Tuesday, April 14, 2009


For years I regularly saw "BPED: 14APR69" on important papers.

And not-so-important papers also, I suppose.

"Basic Pay Entry Date" was the Army term for what usually corresponded to your entry on active service, though for some folks who had certain types of deferred entry it differed.

I didn't particularly need to be reminded of the date.

For me, April 14, 1969 was the day I got out of bed in Edmonds, got dressed, and went to the Armed Forces Entrance & Examination Station ("AFEES") on 15th West in Seattle, where they examined me & entered me into the United States Army.

Forty years ago this morning.

They piled us on a bus, drove us to Fort Lewis, cut off our hair, gave us some unattractive ill-fitting clothes along with boxes to mail the clothes we had on back home, and things were under way.

Forty years ago today.


Eliza said...

Wow--lots to remember.

Unknown said...


If it hadn't been for that day, we would have never met. And I would have never gotten a copy of Computer Lib / Dream Machines from you(I *still* have it.) Which sparked my interest in computers, which put me where I am today.

How's that for gush? :)

Harris said...

Happy Anniversary, Alan!

Was the Army still using the old "RA" and "US" prefixed ID numbers? If so, I'll bet you can still recite that also. ;)


Alan said...

Mike -- Wow -- I am humbled -- and I will stop looking for that book now :)


Harris -- they dropped the old-style numbers that very year -- my memory says 1 June, but maybe 1 July -- we were already using the SSN as our primary ... with RA & US prefixes [did they ever stop?] -- yet even though we never had reason to memorize the old number & it was deleted by the time i got to my next station after basic training - yes! I remember it -- RA189... :)

Jan said...

And if it hadn't been for that day,
I wouldn't be living in Seattle, where I can annoy people by asking "Did you KNOW you were in Seattle when you woke up today?", when they whine about rain.