CAMP JOSEPH T. ROBINSON — An unsecure hard drive containing personally identifiable information on a currently unknown number of current and former Arkansas National Guard soldiers was reported missing on Monday.

An Arkansas Guard soldier reported the loss after conducting an exhaustive search to locate the drive when it was first realized as missing on Feb. 15. The drive was a backup storage device used by the soldier to archive work related information over the past six years.

Although there is no evidence to suggest the device was stolen or in the hands of anyone with bad intentions, the Guard is making every effort to identify how many soldiers are affected and exactly who they are in order to alert them of the potential data risk.

The drive is said to include names, social security numbers and other personal information on a number of soldiers primarily having served with the Arkansas Guard’s 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry Regiment of the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team from January 2004 to March 2009. The 1st Battalion is headquartered in Malvern with units in Prescott, Arkadelphia, Texarkana, Hope, Mena, DeQueen, Sheridan and Benton.

The drive also potentially contains personal information on soldiers who served with the 39th Brigade Special Troops Battalion from April 2009 to now. The 39th BSTB is headquartered in Conway with units in Clarksville, Pine Bluff and Little Rock.

While the Guard is warning caution to all who have served in these units during those times, the Guard’s Information Management personnel are working closely with the 39th Brigade to identify specifically who is affected by this loss in order to assist the unit in ensuring each individual soldier is notified by mail as soon as possible.  

All potentially affected soldiers are recommended to be extra vigilant and to carefully monitor bank statements, credit card statements and any statements relating to financial transactions since November 2009 when the device was last used. Unusual or suspicious activity should be immediately reported to the financial institution involved. Soldiers are also recommended to contact one of the three major credit bureaus if they suspect suspicious activity.