PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD — The Department of Defense (DoD) has modified base access policies affecting federal civilian retirees. Effective August 31, 2023, the traditional Department of Defense civilian retiree identification cards will become obsolete.

The shift was announced in a February memorandum from the Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Instead of the old IDs, federal civilian retirees will need a Defense Biometric Identification Systems (DBIDS) ID card to enter Navy facilities, including Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) centers.

NAVADMIN 105/23, signed by Vice Adm. Ricky Williamson, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, states: “Previously issued DoD Civilian Retiree ID cards will remain valid through 31 August 2023, at which point they will no longer be accepted as a valid form of ID.” It adds that individuals will be processed and issued DBIDS credentials after a successful identification process and background check.

To acquire a DBIDS card, retirees must visit their respective Visitor Control Center (VCC) with an SF-50 form indicating their retirement status from civilian government service. The limited use of MWR facilities by these retirees will continue to be at the discretion of the installation Commanding Officer.

For those at the NAS Patuxent River installation, LT Charles Whittenton, the Security Officer, mentioned, “Pax River has a large civilian population compared to some other Navy bases, so our VCC staff have been made aware to expect more DBIDS applications as a result of this policy.”

To expedite the procedure, eligible personnel can opt for one of two background check options: either fill out the SECNAV Form 5512/1 and bring it to the VCC or use the DBIDS pre-registration portal online. The DBIDS credentials issued will be valid for up to three years and must be provisioned at each installation the individual intends to access.

Whittenton added, “It’s important to understand that an individual will need to provision their DBIDS credential at each installation they intend to access, and access at every installation is at the discretion of that installation’s Commanding Officer.”

For more information on the required forms of identification, you can visit the USCIS site. Questions concerning base access at NAS Patuxent River can be directed to the VCC at (301) 342-3231/8140 or by emailing VCC Supervisor Alex Collins at

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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