The U.S. men’s soccer team is wearing dog tags given to them by local soldiers representing all five branches of the military during the World Cup in Brazil.
After a thrilling 2-1 victory over Ghana on Monday, the U.S. men’s team takes on Portugal on Sunday in the Manaus jungle in a game that could decide which teams makes it out of group play.
According to Yahoo! Sports, the “entire U.S. team was given dog tags and many players are wearing them whenever possible here in Brazil, including before and after games as a personal and profound reminder to what it means to represent the country.”
Yahoo! Sports reports:
The military didn’t seek out a visit by the players or some free tickets to the game. Instead, it took 23 local soldiers representing all five branches of the armed forces and had them give an iconic symbol of combat, with their own personal information, to one of the team’s 23 players.
The ceremony in which the players were given the dog tags “took place in Jacksonville prior to the Americans’ last tune-up game before the World Cup. It was conceptualized and carried out by Marine Sgt. Major Bryan Battaglia, the highest-ranking enlisted service member in the country.”
The front of the dog tags has an American flag with the words “2014 World Cup” and “Stay Fit! Stay Strong! Stay Resilient!” According to Yahoo Sports, the back of the dog tags has the information of the players and the soldiers who gave them the custom-made chains.