Marking your Uniforms and Equipment 
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The following information comes from Army Regulation AR 850-5

1. Marks required; where placed. - Clothing will be marked on the inside of each garment with the initial letter of the enlisted man's last name, followed by a dash and the last four figures of the enlisted man's Army serial number, for example, W-6046.

2. To be indelible. - The marking required by paragraph 1 will be done with indelible ink.


3. General - a. Application.-The provisions of b, c, and d below apply to both organizational equipment (par. 4) and individual equipment (par. 5).
b. Letters "U.S." - The letters "U.S." will invariably be placed on all articles of equipment, except the identification tag, by the procuring agency, but will not be so placed as to occupy space required by these regulations for other markings.
c. Articles with wooden handles. - Articles of equipment which have wooden handles, such as shovels, will be marked on the handle. Leather-stamping dies may be used, if available; if not, the marking will be done by improvised methods, such as branding or painting.
d. Equipment not specifically provided for - The marking of equipment not specifically provided for in these regulations will conform as far as practicable to the marking herein prescribed for similar equipment.

4. Organization. - a. Not to be marked until placed in use. - No organization equipment will be marked, except with the letters "U.S." (par. 3b), prior to being placed in actual use.

5. Individual. - a. Articles not to be marked. - Articles of individual equipment which will not be marked as prescribed in b below are -
(1) Metal Articles which, when issued, have a serial number stamped thereon, for example, rifle and pistol.
(2) Batons.
(3) Brassards, except Red Cross.
(4) Bugles.
(5) Canteens
(6) Covers of cans, meat (See d(3) below.)
(7) Goggles.
(8) Masks, gas.
(9) Packets, first-aid.
(10) Stands, music.
(11) Tags, identification. (see AR600-400)
(12) Tapes, steel.
(13) Trumpets.
(14) Whistles.
b. Marking required. - Subject to the exceptions enumerated in an above and (1) and (2) below, all articles of individual equipment will be marked with the last four figures of the enlisted man's Army serial number (for example, 6046) without addition of company letters or numbers.
(1) Articles which, though issued to an individual, are intended for the use of the squad or section as a while and which, upon transfer of the individual, will be left in the squad or section, for example, grenade carriers. Such articles will be marked as required in paragraph 4b, adding the number of the squad or section
(2) Articles issued to a company and intended for the use of the company as a whole. Such articles will be marked as required in paragraph 4b.
c. When to use dash. - In the cases of numbered companies, the number of the company will be separated by a dash from the squad or section's company number.
d.How marked.
(1) General.
(a) As prescribed in (2) and (3) below, by 1/2-inch stencil for textile equipment, and by marking outfit, metal, and marking outfit, leather, respectively, for metal and leather equipment.
(b) By the inside of a flap is meant the inner side when the flap is closed.
(c) In case subsequent markings are necessary, the original markings will be eradicated, by erasure and scouring, if possible. When eradication is not possible the original markings will be nullified as follows: Markings on textile equipment, by two indelible horizontal lines through each line of the original markings, preferably of the same color as the original. Markings on leather and metal equipment, by stamping over the original markings with the "dash" die.
(d) Subsequent markings, where they cannot be placed over eradicated original markings legibly, will be placed so as to follow immediately the nullified original markings, that is, adjacent and to the right or below, as the article best facilitates. In the case of ammunition pocket flaps the subsequent markings to the placed on adjacent flap to the right.
(e) Spare articles of individual equipment in an organization will not be marked until issued to individuals. Such articles will be used as far as practicable for transfer to other organizations when accompanying individuals.
(2) Stenciling of textile equipment; where placed.
Location of stenciling
Belt, cartridge
Inside of flap of first right rifle ammunition pocket.
Belt, magazine
Inside of flap of first automatic or machine rifle ammunition pocket.
Belt, pistol or revolver
Inside of loop next to end hook.
On lower left-hand corner, 1 1/2 inches from edges, of blankets marked with the letters "U.S.," and similarly placed on any corner of those without the letters "U.S."
Carrier, gas mask
Inside of flap near top seam to right of left eyelet reinforcing seam.
Carrier, grenade, 4-inch pocket.
Inside of flap of upper right-hand pocket.
Carrier, ax, intrenching
Inside of flap as near left as practicable.
Carrier, pack
Outside between first and second buttonholes for coupling strap in one or two lines, beginning on the same side as the "U" of the "U.S." Top of lettering to be parallel to and 1/4 inch from top edge of pack carrier.
Carrier, pick mattock, intrenching.
Inside body near lower end.
Carrier, shovel, intrenching.
Inside near lower edge opposite face of shovel.
Case, carrying, automatic rifle
Inside of flap near lower edge.
Cover, canteen
Cover, rifle
Inside of flap near lower edge.
Inside of flap of meat-can pouch near left-hand edge
Pocket, magazine, pistol
Inside of flap.
Pouch, first-aid packet
Inside of flap near left edge.
Pouch, medical
Inside of flap near left edge.
On flap, as near left edge as possible.
Suspenders, for belts, cartridge and pistol.
Inside of adjusting strap where stenciling will not touch clothing
Tent, shelter
On the same side as buttons, 1 1/2 inches below center button of row along the ridge of the tent.
(3) Stamping of metal or leather articles. - The marking required by b above will be stamped directly upon the articles of equipment enumerated in the following table, by means of metal-stamping dies, as specified opposite each article.
Where marking placed
Can, meat
On center of handle and below the ridge (with the hinge to the left). Lid not to be marked. (See a(6) above.)
On handle, immediately below hinge.
Across back of head of handle
Holster, pistol
On inside of flap.
Scabbard, automatic rifle
On flap, bottom to the 1/2 inch above strap.
Scabbard, bayonet, M1910
On outside of leather tip.
Scabbard, bayonet, M1917
On outside of metal tip.
Scabbard, rifle
Top to be 2 inches below mouth of scabbard.
Sling, gun
On outer face of long strap
Across back of head of handle
Strap, sling for automatic rifle
On outer face of long strap.

