Today, after I completed my workout at the gym, I went to the NEX (the Navy’s version of a PX or BX) to buy some jerky and a Gatorade. I was wearing my cammies at the time, with my rank identifying me as a Marine Captain. Walking through the check-out line, the clerk at the register asked me to produce my military ID to prove that I was a member of the military.
I, of course, produced it. But why the heck does she need to see it? Does she think that I bought my cammies and boots (worth about $140) just so I can buy Gatorade at the NEX? Are my military uniform, military haircut, military appearance, and military bearing insufficient to prove that I’m probably a member of the military, and consequently deserve the privilege to purchase some Gatorade and jerky at a NEX?
I understand the requirements for proper identification in certain places. I understand why the TSA might be interested in my identity when I travel. I understand that if I make a moving violation in my car, the law enforcement officer might want to know who I am. I understand that the Navy’s security guards who monitor traffic entering naval installations have every right to require that I produce identification. I even understand why a register clerk at a NEX would want to verify my identity when I am wearing civvies.