Don’t know when they quit, but they don’t put the tooth notch in the dogtags anymore. I don’t remember them from my first set in 75, and the ones I have now don’t have them either.

Don’t take life so serious. It ain’t nohow permanent

I’d like us to get in the habit of posting the link to the Mailbag item being referenced… that way, people can read the Mailbag item and we’ll cut down on duplication or unnecessary comments.

Here’s the link:

To post a link, type {url}http://www.locationetc{/url} but use square brackets [ ] instead of curley brackets. “Locationetc” of course, is the site url. If you’re on AOL 4.0, you can copy and paste from the tag line at top of screen.

[Note: This message has been edited by CKDextHavn]

'Scuse my ignorance, but why is there a notch in dogtags? (“There’s a notch in dogtags?” he says…)

I can’t believe Songbird is gonna make us ask! What the hell are the notches for?

Is it so you can use your tags to slit someones throat?

The idea behind the notch was, You took on tag to graves registration and left the other one with the body. For the one left with the body you lined the notch up between the two front upper teeth and jammed the dogtag between the teeth. As to why they wanted the dogtag between the teeth, I have no idea.

Don’t take life so serious. It ain’t nohow permanent

That makes sense, Sharper. Thanks.

I imagine the theory behind wedging the tags between the teeth is that the ID should be in proximity to the last piece of remains to decompose.

Sharper’s pretty sharp. :wink:
Yes, the notch was exactly for the purpose of wedging the dog tag in between the deceased soldier’s teeth for ease of identification. Dog tags don’t have notches any more, but in early WWII, the U.S. Army’s Regulation I.D. tag featured a notch on the end opposite the hole.
In retrospect, I should have said something like: “Remember why dog tags used to have notches.”
We at the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board do the best we can, but only Cecil gives perfect answers.