The concept of "identification tags" dates back to the Civil War (1861-1865) where names
were written on paper tags and pinned to clothing, dog tags were made out of wood with
carved holes at the end so they could be worn around the neck on a string and coins were
smoothed over for engraving name and unit number.
The first introduction of a metal "identity disc" took place in 1906 and by 1913
the Army made ID tags mandatory.
• 20 DEC 1906 - Official introduction of ONE Dog Tag.
• 06 JULY 1916 - Official introduction of SECOND Dog Tag, i.e a full pair is now available
• 12 FEB 1918 - Official introduction of ARMY SERIAL NUMBER (too many identical names.)
• OCT 1938 - Start of tests related to introduction of new Identification Tag.
• TAG, IDENTIFICATION, M-1940 - Stock No. 74-T-60 - Official stocklist number + nomenclature, adopted 1940.
• NECKLACE & EXTENSION Stock No. 74-N-300, adopted 1943.
• Official stocklist number + nomenclature, length 40" (distance between 2 Dog Tags 1-1/2 in) -
in 1942, the first tag is to be suspended on a necklace 25" in length, while the second tag is to be
fixed to a separate necklace extension not further than 2-1/2" under the first one - first models were
in cotton, plastic, nylon, rayon, the official metal necklace was only introduced in 1943 (with hooks
& catches) the bead type (initially sold at PXs) quickly became popular and gradually replaced the 1943
issue, it was made out of 2 lengths of stainless steel, of approximately respectively 28" and 6" in
length, easy and practical for general use 2" x 1-1/8".
• DOG TAG 2" X 1-1/8" - Official dimensions, with notch at left (to position tag on
the embossing machine) small outer rim, and hole (dia 1/8") for necklace