2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 29, 2019 1:55 AM by Kathy Renbarger

    When did the military stop doing name changes?


      When I filled out my "Applicant's Statement of Name Change" form, while filling out my enlistment papers for the Army (back in 1973), I was (very emphatically) advised by my recruiter that I'd better be certain that I REALLY wanted my 1st name to be changed from my "BCFN" (birth certificate first name, which was "Kay") to the name of Kathy, which I'd been going by since 1970, my HS transcript was under; & under which my social security number had been issued (11/70.)  I was told that doing so constituted a "legal, binding, & permanent" name change; and, my 1st name would be Kathy "until the day you die, or went to court to get it changed at some later date. ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING in my life has been in the name of Kathy, even prior to that time! THENNNNN... Along came the "Real ID Act;" & my mistakenly thinking that my driver's license expired in 2009, instead of 2008; and, when I realized my license had expired (about 2 weeks too late), I was required to get a copy of my birth certificate to renew my license. They insisted on putting my BCFN on my license; &, I insisted on signing it with my REAL first name, of KATHY. (I'll leave out the really long story of the events resulting in all this "coming to a head" in 2019; with just the summation that, due to poverty, it amounted to more of an annoyance than anything else.) In preparation for my turning 65 (when driver's licenses become free in Okla.), I THOUGHT I "had all my ducks in a row" to get my real name back on my license. I not only made certain that I ordered my DD214 & military name change form in ample time to get it; but, also, high school transcripts, marriage license, divorce decree, property records, car title & insurance, social security records, etc. I made a special trip over to the OK DPS office, fully expecting to leave with my real name printed on my license, after 11 years of strangers trying to call me "Kay" when I'd have to show my license to use my debit card, etc. WRONG.... It appears that they will no longer accept a DD214 & military name change application as a valid documentation of a name change... They now want a court order. I don't know if - in 1973 - the statutes were such that only that DA form 3284-R was all that was done; or, if it was "rubber stamped" by a military or civilian court judge. If the latter, it SEEMS like a copy of that SHOULD'VE been included in the records I was sent in response to my (fall of) 2018 form 180 submission; since, I'd requested my DD214 and "ALL records related to my 1973 name change." (BTW, ALL of which were under Kathy.)


      1) Is it possible that other documentation related to my name change was over-looked???


      2) SHOULD there have been any further documentation???


      3) In what year did the military quit doing their own name changes?

      [The form used at that time was: "Applicant's Statement of Name Change (AR 601-210)" (at top) & "DA FORM 3284-R, 1 Nov 67" (at bottom.) My DD-214 is under Kathy.]


      4) What statutes were replaced (and with what new statutes) to make that change?


      At 65, having the wrong name printed on my driver's license is no longer "just an annoyance."  I have to start thinking about what a fiasco things could turn into when I die or (even worse yet) become incapacitated. ABSOLUTELY EVERY "adult document" (as well as many juvenile related documents) are under my real name - KATHY!!! (Except for the printed name on my DL.) These include (but aren't limited to) my social security, my property deed, my bank account, my will, my medical power of attorney, life insurance, cremation agreement (in exchange for research usage), etc. etc. etc. Due to that "Real ID Act," a DL is no longer JUST a DL - it's the "go to document" for all proof of identity; so, without my being able to correct this SNAFU, I stand a very real possibility of being "depersoned" when something serious happens to me or I die. I have responsibilities that I have to make sure will be covered under such circumstances...


      Why not just "start from scratch" & get a court ordered name change??? I'm a disabled senior who waited too long to give up after getting seriously injured, Due to my refusal to accept the fact that I was NOT going to "get my body back" and "get back to my life," the quarters kept ticking away and I wound up getting stuck with SSI, instead of SSD. I'm forever capped under an income level that's "subsistence level," at best. On my income, the $200+ it would take to do that may as well be $200K. The judge in my county (Seminole Co. OK, where it would have to occur) considers ALL "name changes" to be "elective;" and, refuses to waive either the filing fee or the need to publish. He also "frowns on" pro se cases; and, hiring a lawyer is (obviously) impossible on my income. I (also) live in a rather rural area, where finding anyone willing to do anything pro bono is a "pipe dream."  I can't even get "Legal Aid of Central Okla." (in OKC) to return my calls - after almost 4 months of leaving voice mails...


      My only option might well be to research the statute change; and, get enough documentation to approach my legislators to try to amend the "Real ID Act" in such a way that it DOES recognize the validity of the name changes made my the military during that era.... (Likely with a requirement that the DD214 & DA 3284-R be mailed or faxed directly from the Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.)


      Thank you for any and all help you're able to provide!


      Message was edited by: Kathy Renbarger: To correct a couple of errors, omissions, & typos.  I was pretty "fibro-flared" when I wrote the original post...

        • Re: When did the military stop doing name changes?
          Rebecca Collier Guide

          Dear Ms. Renbarger,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          For information about and assistance regarding name changes, we suggest that you contact the U. S. Army Human Resources Command, ATTN: AHRC-PDR-VIB, 1600 Spearhead Division Avenue, Department 420, Fort Knox, KY 40122-5402. The telephone number is 1-888-276-9472; email address is askhrc.army@us.army.mil; and the web site is www.hrc.army.mil.


          We hope this is helpful.

          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: When did the military stop doing name changes?

              Although I DEFINITELY appreciate your reply (and fully intend to follow up on it on Mon., just in case I've just been talking to the wrong people there), I've gotten looped around to the Ft. Knox HRC several times; and, each time, it's been a total "dead-end."


              Since my initial post, I HAVE made SOME progress, in that I was able to find out that the DA form 3284-R was deactivated/made obsolete in Sept. 1976; so, that gives me a time frame to work with...  Unfortunately, I'm still "hitting a wall" finding out how to get to the USARECs and AR 601-210's of that era, in order to document that the 3284-R DID constitute a legitimate name change. Also, to try to find out if it was a "stand-alone" document; or, a "process-starting" document, which might have been signed off on by either a civilian or military court judge. When I sent my 180 form to St. Louis last year, I had asked for a copy of my DD 214 AND anything related to my 1973 name change; and, I only got back my DD 214, my DA 3284, and a couple of unrelated documents. This makes me inclined to believe that it was stand-alone document; but,that might be an incorrect assumption.


              Part of the problem is related to the issue that stuff this old and "obsolete" doesn't seem to have made it online. It probably doesn't help that (from what I've been able to gather) its primary use was with those of us who's SSN's conflicted with our birth certificate names; so, it probably wasn't used all that often. Since I'm finding nothing that indicates that it superseded some similar form, I'm GUESSING that it was predominantly used for draftees; then, phased out with the end of the draft.


              One of my projects this weekend is to try to come up with an active phone number for the US Army Historian; so, I can try to call there on Monday.