Reminisce back to the days of driver’s ed and how excited you were to get your upcoming driver’s license…now fast forward to your new military spouse life and you find yourself searching high and low for your military ID card!  This is your life now!  You were so excited to walk down the aisle with your partner and then get your coveted military ID card. You will now use this small piece of plastic with your picture for so much now, and without it you can be stranded in this life you now live!

This card holds so much power:

  • Base Access
  • Commissary Privileges
  • Base Exchange Privileges
  • MWR Facilities
  • Medical Card
  • Military Discounts
  • and so much more!

Yes, this card is your right of passage to your military life and that you will want to keep on you, basically 24/7/365!  There is nothing more frustrating that realizing you have left base without it, especially if you live on base, like we did for so many years!  I even made a mantra that I said (out loud) when getting ready to walk out of the door every day: Keys, Wallet, Phone, ID.  Yes, I literally would say this out loud as I was about to close our front door every time I departed.  Inevitably, any time I would forget to say the mantra, that was the day I left my ID at home.  Now, granted it happened maybe 5 times in our many years together, but it is so frustrating!  I couldn’t get home…without a sponsor, which for me meant that my hubby would giggle hysterically at me and give me a load of crap for forgetting this oh so important piece of plastic.  Now, please understand that the 3 times he forgot his, I gave it all back to him and showed no mercy!  LOL!

I will say that while we lived on base, it was my lifeline of existence.  I would leave my Driver’s License, credit cards, everything at home before I would leave my military ID (well, except that handful of times I mentioned before).  However, since moving off base for the first time in a long time, I find that I am more lax and my original mantra is only done when I am going to the base for an event, appointment, shopping, etc.  It is no longer my lifeline of existence as it once was.  Now, having said that, I still need it for those trips to base, using it for all medical appointments, any time there is a military discount available, etc.  So, it is still with me at all times!

So, to make you giggle…I actually had it strategically placed into my wallet exterior pocket. “Why?” you may be asking, well let me tell you!  I was always ready in case someone ever tried to take my purse/wallet.  I could literally slide my ID out and they can have everything else…at least then, I could get home!  Some habits never die, but it always surprised people to see it, but once I explained it, they totally knew what I meant!

Maybe you noticed that there are different types of military ID cards?!?!

  • White (Common Access Cards or CAC) – Active Duty Members, Civil Service Members, and Contractors
  • Blue – Retirees
  • Orange – Dependents (now these are similar to a horizontal CAC look)
  • Red – Reserves & Guard Members & their retirees up to age 60
  • Gold – Others with privileges

Usually the member will need to be with you to get your card, unless you have a special Power of Attorney for one.  Many times, there are walk-in appointments available, but you never know if you will be there for a few minutes or several hours!  YIKES!  Don’t stress, as you can now make appointments easily through the ID Card Office Online!  That system has made our wait time drop drastically and we can be in and out quickly!

I LOVE being a military spouse and wouldn’t change it for the world!  It has had its struggles for sure, like losing your ID card…oops, but I carry my dependent ID card as a badge of honor!  The military community is an amazing group of people, and I am so grateful to be a part of this tribe!