Like all good things, there comes a time when it must end. Our military careers are no different. For some, it is a long anticipated moment. For others, it may be one of the most difficult things to do. Regardless of your convictions, most would agree that we are extremely proud of our service and our military accomplishments. As leaders, we should recognize this fact and make a point to truly honor and commemorate our Soldiers/NCOs service upon their retirement.
Sure, military awards are great. But, there’s nothing like a personalized gift that your Soldier can cherish for many years go come. That being said, here are my Top 5 Gift Ideas for Army Retirees.
5. Personalized Plaque: There are hundreds of different styles and types of plaques that can honor a Soldier’s career. Now, I am not talking about a “certificate of appreciation” or something lack luster here. No, I am talking about a plaque that a Soldier would be proud to hang above his personal desk or mantle at home. There are plaques that can be made into an MOS specific theme, include rank insignia, skill badges or even photographs. Here is an example plaque.
4. Flag Display Shadow Box: These can be simple, yet extremely elegant. Oftentimes, our military awards, coins and other sentimental items often find their ways into random drawers or other locations. What a better way than a shadow box to display our achievements. A personalized shadow box is even better! Example shadow box.
3. Guidon Display: For some Soldiers, nothing means more than the colors that represent their unit. Especially for Company Commanders! I have known it to be SOP to give an exiting commander a framed guidon display that expresses the units appreciation for their Leadership. These make great gifts for retiring Battalion Commanders and Battalion Command Sergeant’s Majors.
2. Statue Display: You could order a nice bust or statue of a famous Soldier, such as a Civil War Soldier. You could get it engraved with a nice quote or personalized message to thank the Soldier.
1. Cavalry Sword Display: To me, as an Armor Officer, this is one of the greatest gifts I could ever receive. Many Armor/Cavalry Officers have Sabers that were given as gifts throughout their career. What a better way to hang up your Stetson, spurs and saber than a personalized display. Check out this example Cavalry Sword Display!
FINAL THOUGHTS: These are just my thoughts on good retirement gift ideas. Of course, we should cater our rewards to the Soldier and their military career and accomplishments. Many Soldiers like different things. No matter what you choose, a comical PPT Slideshow commemorating the Soldiers career never fails!
What are some of the best retirement gifts that you have seen? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.