Veterans will soon be issued with a new identification card, the federal government announced earlier this week.
Ottawa is re-introducing the NDI 75 as a Veteran Service Card (VSC) intended to acknowledge the service of members and to encourage an enduring affiliation with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). The ID card is intended to show a record of service, the length of service, and will be useful for proof of previous military employment.
“The Veteran’s Service Card is more than just a piece of plastic in your wallet. It is a tangible recognition of your service, service to this country, and a true connection to the Canadian Armed Forces community years after you have hung up your uniform,” Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, himself a veteran of the CAF Reserves, said during a joint press conference with Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan.
The new card will carry the veteran’s name, picture, military Service Number, rank upon release from the military, record of service dates and the labelling “NDI 75” and “VETERAN.” It also has a Canadian Armed Forces banner. Initially, the CAF issued an NDI 75 Record of Service Card to members of the Regular Force with a minimum of 25 years of service, however, it was not a valid identification card. That card was discontinued in 2016.
“Time after time, at the 40 town halls, meetings, and roundtables I’ve had with Veterans and their families since January, we heard the need for reintroducing a Veteran’s Service Card,” said O’Regan. “We listened and we are taking action. We are committed to improving how members transition from their service in the Canadian Armed Forces to life after service and this Card will provide a valuable link to VAC programs and offer a recognition of their service to Canada.”
The (VSC) aims to keep the veteran connected to military and veteran support programs during their transition from military to civilian life. As of September 2018, all eligible members will automatically receive a VSC when they release from the CAF. It will be presented to the member during your final release interview. Members who have completed basic training and been honourably released from the CAF will be eligible for a card.
CAF members and veterans released between February 2016 and September 2018 can apply online for their VSC starting December 1, 2018. CAF members and veterans released before 2016 can request their card after the summer of 2019. The Veteran’s Service Card is not intended to replace the CFOne card. CAF members, Veterans, and their families may apply for a CFOne card, which allows access to programs and services delivered by Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS), including the CANEX Rewards Program and the CF Appreciation Program.
“Taking care of our women and men in uniform and their families is our number one priority,” added Sajjan. “Through our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, we have committed to providing the best possible care and support to our military personnel as they transition to post-military life.”