Famous Dogs in the Military
What does a Labrador Retriever, Terrier, Belgian Malinois, Doberman Pinscher, and German Shephard have in common? Besides being man’s best friend, they also serve in the military. An Army article says military working dogs are guardians of the night.
At Empire Resume, we strive to shed light on the military experience, and this week we are paying tribute to the hardest working canines in military history. First, let’s give you some fun facts you might not have known about military working dogs (MWDs).
Fun Facts About Military Dogs
- Once known as “war dogs,” military working dogs have stood beside military servicemen and servicewomen in every major military conflict. However, the life-saving work of canines was not recognized until March 13, 1942, when the Army’s K-9 Corps was established.
- According to the S. Department of Defense, there are nearly 2,000 military working dogs across all service branches. They are deployed all over the world, with about 700 of them serving overseas.
- Almost all military working dogs train at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas, home to the DoD’s Military Working Dog Program.
- Military working dogs are trained to patrol and sniff out the enemy, detect bombs, weapons and drugs. According to a retired Air Force K-9 handler, Louis Robinson, a trained bomb detection dog is worth over $150,000, but with the countless numbers of lives the dog saves, it is considered priceless.
- All military dogs are available for adoption after serving in the military, thanks to Robby’s Law signed by former President Bill Clinton in November 2000. In the past, retired military dogs were classified as “Surplus Equipment” and euthanized after their useful service to the military, because they weren’t seen as valuable beyond the purpose for which they were trained.
- Past, present, and future military working dogs are not forgotten. The S. War Dogs Memorial at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Holmdel, New Jersey, honors military dogs and their service, bravery, and loyalty.
Additionally, the U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument was unveiled in honor of military working dogs in 2013 at Lackland Air Force Base. Next time you’re in the San Antonio area, take a trip to the U.S. Military Working Dog Teams National Monument.
Five Honorable Military Working Dogs
In no particular order, below are five dogs who will blow you away with their devotion and dedication to the United States and the U.S. Armed Forces:
Stubby is the legendary bull terrier who is credited with being the first war dog. Dubbed Sergeant Stubby by the Marine Corps, his bravery in World War I saved many U.S. Soldiers, making him the most decorated dog in American history.
He was a stray dog roaming the streets of New Haven, Connecticut when he was adopted by Corporal J Robert Conroy before he shipped out to serve in World War I.
Hear about the amazing story by watching the 2018 animated film, Sgt. Stubby: An America Hero.
Conan, a female Belgian Malinois, is the courageous military dog who helped U.S. Special Forces take down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on October 27, 2019.
K-9 Conan was wounded in the Al-Baghdadi raid when the Islamic State leader detonated a suicide vest after being chased into a dead-end tunnel, killing himself and three of his children.
For her great acts, Conan was presented with a medal and certificate for her bravery by former President Trump.
Gabe began service to the U.S. Army as a military working dog in 2006 after the military rescued him from a pound in Houston, Texas. Alongside his handler, Sgt. 1st Class Charles Shuck, he has been stationed at Fort Lewis Washington, Fort Bliss, Texas, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and Fort Hood, Texas.
During his tenure, Gabe sniffed out insurgent bombs, guns, and ammo. He completed over 200 combat missions in Iraq with 26 finds of explosives and weapons, the largest of which was a cache of rounds located on the banks of the Tigris River.
When Gabe left Iraq, he walked away with three Army Commendation Medals, an Army Achievement Medal, and dozens of coins of excellence. For his work, Gabe received the top award of American Hero Dog in 2012 by the American Humane Association.
Gabe retired from military service in 2009 with more than 40 awards and coins for his extraordinary work. After all of his successful missions, Gabe lived a leisurely lifestyle.
In February 2013, Gabe passed away in his handler’s arms, due to suffering from cancer in his liver and spleen.
Sallie Ann Jarrett was a Staffordshire Terrier who served with soldiers in the Civil War as the mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. The men named her after their commanding officer, Colonel Phaon Jarrett, and Sallie Ann, a local beautiful woman.
During the Battle of Gettsyburg, Sallie was separated from the infantry while fighting, but she was found three days later. She was still on the battlefield guarding wounded soldiers.
In 1865, Sallie was killed in action at the Battle of Hatcher’s Run in Virginia. Today, you can find a granite and bronze memorial statue of Sallie at the Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
If you’ve seen the 1990 Disney movie, Chips, the War Dog, you’re already familiar with this war hero.
Chips, a German Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix, was one of the first military working dogs sent overseas. His owners, the Wren family of New York, donated Chips to the Army when the Defense for Dogs Program was initiated.
Chips served in the military during World War II, with the third infantry in France, Germany, Italy, and North Africa. He completed several missions, including performing sentry or guard duty during the 1943 Casablanca Conference between former President Roosevelt and former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.
Chips was awarded the Silver Start and Purple Heart for attacking an enemy machine-gun nest in Sicily and forcing the six-man crew to surrender.
Despite his efforts, the Army revoked the awards, deeming Chips ineligible because they felt it was demeaning to service members to give medals to animals.
In 2018, Chips was posthumously awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for his efforts during the war. This is the highest honor any animal can receive for military service. The Animals in War & Peace Medal of Bravery followed in 2019.
If you enjoyed Empire Resume’s military blog article about famous dogs in the military like Stubby, Conan, Gabe, Sallie, and Chips, you’ll also enjoy:
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Dr. Phillip Gold is President/CEO of Empire Resume and has vast experience writing resumes for service-members transitioning from the military into civilian roles. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force responsible for leading nuclear missile security. Phillip is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and holds a BA in Communications from The Ohio State University, an MS in Instructional Technology, an MBA in Finance, and a PhD in Finance.