Defense Department has announced expanded Commissary,
Military Service Exchange and MWR access Jan. 1 and established a standard
for physical access to military installations.
who are eligible and want to take advantage of in-person benefits must have a
Veterans Health Identification Card, or VHIC. Primary Family Caregivers must
have an eligibility letter from VA’s Office of Community Care.
use VHICs for identification and check-in at VA appointments, but will also use
them for base access under the new program.
eligible solely under this act who are eligible to obtain a Veteran Health
Identification Card must use this credential for in-person installation and
privilege access. The card must display the Veteran’s eligibility status (i.e.,
PURPLE HEART, FORMER POW or SERVICE CONNECTED).
eligible solely under this act who are not enrolled in or are not eligible to
enroll in VA health care, or who are enrolled in VA health care, but do not
possess a Veteran Health Identification Card will not have access to DoD and
Coast Guard installations for in-person commissary, exchange, and MWR retail
privileges, but will have full access to online exchanges and American Forces
of Honor recipients and Veterans with 100% service-connected disability ratings
are eligible for DoD credentials under DoD policy.
must be enrolled in the VA health care system to receive a VHIC. To
enroll, you can complete an application for enrollment in VA health care by
telephone without the need for a signed paper application. Just call
1-877-222-VETS (8387) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Eastern.
You can also apply for VA healthcare benefits online at www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll,
or in person at your local VA medical facility. Once your enrollment is
verified, you can have your picture taken at your local VA medical center, and
VA will mail you a VHIC.