Why Dog Tags Were First Created

Dog Tags

Did you know that dog tags were first made out of paper that was pinned onto clothing and not the metals on chains that you see today? Did you know that these tags were actually made by the very people fighting in the war and that they created these tags so that people can easily identify their bodies? Did you know that some of the soldiers of the Civil War actually crafted dog tags out of wood and hung these tags around their necks via a piece of string.

Dog tags were created due to the need for an identification method that can be used by all military personnel, and these “non-metal tags” were the precursors to the present day dog tags. It is even said that around 40% of the soldiers who fought in the Civil War remain unidentified due to the lack of such an identification system during those times. This is one of the reasons why a certain Chaplain Charles C. Pierce gave recommendations to the government regarding the use of a standard, round identity disc for those who are given a combat field kit.

In the succeeding years, these dog tags underwent a number of changes that led to the present day dog tag. From being a round tag, it then became a rectangular tag with rounded ends, which is what the armed forces use to this very day. The original tags were made using brass then later, out of a nickel and copper alloy called Monel. These days, military dog tags are made using stainless steel.

Dog tags used by the different branches of the armed forces carry different sets of information on them. This helps people easily recognize where a soldier belongs and what branch of the service he is in simply by checking what kind of information can be found on their tags. The most common information that all tags share however is the person’s name and Social Security Number.

These days, dog tags are used for more than just military purposes. Although a lot of these are still crafted for information needs and for official armed forces needs, a good number of military style dog tags are made for use as accessories by people from all walks of life. Some people even have tags created for use by their dogs, making these real “dog tags”.

Some even use these for promotional purposes and as giveaways for their advertising campaigns. This just shows that dog tags have come a long way from the paper tags they used to be and have evolved into a multi-purpose tag that not only military personnel can use.