Did you know that the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) offers an expedited way to screen members of the military? This benefit applies to all members of the United States Armed Forces as well as those who serve in the National Guard and Reserves. Not many people are aware that cadets and midshipmen of the United States Military Academy, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and the Coast Guard Academy are also eligible to claim the benefit of expedited screening when traveling.
By obtaining this special security clearance, you’re able to take advantage of expedited screening at more than 120 airports located throughout the country and other American owned territories. Since the terminals that allow individuals to utilize their TSA Precheck status are located within the states, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico, military flights to Germany or other foreign countries are not applicable. If you want to speed up the process of going through the security screening at airports so you can get to your boarding gate faster, it’s recommended you utilize your TSA Precheck privilege every time you fly domestically. Although the TSA Precheck applies to members of the Armed Forces, you do not have to wear your military uniform while traveling. In addition to using it for military travel, you can also use your TSA Precheck for personal travel.
It’s important to note that family members under the age of 12 who accompany you can be processed through expedited screening as well. While members of the U.S. Military are automatically eligible for the TSA Precheck, civilian employees who work for the Department of Defense (DoD) can become eligible as well as long as they opt-in on the “milConnect” website. If you’re a member of the Armed Forces, here are a few tips to help you take advantage of the TSA’s Precheck program when booking your next trip for leisure or military travel.
Find Your 10-Digit KTN (Known Traveler Number) – This is the number that grants you access to expedited screenings and verifies your TSA Precheck eligibility when booking reservations. You can find your Known Traveler Number on the back of your Common Access Card (CAC) right above the barcode. If you can’t find the number or if it’s not printed on the back of your CAC, you can always retrieve it by logging on to milConnect. Your unique number will be located under the tab labeled “My Profile”.
Book Flight Reservations – When booking reservations for flights out of one of the airports which allow members of the TSA Precheck program to utilize their privilege, make sure you include your DoD ID number. You should enter the 10-digit number in the section on your reservation labeled “Known Traveler Number”. For official travel, make sure to enter your ID number when updating your DTS (Defense Travel System) profile.
Save Your Known Traveler Number – There’s no need to enter that long number every time you book a flight reservation. By saving your KTN to your DTS profile, it will automatically apply it when you make a reservation. Most popular airlines also allow you to store your DoD ID number to your frequent flyer program profile to quickly and easily make travel arrangements.