Shopping for a graduation gift that needs to be a hit? Here are seven of the best tactical gifts for the grad in your life— gifts you won’t be able to resist buying for yourself as well.
Must-haves include bullet pens, tactical kilts, hardcore beer coolers, and even a beer-expert badge T-shirt. All these top pick gifts leverage military-grade know-how and make it available in the form of truly memorable, high-caliber gifts.
5.11's Tactical Kilt
If your favorite grad doesn’t have a 5.11 Tactical Duty Kilt, then it is your duty to fix that situation. It is made with TEFLON finish so it can take on whatever partying throws at it. 5.11 describes it as “Ideal for the range, casual wear, and the Highlands.”
Very comfortable, it also has TDU-style cargo pockets sized for multiple magazines, and belt loops sized for a 1.75".
Available in a range of cool colors like black, TDU Green, and MultiCam, for $74.99.
Junior’s Bullet Pen
The ultra cool Bullet Pen is a must have for grads – and this is definitely a gift that buyers needs to nab for themselves too. An amazing veteran-owned company, Junior’s Bullet Pens makes pens out of once-fired military brass.
All the pens are “reloadable” and use a standard “Cross-type” refill. Their original 7.62 Bullet Pen comes in brass and nickel with a choice of copper, gun metal, or chrome tips and clips— depending on shell color— and is available for $19.95.
Another cool option is the version with Cerakote – the stuff is used to paint and/or camouflage weapons – and on the pen it looks extremely cool. Cerakote will become available for $24.95.
American Marauder’s “Beer Expert” Badge T-shirt
Forget a suit for those job interviews and first jobs. Let someone else get that. Whether your graduate is heading into the workforce or off to college, one thing is certain— cool T-shirts are always vital.
Badges are another fundamental part of military life. American Marauder took the badge concept, blew it up massively, and on a twist of the classic concept, made it a Beer Expertise badge.
The question is: Would your college grad want to be caught without a Beer Expert Badge? Most likely not. And for high school grads, this is one badge many will aspire to someday attain, whether via hard work with microbrews or Pabst Blue Ribbon.
And even cooler, this is a T-shirt made by a brand whose stuff is extremely popular and widely worn by elite professionals in the special operations world, so with this company even T-shirts are made to that exacting level of design and cut.
Available for $16.00.
Article 15’s “Prepared Not Scared” T-shirt and “Forever Free” hoodie
Article 15 was founded by four veterans who describe themselves as “HOOLIGANS WITH A DREAM…who aim to bring laughter and awareness to the men and women who have so selflessly protected our freedoms.”
Along these lines, they also make a very popular range of gear. There is a wide variety to choose from, and particularly fitting for new grads are T-shirts like “Prepared Not Scared” available for $26.95 and “Forever Free Eagle Hoodie” for 44.95.
Ranger Up’s Anniversary Coin
Challenge coins are another big tradition in the military. It’s ill-advised to be caught in a bar among special operators without a cool challenge coin. And you never know who your grad will be grabbing a beer with. Enough said.
Ranger Up is a fantastic veteran-owned company that also makes hugely popular apparel related to the military, the core values of the United States, and more.
Ranger Up’s 8-Year Anniversary Coin is a perfect choice for the grad whose fun has just begun. The coin says “Not Everyone’s War Stories End in High School.”
Available for $6.99.
Grey Ghost’s Gypsy tactical backpack
School’s over and it’s time to fully dive into the school of life. Arm your graduate with a backpack designed for the most elite tactical professionals, so your grad always is ready for anything.
As Grey Ghost describes: “This bag is for the traveler and daily commuter who needs a sturdy bag with proper hoplogical features that does not advertise you’re an armed civilian. Nobody wants a bag that yells, “Yo, we got us a badass here!”
Made with waxed canvas with mixed stretch mesh on interior pockets, it features incredibly smart design with elements including spots for water bottles, laptop, notebook, pens, phones, holsters, a blowout kit— even night vision goggles— and more to fit comfortably.
Available for $225.00
YETI Roadie 20 cooler
Party on the move. If your favorite grad still doesn’t have a YETI Roadie, then it is the perfect time to be that kid’s hero and get him or her one. It is a big spend, so if you are looking for something special that a grad could not buy for him or herself, then this is the right decision.
Whether your frad is fraternity- or work-bound, this is guaranteed to make him or her the envy of friends at every party, tailgate, and barbeque.
The ultra-portable hard cooler can hold 14 cans with ice. It’s the best road trip companion you’ll ever meet thanks to its 2-3 inches of cold-retaining insulation and extra-thick walls made from UV-resistant polyethylene. Great for campouts, the beach, or day trips, too.
The Roadie 20 is available for $249.99 in white, tan and blue.
Allison Barrie is a defense specialist with experience in more than 70 countries who consults at the highest levels of defense and national security, a lawyer with four postgraduate degrees, and author of the definitive guide, Future Weapons: Access Granted, on sale in 30 countries. Barrie hosts the new hit podcast “Tactical Talk” where she gives listeners direct access to the most fascinating Special Operations warriors each week and to find out more about the FOX Firepower host and columnist you can click here or follow her on Twitter @allison_barrie and Instagram @allisonbarriehq.