Army decides to stop putting soldiers' Social Security numbers on their dog tags


[Read the post]


Good, but not as good as if we stopped using SSN as a proof of identity. Oh well.


Yeah. What a good idea it is to have a “secret” that you need to share far and wide.


Between 1918 and 1974, the number on the dog tags was the individual’s Service Number, which was assigned by the military upon induction.


I recall a more innocent era, when we thought the ubiquity of the SSN was a good thing, when it served as my Driver License number, when I had it printed on my checks…

Of course a soldier’s dog tags serve a rather unique identification purpose. They need to unambiguously identify the person, they need to provide some medical data for prompt lifesaving activities, and the proper flavor of ceremonies to invoke supernatural aid for their survival (or upon their death).

SSN only ever served one of those purposes.


Even worse, a ‘secret’ that you can’t change once somebody knows it.


like your fingerprints! biometry is such a great idea!


like the iris scanners in the movies that don’t check capillaries to ensure the eyeball is still in the original owner. nothing like a security system that encourages people to cut out your eyeballs!

i personally favor micro-biome locks, where you have to fart into the hole to unlock the safe/door.


The switch is being done in an effort to reduce the use of Social Security numbers and curb identity theft.

Which doesn’t do a lick of good for people who’ve had their SSN’s acquired by somebody, have been married to somebody who turned bad (or into a stalker in my case) or any number of other things.

I wish they’d have gone the other way and said ‘you can’t use the SSN to steal somebody’s identity, you can’t get away with being so lazy, banks’


Sheesh, too little too late. I tried to take a stand in early adulthood when opening accounts for various services- “I’m not going to give you my social security number and you’re not supposed to be asking for it”, and yet I was the one who got looked at like I had an extra layer of tin on my tinfoil hat.


Well, there goes my plan to obtain SSNs by pickpocketing members of the armed forces one by one. I guess I’ll just have to head over to the Office of Personnel Management to drown my sorrows in a handy giant database.


So you are also advocating for a change to a beans-based economy?


of course! they are the magical/musical fruit after all.


How about that. Especially as it’s actually everywhere. My student ID in 1979 had my ssn on it.



I don’t know about now, but back in the day there were a swarm of shady vendors around military bases. In 1984, I remember renting a 1969 AMC Ambassador at Ojo’s rent-a-wreck to drive from Memphis to Missispi on leave. I was 18 and made under 400 bucks a month, and had never even held a credit card in my hand. The only thing that allowed me to enjoy this incredible luxury was my Military ID with my SSN on it. They knew they could come back to my command armed with it for postive ID if I stiffed them or wrecked their precious ride. In hindsight, they probably wouldn’t have bothered. The car was basically disposable. We had to fill the radiator at every gas station we hit on the way.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.