3 Easy Military Dog Tag Keepsakes

Pinterest photo: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/62557882297831496/Pinterest photo: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/62557882297831496/

An announcement that the Army is ditching social security numbers from their newly issued military dog tags has me feeling a little nostalgic for the dog tags we have, the things they mean to us and the memories they carry. There was that pair that my then-boyfriend left with me while we were long-distance dating. There was the tag that he put around the neck of the teddy bear he left our newborn son when he deployed. And then there are the tags he wore in combat, during all those terrifying days where others were lost and we wondered if the dog tags were the only thing that would make it home.

If military dog tags give you the same nostalgic feelings they give me, you may want to squirrel away as a keepsake for later one or two of the current format with his social security number on them. So far the Army is the only service to announce the change, but I can’t imagine the others will be far behind.

Just keep in mind: the whole point of the Army giving these an upgrade is to keep that social security number more secure. So if you’re going to use these in any kind of craft, make sure you’re using it in a place that won’t get a ton of public viewing. Example: maybe don’t include them on a door wreath.

3 Military Dog Tag Keepsakes

1. Military dog tag Christmas ornament.

3 Easy Military Dog Tag Keepsakes http://wp.me/p1d7d0-8XS

A dog tag Christmas ornament from Pinterest user Jennifer Perry:         https://www.pinterest.com/pin/62557882297831496/

We love this adorable dog tag Christmas ornament. A quick trip to the craft store, some hot glue and your service member’s dog tag and – boom! – an awesome Christmas keepsake ornament.

2. Include them in your military shadowbox.

3 Easy Military Dog Tag Keepsakes http://wp.me/p1d7d0-8XS

We’ve seen a lot of shadowboxes assembled for a military retirement or change of command and they often include dog tags. Want to make sure you have a pair in there like you remember them? Now is a great time to set aside your troop’s old-style dog tags with social security number for inclusion in the shadowbox later.

3. Use them as a photo prop.

3 Easy Military Dog Tag Keepsakes http://wp.me/p1d7d0-8XS (Photo courtesy of Melissa Judy.)

Photo courtesy of Melissa Judy.

Baby + dog tags = cuteness overload. You can tuck the tags themselves in a keepsakes box out of mind, while making that part of military life a permanent memory in a photo. Don’t have a baby? No problem. There are plenty of ways to make them a photo prop. Don’t be afraid to get creative.


What other ways do you have of preserving your spouse’s old school dog tags? Share them!

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.
  •   A dog tag is the informal name for the identification tags worn by military personnel, because of their resemblance to actual dog tags. The tag is primarily used for the identification of dead and wounded along with providing essential basic medical information for the treatment of the latter such as blood type and history of inoculations. In the event the member has a medical condition that requires special attention, an additional red tag with the pertinent information is issued and worn with the dog tags.