Armed Forces: Their Number Is Up

The Army broke another tie with tra dition last week, sending the traditional G.I. serial number into retirement along with the pack mule and the Sam Browne belt. From now on, new soldiers will find their civilian Social Security numbers on their dogtags instead. The switch is to accommodate the Pentagon's new centralized and computerized payroll system. The Army says that the new procedure will be easier for servicemen, who will now have only one set of numerals to remember instead of two.

That argument is rather specious, since the number of soldiers who carry their Social Security numbers in...

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