back to article MoD asks UK Forces personnel to submit DNA samples

The UK Ministry of Defence is "strongly encouraging" all its personnel to have their DNA recorded. This is supposed to make identification of their remains easier if they should die in a manner - a disastrous air crash, explosion, etc. - which would inhibit recognition by other means. "Although the risk of death is small for …


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  1. Mat


    "The MoD adds that the DNA "can be destroyed on written request by the Service person, when they leave service, or after 45 years, whichever is sooner", and that it will be kept in a "secured environment""

    Yup - it will be secured on a laptop... and then lost...

  2. Anonymous Coward


    "If the police suspected a given service person of a crime, it would normally be much easier for them to take a fresh sample under their existing powers."

    There are two possibilities.

    1. They have a suspect.

    2. They don't have a suspect.

    It is 2, that will become the dominant mechanism for achieving 1 in years to come.

    In fact this is the whole reason we're going to such great lengths to get so many people on the register now. The more people we have, the easier it will be to find suspects.

    What could be easier than "Select * from PotentialCriminals PC Inner Join CrimeProfiles CP on CP.Profile = PC.Profile Where CP.Crime = 'HackneyShooting3rdDecember2008'"?

    However, I support the DNA database, I think it's a brilliant idea, because it means thousands of men don't get done for rape because some hungover bird doesn't like the look of them in a line up.

    The real reason servicemen won't have to worry about the police having it, is because most of them will have been tested as kids, long before they even thought of the army.

  3. peter
    Thumb Down

    Advantages - disadvantages. What to do?

    So on balance....

    Advantages. It makes someone elses live easier to identify my dead remains. However, I don't care.....I'm dead.

    Disadvantages. My DNA gets added to a database, over which I will never have any control and could be used for any purpose (not just to prove I have been a naughty boy).

    No matter how many times I get told by the government they will not change the rules, it is amazing how may time the regulations get stretched, altered and interpreted until the use is totally different from that intended. (Use of the Anti-terrorism emergency powers immediately springs to mind).

    And the balance falls sharply on the side of 'Kiss my shiny......'

  4. Mike Richards Silver badge


    In accordance with strict new governmental security guidelines when the laptop is left overnight on the backseat of a car, it must now be hidden under a copy of the Daily Mail.

  5. Anonymous Coward


    Alternately I'll get my GP to take a blood sample and my mom can keep it in the freezer should I get torched. That'll save the Ministry a few bob.

  6. Matt

    Simple solution.

    Keep a sample of your loved ones hair. Then hen they get killed fighting some politicians re-election campaign you can give the DNA for comparison purposes.

    Then they can spend the money on buying guns that work or bullet proof vests for the services.

    Sounds like a plan?

  7. Ken Hagan Gold badge


    Why don't they just say "It will be destroyed when you leave active service."?

    They've promised never to use it for anything else and you can't die on active service after you've left active service and they surely *know* when you leave active service, so what's the problem? Don't they trust their own competence in managing this data? (I know I don't, but don't they?)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You sometimes read of the police taking DNA samples from hair brushes when looking for a missing person. How long does the DNA in hair last? Could a serviceman put something like that in a sealed contained and leave with their next of kin to be only used if no other means of identification.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unsequenced is probably safer...

    At least if the samples are unsequenced they can store the record on CD ROM... I guess that's what they ment by secured!!

  10. 4a$$Monkey

    Yeah right!

    Is it to aid identification or build an army of super human clones? Identity theft is the least of their worries!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    I find it hard to believe that it is even remotely feasible to launch a whole DNA database programme solely to assist in identifying a soldier in the few cases that their remains are unidentifiable. These DNA record will definitively be used for other puposes.

    Unless the UK gov is heading to an utterly totalitarian gov then I don't quite understand the manic collection of DNA that is currently going on. For some reason they think DNA will solve all their crime related problems....

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has Gordon Brown submitted his yet?

    Come to think of it, how many of the MPs have submitted their DNA samples yet?

    As the proponents point out, it helps eliminate them as suspects from criminal investigations, which is surely a good thing? So why not go give their DNA samples today?

    How about the Generals too. Do we have their samples? Or is this only good for lower ranks?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    I would steer well clear of this if I were in the army ...

    ... it'd only take the MoD to loose the laptop with all the DNA on it, and then some rather dodgy regime to acquire it, and they'd have a guarenteed way of confirming a military (or ex) military serviceperson.

    Imagine if the Nazis had access to UK military ID information when trying to locate an OSS operative in occupied France ? Just line up the people, take their dabs, compare with illicit list of UK military personnel and voila !

  14. Anonymous Coward


    Err... as an ex-squaddie, what was the point then of lacng an ID tag to my boot, putting one on my respirator case, and putting insulating tape around the two around my neck - to stop the jingling.

    Ummm.... there's always something left... usually the boot, the respirator case, or the two in the middle of the pile of ashes that used to be a squaddie.

    Just another loads of bollox from your friendly MOD civil service that thought service personnle were there to be fcuk''d around whilst they refined their systems of equipment issue prevention services. After all, service personnel are disposable - they signed on the dotted line to say - whilst the highly trained and freebie-moticated MOD civil servants (at the highest level that is, not the bods at the customer end).

    Mine's the deceptively patterned material coat, hidden by the potted plant.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    whilst idly browsing , I happened to notice the following DoD projects including NCTC (the National Counterterrorism Center Committee on Identity Management/Biometrics).... In the near term, the document focuses on standards for fingerprints, face, and iris samples. The long term focus includes information on voice and DNA....

    (the spending on a (big) voice database seem to be going up....)

    DNA sample collecting is obviously what Paris is good at?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah but, what if …

    … (like me) you carry the Rassilon Imprimatur Gene — that'll really stuff up any attempt to read or even take a sample!

  17. kain preacher

    US Armed Forces

    US yanks do it over here already, ut with one slight difference. The law says the DNA can only be used to identify dead service personal

  18. Stephen

    & Matt and the AC

    Hair is useless for DNA and blood samples not much better. Do what everyone else does and take a swab from the inside of your mouth.

  19. Spleen

    How much DNA can you get from such utter bollocks

    Bob Ainsworth: "DNA matching is a failsafe method but collecting samples from personal effects or family members can be prolonged and traumatic."


    "Mrs Bloggs, I regret to inform you that your son, Private Joseph, is missing presumed dead after the aircraft he was travelling in exploded."

    "Oh, what a shame. I suppose I'll have to put all his stuff on eBay now."

    "Can we swab your mouth to collect a DNA sample?"

    "WAAAAHHH! My poor poor Joe! Why do the good always die young!"

    The trauma of getting a DNA sample is going to be insignificant compared to the trauma of losing a loved one. Do they take us for complete idiots? Oh wait, we elected Labour and were then given two chances to get rid of them and elected them again. We are complete idiots.

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