YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — The Area II Support Activity and 34th Support Group commander has toughened the policy for getting a replacement identification card after nearly 1,500 soldiers and civilians in Area II lost IDs this year.

At least 940 servicemembers and 460 civilians, dependents and family members have lost cards since Jan. 1, Col. Timothy McNulty said in a base newspaper.

“This is unacceptable,” he wrote. “Replacing these cards costs the government time and money. Even more troubling is the risk to force protection that these lost ID cards could pose in the wrong hands.”

The new policy requires people to fill out a form with military police and get a signed memorandum from the “first O-5 or civilian GS-14 in their chain of command” explaining the circumstances for the loss and the “corrective action taken to prevent another loss.”

With those two documents in hand, people must then go to the 1st Replacement Company office to get a new ID. Sponsors are required to accompany family members. If the sponsor is on temporary duty or deployed, a copy of those orders and a power of attorney form are required.

“I regret that a policy on this matter is required, but the loss of a government ID card could put us all at risk since access to post by a hostile person could be catastrophic,” McNulty wrote.

Earlier this year, Air Force officials in South Korea imposed similar guidelines after saying that an “unreasonably high number” of lost ID cards had been reported. In one three-month period, Osan Air Base officials received reports of 264 lost IDs.

The 51st Fighter Wing changed the reporting procedure to require an appearance before a unit commander for counseling.

At Yongsan, McNulty also warned that the loss of an ID card could lead to identity theft, since they contain full names, Social Security numbers and ranks.

“Protect your privileges and protect each other,” he wrote.

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