Purple Service Numbers?

I just read this on Rum Ration, apologies if it has been posted before.

angrydoc said:
Here's one that'll get a bit of quality moaning going...

Just heard that Service Numbers unique to Service, Officer/Other Rank or Sex have been done away with.

In this great new world of JPA, if you were to join any of the Services today you would instead get a JPA number. This is "generic" in that you couldn't tell whether someone's RN, Army or RAF from their number - neither could you tell if they were male or female or Officer or Rating.

Those of us lucky enough to have "proper" Service numbers will keep them, thankfully.

Progress is great, isn't it?


Anyone know if this is true?


dont know but i was given my bloody number 14 years ago and im buggered if im gonna remember a new number just so it fits into a computer system better


War Hero
It's true, it's an 8 figure number starting in a 3, and you don't need to change your present number.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Why don't we just use our National Insurance numbers? Why don't we use them for all our interactions with the Government? It seems bloody silly to me that I have a soldier's number, officer's number, NHS number, National Insurance number, an employee number when I worked as a civil servant, passport number etc so much for joined up government.
Oh dear! I took a job as an RO in MOD that no-one else wanted.
After a while I realised that I was the 'sponsor' for all kinds of things that nobody else wanted or understood. One of of these 'things' was Army Numbers. That is Army Numbers and not Regimental Numbers or Personal Numbers! Not long before I took this job (1986) the Royal Navy had just issued Personal Numbers to Naval officers for the first time! Imagine the fuss.
Anyway, I discovered that all Army Numbers were controlled by one super civil servant based in a couple of rooms in Exeter. Blocks of numbers were issued to Manning Record Offices and subsequently allocated to individuals, Regular and TA etc upon enlistment.
When the blocks had been issued the MROs sent the books back to Exeter for safe-keeping. A very good system. I discovered that my enlistment date was 22 Oct 61 and not 16 Oct 61 as I had always thought!
We had enormous problems when men were allowed to join QARANC and I simply refused to allow them to have number beginning with Q. Politically incorrect but as nobody else understood the system I got my way. If it was discovered that a soldier had enlisted without declaring previous service, his or her 'second' number was deleted and he or she reverted to the original number. All simple and straight forward and cost some postage, a bit of stationery and the salary (low) of the civil servant.
Why the change? Probably to fit a new computer sytem costing millions that will probably not work and will be unlikely to do what is asked of it.
The Tri-Service ID card is also my invention and I was paid £250 bonus (taxed of course). Believe it or not it was cheaper to run than the old card and photo jobby. Getting it to be Tri-Service was fun!
Another part of the political plan to make 'the military' a single service I fear [probably on the lines of the Canadian experiment] :cry:

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