Accuracy of Military Status Verification

validateWhen seeking information on whether someone is on active duty, what can you expect regarding military status verification accuracy? If the information about the person is not entered precisely correctly, how reliable is the response?

“Garbage in, garbage out,” applies here. Entering wrong information may affect the reliability of the response. If there is even a slight misspelling in the surname, your results will be inaccurate.  This can be especially troubling with hyphenated and double surnames.

Worse yet, if you supply the wrong spelling, you will have no way of knowing if the response is accurate. The system is simply responding to the data you submitted. If you have any reason to believe that there are multiple or alternate spellings of the surname, you should submit a separate verification request for each spelling. For example, “Mary Peters-Smith” should be entered as three verifications:  “Mary Peters,” “Mary Smith” and “Mary Peters-Smith.” You may not know the precise configuration of the surname Mary used when she joined the military, and if the spelling you submit does not perfectly match what the DOD has in its records, you may receive inaccurate results.

SCRACVS and Military Status Verification Accuracy

You won’t have to worry if you use the SCRACVS. We notifiy you if there is any mismatch between the name you entered and the name in the database. But if you run a verification via a DMDC single record request, you will be dangerously oblivious to a mismatch. Years ago, the DOD used to issue a warning when the first name did not match up with an individual in their records, but the Social Security number or date of birth was a match. That is no longer the case in single record request searches where it appears that the DOD is now ignoring the first and middle names. This is a big reason to use SCRACVS.

Military Status Verification Accuracy Examples

We ran a test with the DMDC single record request on Jan. 10, 2016, on an individual known to be in the military, and the SCRACVS  identified the following:

Site IGNORED the error in the first  name

Last Name First Name Social
Security #
Date of Birth Accuracy of Response
Correct Correct Submitted Not submitted Accurate
Correct Completely Wrong Submitted Not submitted Accurate. Site IGNORED the error in the first  name
Correct Shortened “Christopher” to “Chris” Submitted Not submitted Accurate. The Site IGNORED the shortening of the first  name
Correct Correct Submitted Wrong Submitted Accurate. Site IGNORED the error in the d.o.b.
Misspelled by one letter Correct Submitted Not  submitted Inaccurate.
Hyphenated Correct Submitted Not submitted Inaccurate

Normally, the SCRACVS can find the Social Security number if you give us sufficient alternate information. This can include addresses, phone numbers, relatives’ names, etc. When we cannot find the Social Security number and we submit only a date of birth, then the response ALWAYS has a disclaimer. It reads: “HOWEVER, WITHOUT A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MANPOWER DATA CENTER CANNOT AUTHORITATIVELY ASSERT THAT THIS IS THE SAME INDIVIDUAL THAT YOUR QUERY REFERS TO. NAME AND DATE OF BIRTH ALONE DO NOT UNIQUELY IDENTIFY AN INDIVIDUAL.”

Attorney Roy Kaufmann serves as the Director of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act Centralized Verification Service, located in Washington, D.C. As a recognized authority on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Mr. Kaufmann has published hundreds of articles and hosted many webinars. His teachings help law firms and businesses to remain compliant with the SCRA rules and regulations so as to avoid costly fines.