Why are there two dog tags on a military dog tag chain?

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One dog tag was immediately taken from the necklace (or other part of the body) of the dead person (usually by a responsible officer)to represent proof that that specific serviceman had been killed and as positive identification of the serviceman's name, serial number, branch of service and religion -- for official records. The other tag remained at all times on or with the body of the dead serviceman so his or her identity, etc. would not be misplaced or lost. vcs CURRENT ANSWER In accordance with current policy:
Identification tags found around the neck of a casualty, and only those tags found around the neck, stay with the remains at all times. Tags found any place besides around the neck are made note of in the Record of Personal Effects of Deceased Personnel, and placed in an effects bag. They are not removed unless there is a need to temporarily inter the remains. If there is only one tag present, another is made to match the first. If the remains are unidentified, two tags marked "unidentified" are made. One identification tag is interred with the individual, the other placed on a wire ring in the sequence of the temporary cemetery plot. This enables Graves Registration personnel to make positive identification of remains during disinterment procedures; when the remains are disinterred, the tag on the wire ring is removed and placed with the matching tag around the neck.
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