Military Dogs

On Memorial Day, I told the story of Chips, the first (and only) dog decorated for heroism in combat (his awards were later taken away). I also mentioned that, during Vietnam, almost all of our service dogs were killed or left behind as “excess equipment.”

Military Working Dog about to be airlifted by helicopter.

Apparently the situation has not changed much. Soldiers are allowed to adopt service dogs which are being retired, but they then have to pay for their transport back to the U.S. out of their own pockets. This is a disgrace to our service dogs and an insult to our service members.

There is currently an amendment up for debate which would change this situation. It proposes to:

    1. Provide for authorized Department of Defense (DoD) transport of retiring Military Working Dogs (MWDs) stationed at permanent bases outside the continental U.S. who are adoption suitable or already adopted back to continental U.S. via military transport.
    2. Grant an official reclassification of current active duty MWD from “Equipment” to “MWD Troop/Soldier”. This change is necessary in order to undergird the reclassification of a retiring MWD from the current “Excess Equipment” to “MWD Veteran” or “Military K9 Veteran”.
    3. Mandate the creation and establishment of a DoD recognized Commendation and Medal for Meritorious MWD Service for Active Duty MWDs.

If you would like to support this amendment, you can do so at  

This is a short news clip on military dogs. Apparently there’s an elite version of the military dog (the Ranger Dog?), with more training and qualifications than your regular field dog. It was one of these dogs that was on the team who went in to capture Osama bin Laden.


U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Blake Soller and his military working dog Rico pay tribute to the National War Dog Cemetery on Naval Base Guam Oct. 27, 2006. Soller is a K-9 handler assigned to Naval Security Force Detachment Guam.

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