Army to stop putting Social Security numbers on dog tags

Soldiers’ Social Security numbers will no longer be part of their dog tags, the Army announced Tuesday.The change, which some have argued is long overdue, is the first update to the ubiquitous identification tags in more than 40 years.A soldier’s Social Security number will be replaced by a 10-digit, randomly-generated number. The change will be implemented on an as-needed basis, Michael Klemowski, Soldiers Programs branch chief at Army Human Resources Command, said in a statement released by the Army.

Source: Army to stop putting Social Security numbers on dog tagsFinally!

It’s long been an annoyance that, while everyone tells you to keep your Social Security Account Number secure, the Army has, pretty much since 1973, I think, used it as your service number. It’s on your ID card, your dog tags, your service records, training records, rifle qualification score sheet, and pretty much every other document that touches on your Army career. And let’s be blunt, while that information is in fact Personally Identifying Information (PII) and supposed to be subject to safeguard, very often, the paperwork is absolutely unsecured.

Guys, how many of you recall being asked “Last four?”

5 thoughts on “Army to stop putting Social Security numbers on dog tags”

  1. When I got my first Social Security card, it clearly stated that it was not to be used as identification.


  2. I still have my original service number on my dog tags (and an old white hat with the number stenciled on it). I knew it was a stupid idea when they went to SSNs. If they’d stop trying to fix things that aren’t broken we’d all be better off.

  3. Using the SS number was a stupid move to begin with. I am surprised it has taken this long to correct it. Another example of what happens when the bean counters get to make the decisions and nobody really cares about the consequences.

  4. USAF went to them about ’68. I asked my father in ’69 if he still remembered his service number, and he rattled it right off. Getting your “serial number” was part of the transition from life on the block to being a proper trooper. The SSN was never supposed to be used as identification other than for social security. Why the military went to it I never understood, and never met anyone on active duty in the late 60s who did understand it.

  5. The Marine Corps has had DODID numbers on dog tags and id cards for a while and they are supposed to use that instead but everyone still asks you for your social any time paper work is involved.

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