Changes No. 5 & 6
AR 850-5 August 5, 1942, is changed as follows:

5. Individual.
f. Barrack bags. - Barrack bags will be stenciled with the enlisted man's full name (first name, middle initial, and last name) and full Army serial number (letters and numbers not smaller than 1 inch nor larger than 2 inches). In addition one barrack bag will be marked with a 3-inch "A" and the second bag (when issued) with a 3-inch "B." At the appropriate time the oversea shipment number and letter (code designation) will be stenciled in letters or numbers not smaller than 1 inch nor larger than 2 inches.
(1) How marked. - The marking on blue denim barrack bags will be made with white lead paste (paint). Khaki barrack bags will be marked with black lead paste (paint). Markings will be made by use of a stencil of the size indicated in (2) below, except for letters A and B.
(2) Where marked. - One barrack bag will be marked with a 3-inch "A" and the second (when issued) with a 3-inch "B." The bottom of each letter "A" or "B" will be 2 inches from the bottom seam. A 5-inch blank space will be left between the top of the letter A or B and the bottom of the Army serial number. The full Army serial number will be stenciled above the 5-inch blank space in numbers not less than 1 inch nor more than 2 inches. A 1-inch space will be left above the Army serial number and the full name (first name, middle initial, and last name) will be stenciled in above the 1-inch space in letters not less than 1 inch nor more than 2 inches. At the appropriate time the overseas shipment number and letter (code designation) will be centered in the 5 inch blank space by means of a stencil, in letters or numbers not smaller than 1 inch nor larger than 2 inches.
(3) When marked. - All barracks bags now in the possession of enlisted personnel will be marked immediately. Following induction, personnel will mark their barracks bags at first station of assignment after reception centers. Barrack bags will be remarked as often as it is necessary in order to maintain legibility.

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