Some system of personal identification is a necessity in armies, and is of special importance in this country, not only for convenience of military administration to purge the Army of criminals, repeaters and other undesirable characters who may have gained admission to it by fraudulent enlistment, but also to protect the interest alike of the government and the individual in cases of claims against the former, based on the fact of military service. It may also assist under some circumstances in the identification of the dead.
MODIFIED BERTILLON SYSTEM.
The system first adopted in the U. S. Army was an adaptation of the pathologic division of the Bertillon system, viz., description of moles, scars, tattoos, blemishes, etc., together with certain simple measurements and physical characteristics, such as height, color of hair, eyes and skin. The complete Bertillon system was not adopted because it required the use of bulky and expensive
KEAN JR. THE SYSTEM OF PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION BY FINGER PRINTS RECENTLY ADOPTED FOR THE U. S. ARMY.. JAMA. 1906;XLVII(15):1175-1177. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.25210150031001g