America’s Military Working Dogs
Hello my fellow Patriot. Cade here.
It’s no secret that working dogs are treasured for helping us humans stay safe and protected, and often provide valued assistance with mobility and mental health and anxiety issues.
But what’s often overlooked are the contributions dogs make on the battlefield, working side by side with our brave men and women on important missions like these:
“Another Belgian Malinois named Cairo was on SEAL Team Six mission that stormed Osama bin Laden's secret compound on May 2, 2011.”
Dogs are not only man’s best friend, but they have been life savers for our men and women in the military from WW1 to present day.
They’re trained to perform heroic duties such as detecting landmines and IEDs with just a few sniffs (dogs’ sense of smell is roughly 50 times better than ours), patrolling, search and rescue, and fearlessly charging into the heat of battle to incapacitate enemy combatants and subdue foes.
Today, a centralized training facility for all military working dogs exists at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas with the 341st Training Battalion, where these dogs begin intense obedience and military training as well as socialization and team building with their handlers.
85% of the dogs in training come from Germany or the Netherlands with 15% bred domestically. Only about 50% of dogs that enter the program go on to service with approximately 2,700 dogs currently in active duty.
A fully trained bomb detection canine is likely worth over $150,000!
Military working dogs (MWD’s) are found in each branch of the armed forces, including the Marines, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy. Many times, these dogs can access areas humans cannot.
Their agility, superior sense of smell, and ability to detect movement are invaluable qualities to their handlers and our nation’s security, and some of these brave animals have been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Stars, and Purple Hearts.
Once a dog’s active service has ended, all dogs in combat zones are returned to the United States. Because of their unique skill sets and potential for excitability, trained military dogs are not allowed to “work” once retired from duty.
Dogs typically retire around 10-12 years of age, though some are honorably discharged for reasons such as physical injury or mental distress caused by the death of their human partner or development of noise aversions.
If only humans were more like dogs, this world would be an amazing place.
If you have a dog in your home, be sure to give him (or her) a pat on the head from me. And while he may not be a veteran, know that there are plenty of his “cousins” working on behalf of all of us, every single day.
To your survival,