Caring for human life and happiness

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.

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