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New change to CAC

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Scott Warner

Sometimes, the smallest changes have the largest impact. This is the case for the common access card (CAC) across the Department of Defense.

Last year at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, the 6th FSS ID military personnel flight issued 34,280 common access cards.

Since its inception, the CAC has mostly maintained its same appearance with some updates over the years.

The latest update is the elimination of the black magnetic stripe on the back of the card.

According to Defense Manpower Data Center at, implementation of the new CACs will be phased in across the DoD as the current card stock inventory is replaced.

“By removing the magnetic stripe, it is designed to reduce the risk of identity theft to the DoD ID card populations while maintaining continuity of DoD business processes,” said Staff Sgt. Penny Cornell, a NCO in-charge of customer service assigned to the 6th FSS.

As the old saying goes, “out with the old and in with the new.” With every change, the CAC becomes more difficult to access for those without permission.

The new change places more emphasis on the integrated circuit chip. This is also why credit card companies are leaning away from the magnetic stripe in their transition to the chip for business transactions. 

“This is another proactive example on how we are protecting and securing our DoD ID card holders,” said Cornell. “We are moving forward from antiquated technology to newer, safer technology.”

With the removal of the magnetic stripe, CAC carriers will not lose any functionality of their card, but will gain additional security.

“We started issuing the new CACs about two months ago,” said Airman 1st Class Brooklynn Woods, a customer service apprentice assigned to the 6th Force Support Squadron. “We are only issuing these new CACs going forward.”

The ID card office assists scheduled appointments from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and walk-in customers can receive assistance from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also, the first Saturday of each month is open to only walk-in customers between 8 a.m. and noon. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 813-828-6673 or visit