Caring for human life and happiness
- By Dan Verton
- Jun 26, 2000
The Army's Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii, last week received
Federal Computer Week's Monticello Award given in recognition of an information
system that has a direct, meaningful impact on American lives.
The lab's dental database, known as the Computer-Aided Post Mortem ID
(CAPMI), and computerized digital radiography system match X-ray images
of teeth found at crash and burial sites in Asia to identify the remains
of soldiers and pilots missing in action during the Korean and Vietnam wars.
The system speeds the identification process, bringing news more quickly
to families who have been waiting for decades to learn exactly what happened
to their missing husbands, fathers, brothers and sons [FCW, Nov. 22, 1999].
CAPMI was chosen for this year's Monticello Award by the judges of the
Federal 100, a group of government and industry information technology professionals
who made an impact on the federal IT market in 1999. The judges believed
the system best portrayed the primary tenet of Thomas Jefferson's philosophy
of government: "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction,
is the first and only legitimate object of good government."
This article chronicles the impact of the lab and its information systems
on Americans waiting to hear about loved ones who fought in Korea and Vietnam.