Tag Archives: military working dog

Cammies, KA-bars and GSDs

“Marine War Dog and Handler, Vietnam, circa 1970”

Note the kennels in the background with the sandbagged roof. From the Craig Spraggins Collection (COLL/4154) at the Marine Corps History Division

Of note, the WMD handler is wearing the Marine Corps’ “lowland” variant of the ERDL camouflage uniform, which predated the much better known M81 woodland BDU by more than a decade. The Marine also has a standard M1911A1 in a very non-standard holster that could be a modded M1916-style flap holster but I believe is actually just a commercial leather revolver holster, accompanied by a K-Bar fighting knife attached to the holster by a leather tie.

Another installment of the same team

Odds are the Marine has coupled the two weapons together at his strong side to be able to use either with his right hand as the dog would be controlled by his left.

Dogs get the chop

In related news, the Marines are cutting back on their military working dogs, a staple of the service since the Great War, as they aren’t needed to fight China, apparently. Currently, the Corps has 210 four-legged MWDs and 260 two-legged handlers/trainers. After the snip, that will fall to 150 and 210, respectively. Of note, once a dog enters the training program, it takes six months to get them ready for the Fleet.

Ahh, my favorite people often aren’t

At SHOT you run into all sorts of people. I shook hands this year with Lou Ferrigno, Jesse James, R. Lee Ermey, lots of industry types and sharpshooters, Second Amendment attorneys, politicians etc.

However, after running into Arkos, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois service dog, complete with mandatory ear-and eye-pro at Industry Range Day on Monday, I knew it was going to be a great show.

The dogs of SHOT Show 2016 (1)

With 500,000 rounds fired at 170 booths, doggles and muffs are legit required. And yes, that is my reflection.

Therefore, I give you the Dogs of SHOT Show.

“Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war”

While, yes, it may be a phrase from Act 3, Scene 1, line 273 of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and was likely written sometime around 1599, both Caesar’s army and those of Shakespeare’s own time, as today, contain military working dogs and canine mascots.

And the one thing that unites them all, is our desire to mark them as part of the unit.

U.S.S. New York circa 1896. Ship’s tailor The dog is Nick.

U.S.S. New York circa 1896. Ship’s tailor The dog is Nick.

Sergeant Stubby, the mascot of the 102nd Infantry, 26th Yankee Division WWI

Sergeant Stubby, the mascot of the 102nd Infantry, 26th Yankee Division WWI

Gefreiter Hund A German WWI era mascot dog complete with his own jacket with rank button, feldmutze with cockade and his very own Iron Cross Second Class. Photo via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/48140075@N04/6337681189/in/pool-971387@N24/

Gefreiter Hund A German WWI era mascot dog complete with his own jacket with rank button, feldmutze with cockade and his very own Iron Cross Second Class. Photo via Flickr

Those Germans love their dogs... another WWI era shot

Those Germans love their dogs… another WWI era shot

devil dog marine poster

1925. "Sgt. Jiggs." The Marine Corps mascot in Washington, D.C., with an actual Marine. National Photo Company Collection glass negative

1925. “Sgt. Jiggs.” The Marine Corps mascot in Washington, D.C., with an actual Marine. National Photo Company Collection glass negative

Sgt. Jiggs, close up

Sgt. Jiggs, close up

M1919 with sled dog Alaska WWII

M1919 with sled dog Alaska WWII

Finnish soldier and dog in position near Kiestinki, 25 April, 1942, note the Mosin rifle

Finnish soldier and dog in position near Kiestinki, 25 April, 1942, note the Mosin rifle

You will take this Mauser and like it

You will take this Mauser and like it

Observer

Flak Observer

Co-pilot

Co-pilot

Field promotion

Field promotion

U.S. Scout dog, Luzon, 1945

U.S. Scout dog, Luzon, 1945

The official mascot of the United States Marine Corps, English bulldog Pfc. Chesty the XIV, sits for his official photo at Headquarters Marine Corps Combat Camera in the Pentagon, Arlington, Va, May 15, 2013 at Headquarters Marine Corps Combat Camera, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Chesty the XIV will officially take over as the mascot when his predecessor, Sgt. Chesty the XIII, retires in the fall of 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Adrian R. Rowan HQMC Combat Camera/Released)

The official mascot of the United States Marine Corps, English bulldog Pfc. Chesty the XIV, sits for his official photo at Headquarters Marine Corps Combat Camera in the Pentagon, Arlington, Va, May 15, 2013 at Headquarters Marine Corps Combat Camera, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Chesty the XIV will officially take over as the mascot when his predecessor, Sgt. Chesty the XIII, retires in the fall of 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Adrian R. Rowan HQMC Combat Camera/Released)

WMD memorial at Eglin AFB. Image by Chris Eger

WMD memorial at Eglin AFB. Image by Chris Eger