There are 17,000 troops buried at Vicksburg National Cemetery, but 13,000 of them are unidentified.
To help solve that problem, the military came up with the idea of dog tags to identify any soldiers who died in the line of duty.
The Marines still use these today, but do you know the full history of them? Make sure you keep reading to learn all about the Marine Corps dog tags!
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The Army Historical Foundation says that the name dog tag came from a newspaper in 1936. The journalist was trying to get rid of support for the New Deal that Franklin D. Roosevelt was proposing.
Originally, FDR wanted to have the Social Security Administration give everyone nameplates to identify them, and they were called dog tags.
In World War II, people spread rumors that soldiers called them dog tags because the military treated them like a dog. Some people said it was because it looked like the metal that you would find on a dog’s collar.
Dog Tags in World War II
While dog tags were around before World War II, for this war they were considered an official part of the uniform. The dog tags worn during this war look a lot like the modern dog tag that you know today.
Each dog tag was mechanically made, and you’d find your name, rank, blood type, religion, and service number on the tag. If you had the tetanus shot, you’d have a T on there as well, but eventually, they got rid of this requirement.
Sometimes there were also emergency contacts on there along with their address, but they removed this by the end of the war.
Dog Tags Today
Starting in 1969, the Army started putting social security numbers on the dog tags instead of serial numbers. In 2015, the Army started replacing them with the Defense Department ID number. This would help to hide a soldier’s identity against people who would want to steal it.
Along with the Marine coin, the dog tag is something that most people recognize with the military. However, thanks to science and DNA testing, it’s easier to identify soldiers in the field rather than having to rely on their dog tags.
The Notch on Dog Tag
You may also notice that a lot of dog tags have a notch on them. That’s because if a soldier died, the dog tag would be removed and placed into a tool that was called the Addressograph Model 70.
The notch acted as a symbol for personnel to know where to put the dog tag so that they could get the information properly and put them onto a medical dog tag.
Thanks to these soldiers who protect our country
Today military personnel still use “dog tags” for identification. The work they do is dangerous, and they don’t regret it in order to protect our country. Not only the Marines, but also the police officers and firefighters around us face many dangers every time they are on duty. Their work deserves our respect. They are not “dogs”, but our heroes who have saved countless lives in fires and subdued dangerous people in terrorist attacks. These take a lot of courage, and they deserve to be treated with honor!
GS-JJ’s police coins, firefighter coins, etc. are the perfect way to express our gratitude to these brave people.
Learn More About Marine Corps Dog Tags
These are only a few things to know about the history of Marine Corps dog tags, but there are many more things to learn.
We know that joining the military can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help you out.
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