Pentagon Warning About DNA Tests – DNA Saturdays December 28, 2019

I previously re-blogged a warning about DNA testing from the PentagonThe Pentagon on Direct-to-Consumer DNA testing — Dusty Roots & Forgotten Treasures. Original post here – This warning specifically concerns the tests done by companies like AncestryDNA, 23andMe, FamilyTree DNA (FTDNA), MyHeritageDNA, etc.  As noted below, the Pentagon is not against all DNA testing. A point missed by many who have seen the articles is the military does not have to follow GINA (see quote below) which is something civilian employers and certain insurers are required to follow. This could impact a military person’s career.

There have been numerous reports by various media outlets on the topic, a small sampling of what’s out there –


The New York Times confirmed the veracity of the memo with a Pentagon spokesperson who reiterated the concerns of the memo, though he wasn’t much more specific about what the concerns would be, saying “The unintentional discovery of markers that may affect readiness could affect a service member’s career.”

More specifically, the NYT notes, the US military is not required to ignore genetic information in the same way that civilian employers do thanks to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. That could mean that if a genetic test uncovered a risk factor for a certain disease, it could affect a military members’ future career.


The NYT notes that the Pentagon isn’t suggesting military personnel avoid DNA testing entirely, however. It just recommends against home testing and a Pentagon spokesperson said that they should get their DNA tests “from a licensed professional.”


Other DNA Saturdays posts:



About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
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3 Responses to Pentagon Warning About DNA Tests – DNA Saturdays December 28, 2019

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Your post is probably more nuanced than general headlines

    Liked by 1 person

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