Guide to Dog Tags / Army Tags / Military Tags
Dog tags are issued to soldiers when they enter basic training and are worn at all times while on duty. They are essential for identification in the event of a casualty, as they can help to ensure that the soldier receives proper medical treatment and that their family is notified.
The origin of the term "dog tag" is uncertain, but it is thought to have come from the resemblance of the tags to the identification tags worn by dogs. Dog tags have become a symbol of military service and are often worn by veterans as a reminder of their time in the armed forces.
Regardless of where the nickname started, the concept of an identification tag originated long before that.
Why is Dog Tag so called ?
Military identification tags are called dog tags since they resemble the tags used by pet owners. Therefore, if you are looking for a tag for your pet then, the appropriate term is ‘pet tags’ and not ‘dog tags’.
The military identification tags resemble the metal tags worn by dogs, hence the nickname. This comparison likely arose due to the shared function of identification and the similar materials used.
The term "dog tag" is an informal nickname, and the official term for military identification tags is "identification tags" or "identity tags".
What are dog tags made up of?
Dog tags are made of corrosion resistant metal like stainless steel or aluminum. The mil-spec tags are made up of T304 stainless steel. Tags are also available in brass and copper which oxidize when exposed to air. A typical military dog tag set has two plates measuring 1 inch x 2 inches, with identical information on single or both the tags. In case of 2 tags in 1 chain , One tag is hung on a long ball chain about 24 inches in length and the other tag is hung on to the long chain using a small ball chain measuring about 4.5 inches length. The standard issue ball chains are 3.2mm.
What is the use of Dog Tags?
Dog Tags are used to identify the dead or wounded during war using the information recorded on these tags. During war, if the battle conditions do not allow immediate removal of dead soldiers, one tag is collected and the other is left on the body of the soldier for retrieval of the body later. Outside the military, they are used by bikers and adventure enthusiasts with their address and emergency contact numbers. Old people with special medical conditions have found the tags to be useful when traveling alone. These tags have also made their way into youth fashion and musicians.