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 with string

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 record keeping purposes. serial numbers didn't come into the picture until 1918. number one was issued to Arthur B. Crane of Chicago after his fifth enlistment.

ww2 dog tags set

WW2 dog tag set with next of kin name and address.

during ww2 we see the "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 called the model 70 addressograph.

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

model 70 addressograph medical imprinter

after the second world war the navy which was still using a metal dog tag similar to ww1 tags changed over to the notched dog tag and all branches were now using the same tags.

during 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!

 

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