How Veterans Service Numbers Help Employers Verify Military Service

Employers Verify Military Service

When hiring a new employee, employers often have to verify various aspects of an applicant’s background, such as their education, previous employment, and in some cases, military service. While this may seem like a daunting task, the process can be straightforward, especially when verifying military service.

A key tool in this process is the military service number. These unique identifiers can provide an efficient and effective way for employers to confirm a candidate’s military service and to understand the experiences they might bring to the civilian workforce. With a little know-how, this can be a smooth, transparent process that bolsters trust and credibility between employers and veterans.

What is the Veterans Service Number?

Veterans Service Numbers, often known as military service numbers, are unique identifiers assigned to individuals at the time they enter military service. Each branch of the U.S. military had its own system for assigning these numbers, with different formats and sequences.

From 1918 until 1974, these service numbers were primarily used as the main method of identifying military personnel, though today, the Department of Defense utilizes the Social Security Number for this purpose. However, those who served during the period when service numbers were used, and have since become veterans, still retain these unique identifiers as part of their military records.

Each service number consists of a series of numbers, and in some cases, letters, and they were allocated based on various factors including the time of entry into service, the branch of service, and the geographic region of induction, among other things. They are permanently associated with the individual service member and follow them throughout their military career.

As a valuable piece of information, the military service number can provide insights into a veteran’s service history. For employers, understanding how to use these service numbers can streamline the process of verifying a candidate’s military service, thereby ensuring accuracy and credibility in the hiring process.

Importance of Verifying Military Service for Employers

The process of verifying a potential employee’s military service is crucial for various reasons. Firstly, the unique skills and experience that veterans bring to the table can significantly benefit a wide range of industries and job roles. Veterans often possess invaluable leadership skills, problem-solving abilities, discipline, and a strong work ethic, cultivated through rigorous military training and real-world experiences.

In addition to these skills, many veterans also receive specialized training in specific fields during their service, which can translate directly into civilian job roles. By verifying a candidate’s military service, employers can accurately assess the applicability of these skills to the position in question.

Moreover, there are legal implications related to claiming veteran status. Several laws have been enacted to protect the rights of veterans, including employment and reemployment rights. There are also various incentives, like federal tax benefits, available for employers who hire veterans. Therefore, accurate verification is key to ensuring compliance with these laws and to legitimately benefit from such incentives.

Finally, verifying military service is a matter of integrity. It ensures that those who claim veteran status genuinely deserve the recognition and benefits associated with it, thereby preserving the sanctity of military service and honoring those who have served.

Process of Verifying Military Service using Service Numbers

Verifying a candidate’s military service using their service number can be an efficient and effective way to confirm their military background. Here is a step-by-step guide to streamline the process:

  1. Obtain the Service Number: During the application process, ask candidates claiming veteran status to provide their military service number. Remind them that this is a crucial step for verification and is in no way a breach of privacy.
  2. Use Available Resources: Numerous resources are available to facilitate the verification process. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) maintains military service records and can assist with verification. Another valuable tool is the Defense Manpower Data Center’s (DMDC) Service Verification feature, which provides immediate verification of military service for certain periods.
  3. Submit a Verification Request: Through the NARA or DMDC, submit a request for verification. Keep in mind that the turnaround time may vary, so it’s best to do this early in the hiring process.
  4. Review the Verification Information: Once you receive the verification, review the information carefully. It should confirm the candidate’s military service and provide additional details about their time in service.
  5. Handle Discrepancies Appropriately: If there are discrepancies between the information provided by the candidate and the verification, address this professionally. The candidate should have an opportunity to explain or correct the information.

Benefits of Verification for Employers and Veterans

The act of verifying a candidate’s military service using their service number can provide significant benefits for both employers and veterans.

For employers, this verification process builds credibility and trust in their hiring practices. It ensures the accuracy of a candidate’s self-reported information, which can impact job placement and suitability. Furthermore, it may open up opportunities to take advantage of various government incentives and tax benefits aimed at encouraging the hiring of veterans.

For veterans, the verification process confirms the rightful recognition of their service, thereby ensuring they receive the benefits and opportunities designated for them. It helps to avoid any misrepresentation of their service and can highlight the unique skills and experiences they bring to the workplace.


Understanding and utilizing Veterans Service Numbers is a vital aspect of verifying a candidate’s military service for employers. This process not only ensures the rightful recognition of our veterans’ service but also helps employers identify invaluable skills and potentially benefit from government incentives. Let’s continue supporting and honoring our veterans in the workplace through fair, transparent hiring practices.

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