season. Still looking for more ideas? Here are some additional military gift ideas your Marine is sure to enjoy.
What gifts have you gotten your Marine in the past that they enjoyed receiving – let us know in the comments below!