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World War 2
Military Equipment

Does the words dog tags have any special meaning in the military?

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July 12, 2009 6:14PM

Military identification tags. Dogs had to wear them on their collars; then servicemen (on a chain around their neck), thus the name. In Vietnam, men (primarily infantrymen, commonly referred to as grunts in Vietnam) had been lowered by their environment to the level of animals: Eating, sleeping, patrolling, and killing. That was the routine. No women, No movies, No hot food, No cold water, No shower, No bath, No toilet, No toilet paper, No bed to sleep in, No clean cloths to wear (45 days wearing the same pants & shirt-fatiques), No toothbrush (had to use a "C" ration toothpick issued in every "C" rat meal). If you had a headache the medic had aspirin for you. Civilians and/or people in general (both men and women) that have never either been in the military or have never experienced war (except for seeing it on television and video games) DO NOT realize what constant living in the field makes a man look like. Then when he gets blown up, you can barely tell he was once a human being. Identification of who he was and what he looked like is nearly impossible...thus the metal dog tag. One accompanies the remains (litterly) and the other tag goes to the unit to record the loss (accountability).