31 July 2011

Dog tags...

Should not be used as an accessory. Before I came into the military I never thought much of them whenever I'd spot a girl wearing them. I knew that when I saw them, I knew it meant the girl's boyfriend was in the military. I did imagine that I would've done the same thing if I was dating a military member.

After my first deployment, my view about wearing dog tags changed completely.

If you don't know what dog tags are used for in the military, they are used for identification purposes. When we go out on deployments, they are mandatory for us to wear. They are very important for our brothers and sisters at arms that go out on the front lines. God forbid something terrible happens and the member's blouse is destroyed to where the name is unrecognizable, the dog tags are used to identify the body. We are issued two dog tags, one on a ball chain long enough to be worn as a necklace and the second one is on a smaller chain, connected to the first. Some units require the dog tag on the small chain be attached to the laces of one of their boots.

Now, after explaining the reason dog tags are issued and their intended purpose, I understand some girls may wear them thinking it might luck to their boyfriend on their deployment; if they wear it then they'll come back safely. I think most girls wear them as an accessory and to kind of show off. Their boyfriend or fiancé is deployed and dog tags are easily identified as belonging to someone in the military, thus making them a conversation piece. The meaning behind dog tags is very somber and females going around with them as an accessory just doesn't sit right with me. Not to mention the HUGE fact that all dog tags have social security numbers engraved on them right underneath the member's full name! With identity theft being a huge issue in this day and age, what would happen if the service member's girlfriend lost them?

You may not agree with my views on wearing dog tags as an every day necklace, But please respect the reason why we are issued them and why they are important.