Military Dogs | 7 Facts About the Military's Greatest Asset

Military Dogs | 7 Facts About the Military's Greatest Asset

There are an infinite amount of reasons why dogs are called man's best friend.

But according to General David Petraeus, they are also the military's greatest asset.

Let's run through some not very well-known facts about our four-legged buddies...

7. Dogs have fought with American soldiers since the Revolutionary War, but only have been officially ranked since WWII.


No military in history has used dogs as extensively or effectively as America does.

Back in the day, they were mainly used as messengers or sentries. But now they are trained to do highly-specialized tasks such as bomb sniffing and tracking people.

6. The USMC Planned to Use Dogs to Invade Japan


The USMC began it's war dog program in 1942 during WWII. During this time, dogs were trained and fielded across the Pacific.

At one point, dogs were trained to lead Marines on an amphibious assault on the Japanese.

5. Rin Tin Tin Started Out as a War Dog


Before he was a famous movie star, Rin Tin Tin was a German war dog.

He was rescued from the battlefield by Lee Duncan. Once home, he started his movie career, and the rest is history.

4. The USMC's First Official Mascot was the USMC's Highest-Ranking War Dog


Due to his heroism and bravery, 'Jiggs' an English Bulldog, was made the USMC's first mascot.

Jiggs enlisted in 1922, and swiftly worked his way up to Sergeant Major in 1925.

3. Most Retired MWD's are Adopted by Their Human Handler


When a MWD becomes old and tired, the canine's human handler is provided the option to adopt.

If the handler can not adopt their canine counterpart, the DoD has a program dedicated to finding the dogs loving homes.

2. Only Roughly 50% of MWD's Make it Through Training


In order to join the ranks of heroic canines, candidates must go through an extremely selective and through assessment.

Certain traits such as being highly reward-motivated and a strong sense of smell are absolutely paramount.

They must also be completely free of hip dysplasia and must be able to attack on command.

1. They Gotta Love the Kong




Another sort of odd test is that the dogs must love a Kong toy. 

A MWD has to really want the Kong in order to pass because it is going to be their paycheck, or reward for completing a task, which keeps them motivated and trainable.


On and off the battlefield, dogs prove their loyalty to man time and time again.

Do you have any MWD's you'd like to honor?

Let me know in the comments!

God Bless America,

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