Dog tags or dog tag necklaces are must-have timeless jewelry pieces fashionable among both men and women no matter young or old. Engraved dog tag creates a more personal touch to your personality and style. People like to wear dog tags because they look cool on these masculine dog tags. In this article, you will know the history, origin and styles of dog tags and we will introduce some of stylish custom military dog tag necklaces for you to choose and buy online.

Why We Call It Dog Tag?

It was said that “dog tag” was coined by newspaper magnate called William Randolph Hearst who  undermined President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. Randolph referred to the supporter of Roosevelt's New Deal as “dog tags”. Other rumor said dog tag got the nickname because draftees were treated like dogs during World War II. Another rumor said dog tag got the name because the tags they worn looked like the dog’s collar.

Why We Call It “Dog Tag”?

What is the Origin Of Dog Tags?

Dog tags work like an identity card nowadays. Dog tags were kinds of metal identification normally and commonly used in the army. Each soldier had at least one dog tag in order to identify themselves when there is any kill or would in the battle. The origin of dog tags dates back to American Civil War I where deaths and kills were common, so dog tags were used by soldiers because they were afraid of dying in a unknown grave. But dog tags at that time didn’t look like those of today. Soldiers made their own dog tags themselves. Some soldiers wrote the information like name, home address in a paper then pinned the paper tag to their uniform, some would carve their information on chunks of wood or coins and worn the tags with a string around their necks. Some more wealthy soldiers even paid for more durable metal dog tags with engraved information.

However, still more than 40% soldiers killed in the Civil War were marked as “unknown” because of unidentified information. To solve the problem better, a mandatory practice of wearing aluminum disc shaped information tag around soldiers’ necks was caught on by the official in 1917. Every military service members were required to wear the ID tag where name, rank, company, regiment or corps of the wearer were engraved.

the origin of dog tag

By Civil War II, dog tags were one of the must-have official accessories of the uniform. But they came in round rectangular-shapes which look more like dog tags today. Each tag would had a  a notch in a lower corner. The base metal of the dog tags were nickel-copper alloy. Each tag was engraved with the same important information, extra information like blood type, service number, religion preference were added.

 Civil War II Dog Tag


Are Dog Tags Still Worn By Modern Soldiers?

With the advanced development of DNA technology, dog tags are not longer a necessary piece for identification purposes and worn by modern soldiers. However, it is still a symbol of military service and worn by people who would like to honor a dead soldier fighting for the country. Today, dog tag is a mainstream fashion with military chic. Many celebrities such as Will Smith, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Gosling, Josh Hartnett, Chris Hemsworth, Micheelle Obama are fans of dog tag necklaces.

celebrities wearing dog tag necklaces

What Information Can You Engrave On Military Dog Tags?

Dog tag necklaces are an thoughtful and meaningful gift for yourselves or your one ones like dad, boyfriend, husband, grandpa or friend. You can customize it according to your own taste and style. What sort of information can you put on your dog tag? Most people would engrave dog tag with personal information listed as follow:

  • Name
  • Birthday
  • Medical Information(blood type, disease)
  • Home Address
  • Contact Number
  • Religion Preference

what to engrave on dog tagHowever, if the dog tag is a perfect gift for your boyfriend, husband, friend or any one important in you life on a special occasion, you can also etch some romantic or sweet quotes or sayings from a song or verse like “You Are My Sunshine” “I Love You To the Moon And Back”. Some dog tag necklaces will have options for printing picture, you can add a photo of your be loved to customize the dog tag to create a more heartfelt gift. If you are a bible lover or a Christian, you can engrave a bible verse on the dog tag or can try a kind of dog tag with a cross on it. There is no any standard as for the engraving, it is all depending on your personal style.


10 Best Personalized Engraved Military Dog Tag Necklaces

1. Military Dog Tag Free Engraved ID Nameplate Necklace For Men

Military Dog Tag Free Engraved ID Nameplate Necklace For Men

This dog tag with a sturdy ball chain comes in 3 colors: 18k gold plated, black plated and 316L stainless steel. The military dog tag has a black rubber silencer around the pendant to avoid noise and friction. Can be added 5 lines(20 characters per line) of messages on the tag. It also comes with a dainty gift box for gift-giving.

