Military DNA Database
Military DNA Database
In addition to prison system and criminal investigation, DNA databases have also been widely applied in troops. Here we take the United States as an example.
As early as during the first Gulf War in 1991, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) began to use DNA samples to identify the remains of service members. Because of problems with obtaining reliable DNA samples during the Gulf War, the DOD began a program to collect and store reference specimens of DNA from members of the active duty and reserve forces. What was then called the "DOD DNA Registry", a program within the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, was established pursuant to a December 16, 1991 memorandum of the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Under this program, DNA specimens are collected from active duty and reserve military personnel upon their enlistment, reenlistment, or preparation for operational deployment.
As of December 2002, the Repository, now known as the "Armed Forces Repository of Specimen Samples for the Identification of Remains", contained the DNA of approximately 3.2 million service members. According to a recent DOD directive, the "provision of specimen samples by military members shall be mandatory." The direction to a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine to contribute a DNA sample is a lawful order which, if disobeyed, subjects the service member to prosecution under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
As its name suggests, the "Armed Forces Repository of Specimen Samples for the Identification of Remains", was initially conceived solely to identify the remains of service members. However, the role and functions of similar military DNA databases have been expanded:
● Recognizing the remains of soldiers in wars
● Providing early warning when terrorists are found in military families
● Tracking rebellious soldiers
● Discovering unstable factors and monitoring in advance
● Launching investigations into members of senior military officers
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