Does the US Navy issue dog tags? Essential Tips

Information Found on Today’s Dog Tag

Today, dog tags issued by the US military include the service member’s Name, Branch of Service (all except Army), Serial Number (often Social Security Number, or DoD ID Number), Blood Type, and Religious Preference (if any). This information is the most essential information needed on the battlefield.

Note: as of early 2016, the Army is the only branch that has gone away from the Social Security Number on dog tags. They started using the DoD ID Number in Nov. 2015.

The information on dog tags should be protected because having the name and Social Security number is enough for many people to steal the servicemember’s identity. Identity theft is a big problem, not just for servicemembers, but for everyone.

It’s important to understand the purpose of dog tags and the information they contain before ordering a replacement set of dog tags. If you are currently serving in the military and need a replacement set, you can get them issued at no cost. Contact your personnel unit and they can issue them to you or tell you where you can get a set issued. These should only be used in the line of duty. Don’t hang them from the mirror on your car or display them at home. There is no need, and displaying your personal information is not only unnecessary but potentially harmful.

The military only issues dog tags to current servicemembers. They do not issue them to veterans. The National Archives also doesn’t issue replacement dog tags if you make a military records request. They will only send copies of your military records.

So where do you buy them? There are many places that will make custom dog tags. You can find them on many military installations, military surplus stores, or at dozens of online stores, including

The SSN was replaced by DoD ID (10 Digits no hyphens) in accordance with DODI 1000.30 on Aug 12, 2012 and reinforced on June 26, 2017 in a memo by the Department of the Navy. Prior to that the USN switched from using Service Numbers to SSNs in Jan 1972.

To assist with making replica regulation Navy Dog Tags we have created a template that automatically formats the information to the era-specific layout. Alternatively, if you have the original Dog Tags in-hand it may be easier to just recreate them directly on the Dog Tag Maker page, or just email us us a photo of them and we can do it for you.

Dogtags delivered to your mailbox in about 1 weekAll orders are shipped within 1 business day and are usually delivered within 1 week (in North America). If you need any assistance creating or ordering your Navy Dog Tags please contact us directly, we are here to help!

Enter your info into the form below to easily create replica Navy Dog Tags. You can often find this information on DD 214 discharge papers. Watch this YouTube video for a demo. You can also design your tags free-form without using this template, or use our pen-and-paper mail/fax order form, or just send us an email with a description or photo of the original Dog Tags.

Dog Tag from with all available embossing characters shownAt, we provide premium quality Personalized Military Dog Tags for sale that will last a lifetime. They are completely customizable so you can easily order G.I. replica Dog Tags as per military specs, or use your own design for any other use or occasion. The tag starts as a blank canvas, what you put on it is entirely your choice… you arent obligated to put official Military Dog Tag info on it. You also get to see a preview of what your finished Dog Tag set will look like before you even order it! We can even laser engrave your custom logo or !

New tags are made of 17 percent chrome (stainless) steel, and are oval in shape. Tags now in use are to be retained as one of the two.

The tag has on one side the etched fingerprint of the right index finger. On the other side are to be etched the individuals initials and surname, the month, day, and year of enlistment, expressed in numerals (e.g., 1, 5, 1916), and the month, day, and year of birth (similarly expressed). This side will also bear the letters U.S.N.; for officers-initials and surname, the rank held, and date of appointment.

Something new in dog tags has been developed by Comdr. Frank E. Jeffreys, (DC) USN, now on the staff of the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., who worked out a technique by which a servicemans name and other pertinent data to aid in casualty identification may be inscribed on the plate of his false teeth. The information is typed on a sheet of onionskin paper and then, before the plate is completed, transferred through the use of a carbon duplicator.

The identification tag for officers and enlisted men of the Navy consists of an oval plate of monel metal, 1.25 by 1.50 inches, perforated at one end and suspended from the neck by a monel wire incased in a cotton sleeve.

The results were somewhat surprising. Out of 86 pilots surveyed, 20 had on dog tags, 18 had no tags at all, and the rest “had them somewhere, but darned if I know where they are.”

Military Tag – Navy edition