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How to Read ID Dog Tags

| Updated October 06, 2017

A dog tag serves an important purpose in warfare: it helps with the identification of military personnel. The dog tag is usually worn with a chain around the neck and contains a soldier's personal and medical information. The information on a U.S. military dog tag is arranged in a particular order and form to make it easier and faster to read, especially in emergency situations. Once you know the sequence of details on a dog tag, reading a dog tag is easy.

Read the letters on the first line of the dog tag. This should be the owner's last name.

Move on the the second line, which should be the soldier's first name and middle initial. So if the soldier's name is John J. Doe, the first line will be "Doe" and the second line will be "John J."

Observe the numbers on the third line of the dog tag. It should be a string of nine digits, which is the owner's Social Security Number (SSN).

The fourth line identifies the owner's blood type.

Finish by reading the information on the last line. This is the soldier's religious preference.