Dog tags issued to members of the U.S. Army are being changed for the first time in more than 40 years to eliminate the use of Social Security numbers, the U.S. Army announced.

This is another step in the elimination of Social Security numbers on government documents to try to stem identify theft. Social Security numbers are already being phased out for Medicare.

Randomly generated Department of Defense identification numbers already are used on other military documents and will be used on dog tags as they can be retooled. Troops that are being deployed will be the first to be issued the new identification tags, the Amy says.

"I think removing the social will help," says Michael Klemowski, Soldiers Programs Branch chief, U.S. Army Human Resources Command. "If you find a pair of lost ID tags you can pretty much do anything with that person's identity because you now have their blood type, their religion, you have their social and you have their name. The only thing missing is their birth date and you can usually get that by Googling a person."