Dog Tags and the Changing World of Modern Fashion
Dog tags are an everyday, but somewhat obsolete term for any kind of identification tag commonly worn by many military personnel. This includes army personnel, sailors, air force personnel and law enforcement personnel. The idea behind a dog tag is that it serves more than one function. It usually contains the name of the person who wears it, their unit or position and other details. Usually there is also a photo of the wearer on the tag. It is considered to be a good practice to replace a dog tag periodically as it is prone to tearing and other wear and tear factors.
There was a time when tags were actually used as an identification tool during the World War II. However, they weren’t popular until after the world war II. The first known use of dog tags was during the World War II as they served as a form of ID tags for U.S. soldiers. They are still used today, as they have proven to be useful in several ways. Some other countries such as South Africa still use ID tags similar to those used in the U.S.
There is no general agreement on the origin of dog tags, but they are generally thought to have originated during the civil war era. In the civil war, the Army needed a way to differentiate between soldiers who were part of the Union forces and those who belonged to the Confederate forces. This was done by attaching identification tags to the clothing of these Civil War soldiers. Unlike the world war II ID tags, the ones of the civil war had clear lenses, unlike those used in the World War II. Today though, the clear lenses are replaced with plastic lens although the original design remains.
In addition, in the case of the military dog tags, each soldier would have a unique code to indicate his position. This would be noted on the tag and was meant to enable fellow soldiers to quickly identify a soldier by his designation. Another use of military dog tags was to indicate the rank of the soldier in the military, a specialty that now serves as a standard requirement for most military personnel. In addition to the use of tags, buttons, magnetic closures and other items are also used to customize the look of a military dog tag.
Dog tags today do not just serve the military alone. Many women today sport dog tags that give personal information or that show their hobbies, passions or favorite sports. Other tags have meanings associated with them and carry a social or political significance for the wearer.
The world war ii dog tag, for example, bore the signature of General George S. Patton, the famous commander of the Third Army. The code on the dog tag read “B spaghetti boy”. The meaning was that he was a decorated soldier of the LTC origin and that his mother tongue was Italian. Today, the LTC is the National Museum of American History. Though the dog tags from the world war ii are no longer in use, they continue to serve a practical purpose, their symbolism having been preserved by the passing of time.