Using U.S. Army Service Cards

Using U.S. Army Service Cards

Because many service members may have been a part of military service prior to the war, finding and utilizing official military records, like an Army Service Card, can provide a wealth of information regarding their movements through the ranks of service.

Teacher tip: Many service cards can contain a good deal of jargon from the military branches. A good source of information for Army ranks and insignia can be found at their website.

Teaching Toolkit

  1. Provide students with a copy of Charles B. Leinbach’s U.S. Army Service Card. Ask students to analyze the document and make some general observations about his military service.

  2. Guide students through a discovery process of the document using some guiding questions such as:

    • Where was Leinbach living when he enlisted?

    • Where did Leinbach enlist?

    • Why do you think he enlisted in New York and not in Pennsylvania?

    • During what war did Leinbach enlist?

    • How many different ranks (or grades) has Leinbach obtained?

    • Did he serve overseas during World War I? Why or why not?

    • After 1918, what did Leinbach do?

  3. Assign students to research the various abbreviations found on the card (Btry, F.A., OTS, Corp., etc.) to see what information can be gleaned. Allow students to share out the information they find and as a class, attempt to piece together the military service of Leinbach.