military dog tags
dog tags
 interesting US dog tag history information

During the Civil war soldiers started sewing or writing their names into clothing, and sometimes purchasing tags from various suppliers to keep on themselves in case of death so that their body could be identified. identification of corpses was a large problem during the civil war. This practice continued thru the spanish american war.

ww1 dog tags

ww1 dog tag set

it wasn't until Dec.20th 1906 that the u.s. army decided with general order 204 that would create the first official "military dog tag".

The order was modified in 1916 so soldiers were to be issued two dog tags, one to stay with the body and one for records. serial numbers weren't issued until 1918. number one was issued to Arthur B. Crane of Chicago after his fifth enlistment.

stamp kit for dog tags

WW1 manual dog tag stamp kit, also used to stamp untensils and other personal items.

during ww2 we see the stainless steel "notched" dog tag come into issue, the notch has a story of being used to "kick" a tag into he teeth of fallen soldiers after death, this is far from the truth. the notch was used in a medical imprinting machine to transfer information onto medical records.

another feature used early on was the next of kin name and address embossed on the soldiers dog tags. this was stopped during the war as the japanese were taking the addresses off of bodies and mailing propaganda to the dead soldiers families.

model 70




The U.S. Navy used their own style dog tags from WW1 into the second world war. the first issue was acid etched onto a oval disc made of monel metal. this included the acid etched fingerprint of the sailor. They then sometime after the first world war changed over to a metal tag that was stamped with information and no fingerprint. these were used up until the end of the war when they also went to the Notched style tags.

navy dog tag stylesduring vietnam the use of "silencers was allowed to keep the dog tags quite while in the jungle. also during this time in the 1960's we saw the introduction of the modern dog tags which simply didn't have the notch in them due to the discontinuance of the model 70 Addressograph medical imprinter.

the serial numbering system changed over to the soldiers social security number in 1969. soldiers were issued a serial number but their social security number was used on the tags.

Today not only does the military still use dog tags but they have become a fashion item among children to adults, used as medical alert tags, and yes you can even use them for your dog!


army star Home army star history army star tag sets army star contact army star sitemap army star

army star Stencils army star