SEOUL — With too many soldier ID cards going missing, 2nd Infantry Division troops soon will be sporting a new piece of equipment — a plastic card holder and string they will be required to wear around their necks, or in their pockets but attached to their belts.

Maj. Gen. Michael Tucker, division commander, said this week the move was prompted because personnel are losing about 70 ID cards each month “in cabs, subways and buses … and none of them are coming back.”

That creates “an enormous security risk” if unauthorized people are using the cards, or the information on them, for illicit purposes, he said.

The division’s 10,000 soldiers in South Korea will be required to use the card holders with both their uniforms and civilian clothes starting in mid-December.

Tucker told a group of officers and others that the move to protect the ID cards and the information they include will extend beyond the card-holder requirement.

He said he is exploring what can be done about businesses — in particular cell phone providers — that require soldiers to have their ID cards photocopied when they sign up for service.

In addition, Tucker said he wants soldiers to stop allowing bars to hold their ID cards as collateral when they start a tab. He said it is “illegal” for bars to do that, and any caught doing so will receive a written warning and risk being placed off-limits if the practice continues.

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