Serial Numbers – still remembered

Gathered at a table at an event on Veterans Day – they could remember and proudly state their serial numbers learned decades ago.  Children’s birth dates and their wedding anniversaries could be shared but not with the speed and efficiency of their serial numbers.

For the identification of personnel, the Army and Air Force discontinued using service numbers in 1969; the Marines in 1971; and the Navy in 1972.  Social Security numbers replaced “service numbers” and “serial numbers” became the standard for categorizing physical assets like equipment and vehicles.


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