British Army Service Numbers: Explained

See when a service number was issued by the British Army since 1950.

A Brief History Of British Army Service Numbers

Service personnel for the British Army have been issued a seven or eight digit service number since 1950.

Before the 50’s, service numbers were issued at regimental level.

These service numbers would then stay with that soldier forever.

For example, if you or I were to join the Royal Tank Regiment before 1950, our service numbers would be somewhere between 7868001 – 7891868.

If we transferred to Royal Army Medical Corps later on, the number would stay the same but be different to those who started in the RAMC.

Army Service Numbers After WW2

Due to a huge influx in new soldiers, the British Army devised a new service numbering system.

Rather than being dependant on the starting regiment, service numbers would now be issued Army wide.

The table below shows you service numbers from 1950 onwards.

Service Numbers From Until
22000000 to 22199408 October 1950
22199409 to 22460786 October 1950 February 1951
22460787 to 22562759 February 1951 July 1951
22562760 to 23052500 July 1951 June 1955
23052501 to 23188252 June 1955 October 1955
23188253 to 23479123 October 1955 May 1956
23479124 to 23845071 May 1956 October 1960
23845072 to 23969619 October 1960 April 1964
23969620 to 24033484 April 1964 October 1964
24033485 to 24057159 October 1964 April 1965
24057160 to 24076468 April 1965 December 1966
24076469 to 24182226 December 1966 April 1969
24182227 to 24262662 April 1969 September 1971
24262663 to 24302033 September 1971 September 1972
24302034 to 24315610 September 1972 January 1973
24315611 to 24322198 January 1973 February 1973
24322199 to 24355527 February 1973 August 1974
24355528 to 24369281 August 1974 September 1975
24369282 to 24475540 September 1975 May 1978
24475541 to 24520161 May 1978 March 1979
24520162 to 24579860 March 1979 August 1980
24579861 to 24587118 August 1980 March 1981
24587119 to 24753060 March 1981 December 1985
24753061 to 24854044 December 1985 November 1988
24854045 to 25012465 November 1988 January 1992
25012466 to 25027818 January 1992 July 1993
25027819 to 25065603 July 1993 July 1997
25065604 to 25130600 July 1997 February 2001
25130601 to 25136865 February 2001 August 2001
25136866 to 25139703 August 2001 August 2001
25139704 to 252xxxxx August 2001 to March 2007

April 2007 saw the new numbering structure for all tri-services start with 3000.

This system should allow for ~10 million soldiers to have a service number beginning with 3.

At the current rate of new service personnel joining, it looks as though this system will be in place for a very long time.

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

We would love to hear your opinion on British Army service numbers so please make sure to leave a comment below.


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Daz Byreley
9 days ago

10 Million soldiers with services numbers starting with 3?!

That’ll take us forever to fill that.

More people work for Tesco than there are soldiers in the British Army – absolute joke!