New values cards, Warrior Ethos ‘dogtags’ available to Army units
By Sgt. 1st Class Reginald P. Rogers/TRADOC News Service
FORT MONROE, Va. (TRADOC News Service, Sept. 24, 2004) – Soldiers around the world will soon add a third tag to the aluminum chain that now holds the two metal identification tags affectionately known as “dogtags.”
As part of the Army’s evolution to a force of warriors, the service will begin issuing a Warrior Ethos dogtag and an all-new Army Values card that includes the Soldier’s Creed on the back.
“The idea behind the dogtags is that the Chief of Staff (Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker) said one thing about the way we train Soldiers: that the Army Values were non-negotiable,” explained Col. Kevin Shwedo, G-3 of the U.S. Army Accessions Command, headquartered here. “That said, we’ve decided to, as an Army, take the lesson from the contemporary operating environment and make the initial-entry training experience reflect the lessons learned in the combat theaters of operations.”
The new dogtag features the Army Values on one side and Warrior Ethos on the other. According to Shwedo, including Warrior Ethos was a necessity.
“It takes a warrior mindset to excel on the battlefield, and so now we have a Warrior Ethos,” he explained. “Reflected on the backside of that dogtag is, in fact, the Warrior Ethos itself. Now Soldiers will have both, the Army Values and the Warrior Ethos, on that dogtag.”
Shwedo said the card and dogtags are being distributed at all the Army training centers. Shwedo said there is a method to issuing the tags and cards. To receive the dogtag, initial-entry Soldiers undergo a rite of passage.
“When you come in and you’ve gone through your initial values class, we will go ahead and present you your Army Values card that has the Soldiers Creed on the back,” he explained. “You don’t earn your dogtag until you have completed your final field-training exercise. When you come back (from the FTX), you come back to a Victory Forge ceremony, and the tags are presented by a member of your chain-of-command as recognition for your accomplishment.
“This is really the chain-of-command’s opportunity to recognize (Soldiers’) hard work and effort by presenting them these dogtags at graduation time,” Shwedo added.
The importance of the WE dogtags and Army Values cards can be summed up in an earlier statement made by Schoomaker.
“No longer is a Soldier’s value measured by how close he or she is to the front line – there are no front lines on today’s battlefield,” said Schoomaker, the Army’s top officer, while speaking at an Association of the United States Army convention in October 2003. “Every Soldier is a warrior. Every Soldier has to embody not only the Army Values every day but take to heart the Soldier’s Creed and, most specifically right now, the Warrior Ethos that will be around that Soldier’s neck and lived by Soldiers every day.
“The idea that every Soldier is a warrior is a significant leap for the Army,” Shwedo said. “Every Soldier has to be able to be an expert with his weapon. Every Soldier has to be physically fit. Every Soldier needs to know the warrior tasks and drills that are now being taught throughout basic training.”
Shwedo added that each commandant at each Army school is actively pursuing training that will allow each site to reinforce the warrior tasks and drills Soldiers learned in basic combat training.
He said all Army units can now purchase the dogtags and ID cards by going through their individual Training and Audiovisual Support Center offices.
“This is not something you have to wait on,” Shwedo pointed out. “It’s something we can go ahead and get to units and organizations because it is a great card, and it is something every Soldier should know.
“That Soldier’s Creed is something we have to live day in and day out,” he added. “It really defines a change or transition from how we trained Soldiers during the Cold War period to how we are sustaining operations as an Army at war.”
He said it is important to remember that the warrior tasks and drills, which were defined by the Soldier Task Force, are now being trained in basic training, and the Army will train more and more of them as equipment becomes available to go into full implementation.
“We are going to have a significantly improved advanced individual training over the next year or so,” he said. “As commandants start to reinforce the warrior tasks and drills, when Soldiers report to their initial units, not only have they acquired these skills, but they’ve had a chance to reinforce them.
“Because we’re going from basic to AIT, in many cases, these tasks will be taught sequentially and progressively become more difficult,” Shwedo continued. “They’ll have a much better Soldier by the time they arrive at their initial unit.”
For units that want to order the new cards and WE dogtags, the following numbers should be given to their respective TASC offices: the Graphical Training Aid number for the new wallet-sized Army Values cards is GTA 22-06-002. The GTA number for the new dogtag-sized Army Values card is GTA 22-06-003. The GTA number for the Warrior Ethos dogtag is GTA 22-06-005.
(Editor's note: representations of the Warrior Ethos dogtag and new wallet card are available at the Army Training Support Center's Website, www.train.army.mil. Choose "Commandant Approved Training" under the "RDL Services" tab and "Graphical Training Aids" from the pulldown menu. To save time, also type "Army Values" or "Warrior Ethos" in the search box, then click "Search.")