A bill signed into law Jan. 3 will make airport security life easier for serivcemembers and their families … kind of.
The bill, sent to the White House last month, orders the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to ease guidelines for screening servicemembers who are traveling in uniform on military orders and any family members traveling with them. According to the bill (which you can see for yourself here), the TSA must get servicemembers and accompanying family through security faster while coming up with ways to effectively screen uniforms and combat boots, presumably without making the people wearing them undress.
(Because we all LOVE undressing while going through security at the airport, right?)
But like Rick Maze reported in the Army Times, which first ran this story, the bill is likely more symbolic than it is practical.
Think about it like this: when was the last time your servicemember flew anywhere in uniform that was not a deployment or R&R trip?
And when was the last time you or your family flew with him while he was in uniform? Even when traveling on PCS orders or going on a temporary duty trip, your servicemember probably chose civies over camo. In my husband’s mind, at least, no security fast pass is worth the extra attention he’d get by traveling in combat boots.
In reality, then, this bill probably makes life a little, tiny bit easier for deploying and returning troops who travel through regular airports – and not really anyone else.
But I appreciate the sentiment (in a way).
Meanwhile, another pilot program may help servicemembers only -- but not families -- get through security faster uniform or not. The airport in Monterey, Calif. is testing a system that allows servicemembers to scan their common access cards and potentially gain access to the pre-approved security line. While those folks would still be scanned and have their belongings x-rayed, they would not need to remove their shoes, outerwear/jackets and belt, among other things. You can read all about that program here.