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Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:51 am
by ChrisT
What was the layout of Vietnam era dogtags? Did you have your firstname written first and then your surname second and also what other details did it include?


Dog Tags

Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:59 am
by Herman Spoto
Chris, My Tags were laid out like this :
Herman J
US 53 702 218
A pos

Dog tags.......

Posted: Fri Apr 28, 2006 7:30 pm
by Niner Delta
Just looked at mine, this is layout.........

Last name
First name & middle initial
Service number with prefix, RA, US, NG, etc.
Social security number
Religion ----- Blood type

5 lines total.
These were issued to me in July, 1967 at Ft. Lewis, basic training.


Posted: Wed May 10, 2006 4:01 am
by ChrisT
What do the different prefixes stand for?

Dog Tags

Posted: Wed May 10, 2006 7:29 am
by Delta75
RA: Regular Army...volunteered

US: Can't remember what this stands for...United States Subscribed? but it means "drafted"

NG: National Guard


Posted: Wed May 10, 2006 9:14 am
by Niner Alpha
Wasn't there an AR too? Army Reserve?

Dog Tags

Posted: Wed May 10, 2006 10:53 am
by Herman Spoto
Chris, Here is a link to dog tag info

Posted: Wed May 10, 2006 3:04 pm
by Niner Alpha
By the way my dog tags had only the ss number for the serial number and didn't show any letter prefix to denote US... as in drafted. This issue was in the summer of 69.

red ones too

Posted: Thu May 11, 2006 12:44 pm
by pointman
They made me get a red set, to indicate medical alert. So naturally, I pitched the silver set. Then someone or other found out I didn't have the regulation silver set, so made me go get another, even though they had the same stamping as the red. Not enough jingle in the jungle, I guess.

I had to blow a whole day going to brigade, getting dog tags, eating Chinese, and going to the steam bath. Often thought of losing them so I could go back again.

I still have both sets, Vietnam crud from 1970 still in the engraved letters, and a can opener on the chain.


Posted: Thu May 11, 2006 6:54 pm
by Niner Alpha
One of mine still has the mud crud, John. That was the one I wore in my boot.

Re: Dog Tags

Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:07 am
by philt
Delta75 wrote:RA: Regular Army...volunteered

US: Can't remember what this stands for...United States Subscribed? but it means "drafted"

NG: National Guard


I always heard US stood for Unvoluntary Service.

1967 issue Dogtags

Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:24 pm
by Herman Spoto
found this a while back 8)

Just found something interesting on this topic

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:18 pm
by Niner Alpha
Looks like In WWII the dog tag included the address of the next of kin.

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:54 pm
by Niner Delta
I have my grandfathers dog tags from WWI, he was in the Revenue Cutter Service starting in 1912 and then it became the Coast Guard in 1915 and it was part if the Navy during WWI.
Anyway, his dog tags have his thumbprint etched into the metal on the back of each one, and the information on the front is hand written.


dog tags

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:50 pm
by jtier
The Army took my one dogtag I had left and all my clothing and boots at Oakland. I hid my jungle hat and a P38 on a grenade ring, this is all I could smuggled out!

grenade rings

Posted: Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:55 pm
by Herman Spoto
Hey Jim, I have a Good friend here that keeps his keys on a grenade ring from vietnam

Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:45 pm
by Niner Delta
After having searched the internet as best I could, here is my opinion of Service (not serial) Number prefixes.
There are some prefixes that seem to fit what they spell, such as:

RA - Regular Army is a volunteer
NG - National Guard member
ER - Enlisted Reserve is enlisted person in Army Reserves

And so on. If the committee making this stuff up could make a good match with the prefix to it's meaning, it seems they went for the obvious. However, it seems some prefixes do not have actual words to match the two letters of the prefix.

The closest I could find for:

US - Army of United States (draftee or conscript)

But if you can find official wording for the US prefix, please post it.


The previous announcement is entirely the opinion of the poster and may not reflect the actual views of the website owner. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


Posted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:15 pm
by Niner Alpha
That NG, RA, US stuff had a lot to do with how the mess halls accounted for who to charge the mash potatoes to in basic and AIT for some reason. However, on the dog tags, the US drafted guys like me only had their social security number for a service number and no letters anywhere by the time I checked in. I think it was a recent change from an assigned number in the middle of 69.

Re: Dogtags

Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:41 pm
by SgtMike
I just saw this post. :-))
My first dog tags had:
Michael J
RA 68 081 865
Catholic O+

My second set was the same except RA number changed to SS#. RA was dropped also