ID Holders: A Vital Piece of Gear That Is Often Overlooked

When you’re getting ready for a deployment or a new contract there’s a lot of gear you need to think about, and a lot of it’s going to be stuff your life depends on. That makes it easy to forget about smaller items that might not seem all that important, but will make life more comfortable or less irritating on a daily basis. One that a lot of people forget is the simple matter of an ID holder. ID is a fact of life on operations now. It’s not enough to have your standard military ID; wherever you are, and whether you’re serving military or contract, if you need access to bases you’re going to need a pass issued by the local security office – and you’re going to be asked to show it, a lot. It soon gets tiring having to rummage in a jacket or vest pocket for it; and anyway, in many areas, you’re required to have it permanently on display.

The solution is to get an ID holder of some sort, and there’s a wide variety on the market. These range from a simple clear plastic sleeve on a cord to much more elaborate ones with pockets for other documents, cash, pens and so on. So, what makes for a good choice?

ID holderThe first thing to consider is security. You absolutely don’t want something that’s going to fall apart and leave your ID lying unnoticed on the ground. That’s going to cause you some problems with the pass office, and if it falls into the wrong hands could lead to a major security breach. If you want a holder that hangs round your neck, make sure it has a good strong cord that’s securely attached. Also think about how bulky you want it to be. Extra pockets are handy, but a bigger, more cluttered, holder is more likely to snag on something and get wrenched off. It’s also more likely to be uncomfortable, so you’ll tend to take it off – and eventually you’ll forget it.

An alternative is a holder that straps to your arm. These tend to be more popular with people who go off base a lot, including drivers as well as infantry and camp security forces. They don’t get in the way and they’re low profile, but they can be wrenched off when you’re putting on and removing armour all the time. They do have the big advantage that they don’t involve putting a length of 550 cord around your neck, where it can act as a convenient, ready placed, garrotte.

For most people, the best solution is probably a simple neck holder with a cord; Blackhawk and Raine make nice ones. If you’re dealing with locals a lot, consider Raine’s ID armband simply because nobody’s ever going to be able to strangle you with it; if you do wear a neck holder, keep it tucked out of sight inside your armor.

An ID holder might not seem like a big deal when you have boots, load-carrying gear and weapon accessories to think about. Don’t write it off though. Getting the right one will make your life easier and less irritating, and you’re better buying one before you deploy than having to pick up an overpriced one from a base PX.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Fergus Mason

Fergus Mason grew up in the west of Scotland. After attending university he spent 14 years in the British Army and served in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Iraq. Afterwards, he went to Afghanistan as a contractor, where he worked in Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif and Camp Leatherneck. He now writes on a variety of topics including current affairs and military matters.
Fergus Mason

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