Hasty Ruminations

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Dog Tags

We were taught in the Navy that we wore two notched dog tags so that if we died in the service, one would be forwarded up the chain of command, and the other would be inserted between our upper and lower incisor teeth and the jaw shoved up. This would wedge the dog tag into the body so that we would have no more "unknown soldiers" returning home.

The Urban Legends page cites military sources to disprove this intention.

Yeah, well, ok. But when military academy instuctors tell you something like that, we don't forget it. And a lot of us spent our careers on small ships without doctors, lawyers, and books on "Mortuary Affairs". In fact, I had command of one. Our ship had five body bags, and corporate knowledge about the dog tags thing. Guess what would probably have happened to someone who died on one of our ships?


  • At 8:23 PM, Blogger brendalove@gmail.com said…

    well you have educated me today. I always figured the tags were just left hanging around the neck.

  • At 12:01 AM, Blogger Greg Finnegan said…

    Brenda, I think that the current method is to strap one nametag to a big toe with ty-wrap (the plastic stuff which doesn't loosen), if the deceased has a toe. I am not as clear about how the second one is handled.


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