We're not lost, Sergeant, We're in … France

Chesty XIV complete Basic Training
10 April 2013, 18:41
Filed under: Marines, Military Working Dogs | Tags:

You know I’m a sucker for a dog, plus have a special affinity for Marines. Should it be any surprise that the latest Marine mascot, Chesty XIV gets another post here? I hope not.

  • Chesty XIV comes from Stephens City, Virginia. Josette Keeler of the Northern Virginia Daily wrote a marvelous article about him that has details about him, including that his ‘brindle mark’ on his right shoulder looks, as I thought, like he’s wearing camouflage already.
  • There’s a great gallery of photos of Chesty at PawNation.
  • PFC Chesty was awarded his Eagle, Globe and Anchor on Monday, having completed his recruit training and basic indoctrination. The Washington Times reports that ‘In the upcoming months, he’ll complete obedience training to underscore his military prowess and serve in a mascot-apprentice roll, trotting alongside his “predecessor and mentor” until the elder Chesty retires in late August.’

I will have to make sure to get down to the Marine barracks this summer to see if I can get a photo of Chesty.


New Marine Corps Mascot arrives
15 February 2013, 17:27
Filed under: Marines, Military Working Dogs | Tags: , ,

Chesty at 8th and I

Photo by Sgt. Dengrier M. Baez, USMC

The new Marine Corps mascot, Chesty, has arrived at the Barracks at 8th and I to begin his obedience and recruit training.

Most decorated war dog of WWI

You know I love my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Henry, so I have a soft spot for all the military working dogs out there. On LinkedIn, Brian Melanson posted a link to an article on the Defense Media Network about Sergeant Stubby, a hero of World War I. Stubby wandered onto the parade field at Yale University as the 102nd Infantry Regiment was training, and marched right along with them. PVT J. Robert Conroy smuggled Stubby onto their troopship, the SS Minnesota (which might be this SS Minnesota). Though his commanding officer was initially upset, a salute by Stubby earned him an official role as mascot.

Stubby’s baptism of fire occurred in February 1918, shortly after the division was stationed in the Chemin des Dames sector in northern France. Within days after the troops took up position in the trenches, they were hit by a poison gas artillery barrage. Stubby survived, and from that point on was acutely sensitive to the deadly chemicals. Once, the area where Stubby’s company was deployed received a pre-dawn poison gas barrage. As soon as his nose scented the first whiff of poison gas, Stubby began raising the alarm, running back and forth through the trench, barking and nipping at the slumbering soldiers. The men awoke in time to don their mask (and fit Stubby with his), and fight off the German attack.

After the war, Stubby went to Georgetown with Conroy, becoming the Hoya’s mascot. He was honored in parades, awarded medals by Generals and greeted by Presidents, receiving the honors that veterans rightly deserve. Stubby passed away in 1926, having served his country and his comrades well.

SGT Stubby is on display at the Smithsonian in the Price of Freedom: Americans at War exhibit and is apparently honored at the National WWI Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City with a brick in the Walk of Honor. If you visit the Memorial and can send along a photo of his brick, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Weekend Wanderings: NCAA Opening Weekend 2012

While I haven’t made a Wandering post in a while, it is always nice to share what I find out there.

  • One of my favorite films was the 13th Warrior, with Antonio Banderas. For a lyrical review that paints the imagery of the film, see The Village Smith.
  • The military blogging community lost one of its brightest lights, Neptunus Lex. By chance, I spoke with one of his classmates who was stunned at both his passing and that he’d still been flying fighters at this age. The Captain was a great writer and I think it would behoove any of my readers to peruse his beliefs. The world is a poorer place without him.
  • As you know, I love my puppy, so I was overjoyed to see a story about an Army Sergeant First Class by the name of Zeke who helps out his comrades in their time of need. (Hat tip to CDR Salamander – http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/)

In continuing support of our dogs-in-arms….

Man’s best friend
2 March 2012, 17:11
Filed under: Marines, Military Working Dogs | Tags:

Every morning, when our cute Cavalier, Henry, and I walk around our neighborhood, he inspects every piece of ground, ensuring that nothing has changed without his notice. Fortunately, a patch of over-turned earth or another tell-tale sign of recent digging won’t indicate the presence of an IED. There are no insurgents watching us ‘patrol’ (which is good, since I’m usually reading the sports section and would be an easy mark). However, when Marine Lance Corporal Brandon Mann and his military working dog, Ty, venture out near Sre Kala and Paygel in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the threat is real and imminent. I’d like to think Henry would have my back as Ty has LCPL Mann’s, but I’m glad that he doesn’t need to. Many thanks to the both of them and our other men, women and animals in the service for keeping us safe. Semper Fi, Devil Dogs! See their photo on BlackFive.

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