We offer a fun collection of custom engraved dog tag necklaces. Sometimes people ask us questions about the history of this form of jewelry, so here are some answers to those questions.
What's the history of dog tag necklaces?
Dog tag necklaces are associated with the armed forces. Armed forces personnel all wear these because they are important for identifying soldiers in the military if they are wounded or killed in action.
In the US we started employing these necklaces during the Spanish-American War when a military chaplain noted that soldiers wearing identification were more likely to be sent home if killed in action. All soldiers were wearing them by World War I, and the number of unknown soldier fatalities has dropped ever since.
Dog tags are officially known as identification tags in the US Armed Forces, and an enlisted person usually carries two identical oval tags on a ball chain.
All branches of the US Armed Forces use identification tags that include name, social security number, armed forces branch, blood group, and religion.
Dog tags have been used in the military as far back as the Roman Empire and the Qing dynasty of China, though materials and manner of wearing them have changed. Modern versions are starting to include electronic components that can carry more information.