Disposing of Military Uniforms: A Step-by-Step Guide

Yes, you can throw away old military uniforms. However, it is essential to consider the environmental impact of disposing of any item, including military uniforms. Throwing away old military uniforms may not be the most sustainable option, as they can take a long time to decompose in a landfill.

Instead of throwing away old military uniforms, you may consider donating them to a thrift store or another organization that can reuse them. Some organizations may accept donations of used military uniforms, such as the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the Salvation Army, or the Vietnam Veterans of America.

You can also check with your local military base or Veterans Affairs office to see if they have any programs or initiatives for disposing of old military uniforms. They may be able to provide you with guidance on the most appropriate way to dispose of your old military uniforms.

What To Do With Old Military Uniforms

Naturally, when a lot of time has passed, you may now be thinking of disposing of your military uniform or using it in some way or another.

Now, there are several options available to do so, such as:

  1. Throwing away your old military uniform
  2. Reusing your old military uniform
  3. Donating your old military uniform
  4. Wearing them on certain occasions

Let’s look at each available option and see which suits your needs the best.

Can You Throw Away Your Old Military Uniform?

You can do that if we discuss throwing away an old military uniform. It is also the most effortless way to eliminate your old military uniform.

There are three ways how you can throw it away such as:

1. Throw Them in the trash

The first option you have is to throw away the military uniform in the trash. It is the easiest way, and you wouldn’t have to put in any effort.

However, if you throw them away in the trash, remember that you remove the badges, names, and insignia before doing it. Failure to do so may cause someone to steal and use it badly.

You can also tear the uniform and throw it away to ensure no one uses it.

2. Burn The Uniform

If you’re too skeptical about throwing away your uniform, you can also burn it.

Burning the uniform ensures that no one can steal away your badges and, thus, prevent additional stolen valor.

Remember that burning away may not be the best option as there may be some dangers and other accidents.

So, if you’re considering doing this, take all the safety measures while burning the clothes.

3. Go For Shredding Programs

If you have spare time and some old connections within the military, you can ask them about shredding programs.

These shredding programs help dispose of the uniform by shredding them. Thus, avoiding any stolen valor. Moreover, you need not worry about burning or tearing them as the program will do it quite rapidly.

So, you can throw away or dispose of your uniform in the above three ways.

How to Dispose of Old Military Uniforms

Other Ways to Make Use of Military Uniforms

Many people may find it a little disrespectful to throw away something that depicts years of service to the nation.

If you’re one of them, don’t worry—many other ways to eliminate your military uniform without throwing it away.

Here’s how you can do it.

1. Wearing Them on Certain Occasions

If you don’t have a problem and feel comfortable wearing your military uniform, then why not wear it on some occasions?

For example, there are still certain events where you may want to wear your military uniform, such as:

  • National events
  • Memorial services
  • Military parades
  • Meetings of different military associations
  • Military ceremonies

So, if you have one military uniform, you may want to keep it as you’ll get a chance to wear it shortly.

2. Donating Your Old Military Uniform

Donating your old military uniform is also a good idea. However, you may have to find an organization that accepts uniforms as a donation.

To make it easier for you, here are some of those organizations that can help you:

To help a military soldier, you can also look for military thrift stores. If you find one, you can give away your old military uniform and help a fellow service member looking for an inexpensive one.

Remember to remove any name titles, badges, or other insignia when you donate your uniform, as people may misuse them.

3. Reusing or Repurposing Old Military Uniforms

Military uniforms look great, but they can also be made into something unique. You can create duffel bags, aprons, quilts, bibs, purses, pouches, wristbands, wallets, and many other things with ingenuity.

Pinterest is a great place to start looking for ideas on how to reuse military uniforms.

Can You Sell Your Old Uniform?

Many Army/Navy and military surplus stores will pay for your old uniforms. People buy them for all kinds of reasons, from a new set of hunting clothes to having an inexpensive and durable set of clothing for working outside that they won’t miss if it gets destroyed.

Make sure that any name tapes, patches, badges, etc., are removed before you sell your uniform. This keeps someone from impersonating a member of the military.


It’s possible to throw away old military uniforms, but it is important to consider the environmental impact and potential for stolen valor. Instead, other options are available, such as donating to organizations that accept used military uniforms, wearing them on certain occasions, or participating in shredding programs offered by military bases or Veterans Affairs offices.

Ultimately, the best option will depend on the individual’s personal preference and priorities.

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