2. Engraved Custom Double Dog Tag Necklacewith Picture

Engraved Custom Double Dog Tag Necklace with Picture

This classic 2pcs dog tag necklace can be customized according to your style. You can add 2 photos on the front side of the tags and engrave messages on the back side of both tag. Or you can just add engraving on both dog tags. Wear with your white or black T-shirt and pair it with your camouflage pants, it will add a cool look to the overall outfits. Same as the above dog tag necklace, this tag also comes in 3 colors:18k gold plated, black plated and 316L stainless steel.

3. Personalized Vertical/Horizontal Round Rectangular Shaped Dog Tag Necklace With Wheat Chain 

Personalized Vertical/Horizontal Round Rectangular Shaped Dog Tag Necklace With Wheat Chain

Simple and sturdy, this dog tag with a strong wheat chain and black silencer is stylish for everyday wear. Can engrave texts vertically(5 lines, 16 characters per line) and horizontally(4 lines, 30 characters per line). It would be a meaningful gift for both men and women on birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving Day, Father’s Day and so on. Made of high quality 316l stainless steel with 18k gold plated/black plated, this custom dog tag is anti-tarnish, hypoallergenic for comfortable wear.

4. PersonalizedEngraved Octagon Shaped Dog Tag Necklace With Wheat Chain 

Personalized Engraved Octagon Shaped Dog Tag Necklace With Wheat Chain This stainless steel dog tag necklace with 18k gold and black plated on the surface can be etched messages on both front and back side of the pendant. Each side can be engrave messages up to 80 characters. It is an ideal jewelry piece for both men and women due to its classic and chic design.

5. Classic Personalized Engraved Dog Tag Necklace with Photo

Classic Personalized Engraved Dog Tag Necklace with Photo

This classic dog tag necklace gives you a personal options to print a custom picture on the front side and to engrave messages on the back side of the pendant. Just upload a picture of yours or that of your family and engrave some texts, enjoy the happiness of wearing a unique and memorable dog chain. 

6. Personalized Engraved Two Tone American Flag Necklace Military Dog Tag for Men

Personalized Engraved Two Tone American Flag Necklace Military Dog Tag for Men Wearing this American Flag dog tag necklace shows your support and love for the country. The back side of the national US flag necklace can be engraved with messages up to 4 lines, 18 characters per line, adding a more personal feel for daily wear. Available in durable 316l stainless steel and 18k gold plated, this dog tag is longlasting, anti-rust and anti-tarnish, anti- allergic for ones with sensitive skin.

7. Custom Two Layers Dog Tag with Cross Bible Lords Prayer Christian Necklace

Custom Two Layers Dog Tag with Cross Bible Lords Prayer Christian NecklaceThe chain with dog tag comes with 2 layers of tags, the upper tag is one with a hollow cross while the below is a tag engraved with the inscription of the Lord’s Prayer. The back side of the tag can be engraved with clear messages, making it a unique piece for daily wear. This cross dog tag would be an ideal gift to ones with strong faith in Lord. Available in 18k gold plated and 316l stainless steel.

8. Free EngravedCustom Military Camouflage Camo Dog Tag Necklace Black

Free Engraved Custom Military Camouflage Camo Dog Tag Necklace BlackThe dog tag with camouflage camo pattern on the front side creates a cooler military touch to the whole piece. The back side can be engraved texts vertically(up to 5 lines, 15 characters per line) and horizontally(up to 4 lines, 15 characters per line).

Where to Buy Dog Tag Necklaces?

You can purchase all types of dog tag necklaces online like Amazon, Etsy. U7 Jewelry also has a wide collection of dog tags in different shapes and styles. Nearly all the dog tags can be customized with messages, some of tag can be printed with a picture, which would be a thoughtful personalized gift for yourself and your family. Browse our dog tags collection now, you must find one suitable for your style and taste.


Classic dog tags were just for identification purposes in the military during America Civil War, today dog tag necklaces are a stable jewelry trend for men. Men’s dog tag necklaces add a personal and masculine element to any outfits. If you are struggling in finding a unique dog tag for yourself or someone special to you, don’t hesitate to explore our collection with a wide range of dog tags, you can design your own tag by add some meaningful engraving or decorate with a previous photo.