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The Army Gave Us The Modern Military Working Dog 76 Years Ago Today
Though war dogs served with distinction in World War I, and in countless campaigns and conflicts before that — delivering messages, comforting frontline troops, and biting enemy soldiers on the ass — on March 13, 1942 the U.S. Army began training dogs to serve in the newly created War Dog Program, referred to as the K-9 Corps. The War Dog Program marked the beginning of modern military working dogs as we know them.
Freddy, a military working dog (MWD) with the Directorate of Emergency Services, Area Support Group - Kuwait, searches for a training aide during a demonstration of MWD capabilities at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, on Mar. 7, 2017.U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Dalton Smith
After the United States entered World War II on Dec. 8, 1941, the American Kennel Association and a group calling itself Dogs for Defense, encouraged dog owners back home to donate healthy canines to the Quartermaster Corps of the U.S. Army for training, notes History. Training the new war dogs began in earnest in March 1942, and by the fall, the Army Quartermaster Corps was given the task of providing war dogs to the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard as well.
K-9 Corps war dogs serving during World War II.Department of Defense
Though the K-9 Corps initially accepted some 30 breeds of dogs, that list was soon whittled down to seven, many of which are still used today: German Shepherds, Belgian sheepdogs, Doberman Pinschers, collies, Siberian Huskies, Malamutes and Eskimo dogs.
Just like their uniformed handlers, the dogs went through their own rigorous basic training, which induced basic obedience training, before going off to a four-legged of MOS-school, with specialized training for messenger, mine-detection, sentry, and scout dogs.
Among the ranks of WWII war dogs, a German Shepherd and scout dog named Chips even earned distinction under fire, after he broke away from his handlers and attacked an enemy machine gun nest in Italy. Chips was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and Purple Heart — though the Army later rescinded the awards, due to a policy preventing the official commendation of animals.
Iran has some surprising weapons at its disposal. In a 2002 U.S. military exercise that pitted Iran against an invasion from an American task force, the general in command of the opposition was retired Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper. He used motorcycles, small fast-attack boats, land-based missile batteries and even suicide attacks against the Americans.
But he apparently forgot to use Iran's killer dolphin units.
‘We constantly have them on our minds’ — A little-known agency searches all over for the remains of MIA service members
The 80-minute ride each day to the site in Lang Son Province, Vietnam, through mostly unspoiled forestland and fields, reminded Air Force Master Sgt. Aliah Reyes a little of her hometown back in Maine.
The Eliot native recently returned from a 45-day mission to the Southeast Asian country, where she was part of a team conducting a search for a Vietnam War service member who went missing more than 45 years ago and is presumed dead.
Reyes, 38, enlisted in the Air Force out of high school and has spent more than half her life in military service. But she had never been a part of anything like this.
A U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicle burst into flames on the side of a Polish roadway on Saturday, the Army confirmed on Monday.
A memo circulating over the weekend warning of a "possible imminent attack" against U.S. soldiers in Germany was investigated by Army officials, who found there to not be a serious threat after all.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.