Talk:Service number (United States Armed Forces)

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Service # for Norman Schwarzkopf[edit]

I'm going to look into this but this is very strange. Schwarzkopf's Army biography lists his service # as 073 858. That is a number earlier than World War II vintange numbers. With Schwarzkopf commissioned in the 1950s, maybe it had something to do with going to West Point? -OberRanks (talk) 04:17, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

And I also was looking through old FOIA requests and found an even later record, from the 1960s with the service # OF 107 596, also a West Point graduate. Very strange - something to look into unless anyone else knows the answer. -OberRanks (talk) 04:23, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Will have to verify but it seems the Army gave the very low numbers to West Point/Regular Army only and the higher numbers to everybody else. Looks like I answered my own question. -OberRanks (talk) 16:00, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Article coming along nicely[edit]

I plan to start adding in-line citations after the completion of the USCG section and from there begin the path to Featured Article. Does anyone have any suggestions for improvement? -OberRanks (talk) 03:02, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Article break-apart[edit]

The article break-apart has now been completed. -OberRanks (talk) 13:50, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Service Number Media[edit]

This page has a list, with the heading "Service numbers have also been mentioned in films and other media. Some examples include:" I added to that list a quote from a television show, the quote was:
Gibbs: "Corporal Yost! Serial number!"
Ernie Yost: "3-3-0-0-9-0, *sir*!"

The number is correct as a WWII era Enlisted Marine Service Number, but I've not done research to tell whose number it is. I did however show a third party reference to the quote, (IMDB)

But IMDB quotes more than these two lines of dialog in the scene. I felt it was better form to preface them with
"In the television series NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Episode "Call of Silence"(Season 2, Ep 7) Gibbs asks Kate to find the service record for a US Marine from World War II. When she asks for his Social Security Number, she is told that they weren't used for serial numbers when he served, to prove his point Gibbs shouts across the room to the Marine in question;"

I felt that the entire passage was appropriate for this article, as it illustrates that
1) service members had to memorize their number, and would remember them 60+ year later
2) the service number from that era was not the SSN as it is now, a fact mentioned in the first line of this article.
3) it is a service number mentioned in media, as were all four items in the list above.
4) without listing the 15 lines of dialog in the IMDB quote, it more accurately described the scene for those who may be unfamiliar with the series.

A day after I made the entry, it is reverted with the only note being "seems to be more about SSNs" This section could have been edited down, so as to not mention SSN, and still be accurate, but that was apparently out of the question.

I respectfully disagree with that judgment, and would like to ask when may I make a contribution that won't be summarily removed? Shall I ask permission for each or is this really the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit?

Because nothing is fun when somebody deletes it hours later.

--Airbornchaos (talk) 06:41, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

The material didn't seem very well cited as an IMDB quote is not a reliable source. Also, there were SSNs in World War II and the quoted number given by the character is not even remotely close to an actual service number in format or length. The section in general, I feel, should illustrate only major and well cited occurrences of service numbers in major motion pictures or film media. Even that is debatable, as there has been some discussion on other articles to do away with the entire section. -OberRanks (talk) 12:08, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

IMDB is not a credible source?! Citing the episode by full name, and number is not credible. Then how do you cite serial material? Or is Television not considered media?

by YOUR article, 255,001 - 350,000 is USMC 1941-1945; 330,093 is within that range. How is it "nowhere near an actual number in format or length? no prefix or suffix, sure, but the way YOUR article is written, prefixes and suffixes are not required.

Just delete the section if you don't want in in YOUR article Commander, and I'll leave you and your Wikipedia alone.

Wikipedia: By Commander OberRanks, do not touch!Airbornchaos (talk) 16:18, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Your welcome to contribute to this website. You might want to begin by reviewing some of the core polices. WP:CITE, WP:VERIFY, and WP:CIVIL to begin with. In any event, the section has been removed per the very concerns you raised. -OberRanks (talk) 17:23, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Removal of Section[edit]

Too many issues with this section and its really on the edge of WP:TRIVIA. Best to remove it, especially in light of the conversation above. -OberRanks (talk) 17:23, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Service numbers have also been mentioned in films and other media. Some examples include:

  • In the motion picture Where Eagles Dare, a captured American general (who is actually an actor impersonating the general) gives a Regular Army service number as "RA 123 025 3964". Not only does this service have too many digits, but uses the prefix "RA" which was not put into effect until after World War II.
  • In the film The Scarlet and the Black, a downed Allied pilot gives his rank and service number to a Vatican official.
  • A set of dog tags bearing the Army service number "O-168042" can be seen in the film Angel Heart as the service number of Harry Angel. According to U.S. Army records, no officer was ever actually issued this number; the only person who ever held this service number was an enlisted soldier named John W. Cunyus who served during the First World War.[ref]United States Army Human Resources Command (HRC), Freedom of Information Act Inquiry, February 2009[/ref]
  • In the film Jacob's Ladder, when Tim Robbins's character unfolds an old Army discharge certificate, the service number "US 21 719 365" can briefly be seen. This would correspond to a National Guard service number with a prefix indicating follow-on conscription into the Army of the United States. According to United States Army records, the service number seen in the film was assigned to a soldier named Thomas K. Wright, who served from 1959 to 1961 with discharge as a Specialist Four.[ref]United States Army Human Resource Command, Freedom of Information Act material, obtained October 2009[/ref] Thomas Wright would later become the property master for the film Jacob's Ladder, using his own service number for the scene where the discharge certificate is briefly visible on camera.[ref]Screen Actors Guild, "Listing of Property Masters and Set Producers" (1993)[/ref]