Russian Dog Tags

Army tokens are used in the armed forces of many countries as a way to identify soldiers in the event of their death during hostilities. A token is a small oval-shaped metal sign, fitted with a chain to be worn around the neck. The product may contain information necessary for identification: personal number, last name and first name, affiliation to a specific military unit. Tokens may also contain information about the blood group and religion.

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The first products, resembling modern military tokens, appeared in the era of the Russian Empire. Initially, they were called “firing signs” and were used by representatives of the lower ranks. As a sign to identify the wounded and killed, a tin tag was introduced in early 1917. After the establishment of the Soviet Union, cervical marks were introduced and canceled several times, along with a Red Army book, which also served as identification. During the Great Patriotic war, military personnel often used plastic medallions or cartridges for rifle cartridges instead of tokens, in which pieces of paper with basic data were inserted. For wearing a military personal badge in the right part of the trousers a small pocket was provided.

Tokens continue to be used in the modern Russian army. The personal badge is a duralumin oval medallion, on which the soldier’s personal number is inscribed. In appearance, the products practically do not differ from the tokens used in the Soviet Army.

Currently, Russian souvenir tokens are particularly popular. Unlike a standard military badge, decorative items can be supplied with a wide variety of images. You can buy a military army badge as a souvenir or memento. Symbols of the branches of the armed forces are often affixed to metal plates, so such a gift will be an excellent reminder of the period of military service. Tokens are also suitable for thematic army collections.