An "identity disc" issued in the combat field kit was used as an answer to the need for standard identification. Identification tags were made mandatory by most countries during WWI. All combat soldiers wore discs on chains around their necks. By World War II, the circular disc was replaced by the oblong shape familiar to us today. The distinctive shape of the Field Dog Tag refers to the tags issued between 1941 and the early 1970's which featured a notch, used to hold the blank tag in place on the embossing machine.
The Dog Tags incorporate a mirror polished stainless steel area which is engraveable, allowing them to be personalised. Traditionally dog tags would be embossed with the surname, initials, service number, date of birth, blood group and religion of the soldier.