Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Military Heroes Are Not Only Humans

 

Meet Conan. He’s the amazing dog that led Delta Forces A- Squadron into the tunnel pursuing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He’s recovering from his injuries and is one of many courageous dogs who are serving with our armed forces. The military holds these dogs in high esteem:

The multipurpose canines, usually German shepherds or Belgian Malinois, are capable of a variety of tasks, including attacking the enemy and bomb-sniffing. They are often the first into the breach in a fight, giving them special significance among the special operations forces with which they operate.

The Belgian Malinois has become so highly regarded that there is a Special Operations Force Dog Memorial in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
‘The dog holds one rank higher than who’s handling them because that’s how valued they are as a team member,’ Deborah Scranton, a filmmaker who directed the documentary War Dog: A Soldier’s Best Friend, told the Washington Examiner.

Traditionally, the dogs hold the rank of a non-commissioned officer. They outrank their handlers as a way to prevent mistreatment, according to the U.S. Army.

‘That’s out of respect,’ Army Sgt. 1st Class Regina Johnson, operations superintendent at the Military Working Dog School, told Linda Crippen of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command.

‘I see it all the time, especially in these young handlers. They make the mistake of thinking they’re actually in charge. You’ve got to tell them, ‘Hold up. That dog has trained 100 students. That dog is trying to tell you something.’ I think the tradition grew out of a few handlers recognizing the dog as their partner.’

Dogs are not immune to the same traumas that humans experience after the demands of war:

War dogs experience severe emotional trauma during deployment, and for some it becomes too much. Gunner, a Marine bomb sniffing dog became so skittish and unpredictable during active duty that he was declared “surplus” by the military and released from service. Gunner was adopted by the family of Corporal Jason Dunham who was killed near the Syrian border in 2004. He and the Dunhams are working on healing together.

And when a dog is killed, a special ceremony is held for him, and this poem, Guardians of the Night, is read:

Trust in me my friend for I am
your comrade. I will protect you
with my last breath When all
others have left you And the
loneliness of the night closes
in, I will be at your side.

Together we will conquer all
obstacles, And search out
those who might wish harm to
others. All I ask of you is
compassion, The caring touch
of your hands. It is for you that I
will unselfishly give my life And
spend my nights unrested.
Although our days together
May be marked by the passing
of the seasons Know that each
day at your side is my reward.

My days are measured by The
coming and going of your
footsteps. I anticipate them at
every opening of the door. You
are the voice of caring when I
am ill. The voice of authority
when I’ve done wrong.

Do not chastise me unduly For
I am your right arm, The sword
at your side. I attempt to do
only what you bid of me. I seek
only to please you and remain
in your favor.

Together you and I shall
experience A bond only others
like us will understand When
outsiders see us together Their
envy will be measured by their
disdain.

I will quietly listen to you And
pass no judgment, Nor will your
spoken words be repeated I will
remain ever silent, Ever vigilant,
ever loyal. And when our time
together is done And you move
on in the world Remember me
with kind thoughts and tales,
For a time we were unbeatable,
Nothing passed among us
undetected.

If we should meet again on
another street I will gladly take
up your fight, I am a Police
Working Dog and together We
are guardians of the night.

Published in Military
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 35 comments.

  1. KentForrester Coolidge

    Susan, that’s a tear-jerker of a poem. Thanks for reprinting it. By the way, I have no doubt but that Bob the dog would have led the charge down that tunnel. Damn straight!

    • #1
    • October 30, 2019, at 7:14 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  2. iWe Reagan
    iWe

    Wow. And I thought Belgians were entirely useless. Another post, another thing learned!

    • #2
    • October 30, 2019, at 7:16 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Susan, that’s a tear-jerker of a poem. Thanks for reprinting it.

     

    Bob would make a lousy military dog–he’s too darn sweet!! Although he could go as a lion, I recall . . .

    • #3
    • October 30, 2019, at 7:26 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    iWe (View Comment):

    Wow. And I thought Belgians were entirely useless. Another post, another thing learned!

    @iwe, are we talking about dogs here? ;-)

    • #4
    • October 30, 2019, at 7:27 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  5. Percival Thatcher

    From Twitter, someplace.

    • #5
    • October 30, 2019, at 7:41 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  6. Seawriter Member

    From Powerline:

    and

    • #6
    • October 30, 2019, at 8:20 AM PST
    • 15 likes
  7. Rodin Member

    The relationship between mankind and dogs is the best evidence of special creation I know of.

    • #7
    • October 30, 2019, at 8:40 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  8. Doug Watt Member

    Great dogs for military and police work. The Portland Police Bureau has two Belgian Malinois in their K-9 unit.

    Officers wishing to transfer to the Canine Unit have to have a minimum of 4.5 years of service with the Police Bureau before they can apply. To be selected for a position, an officer has to pass an in-depth background investigation, a rigorous timed physical agility course, a dog handling assessment by unit trainers, and a lengthy oral interview. Once selected for an assignment, the handler is matched up with a dog (German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, or a Dutch Shepherd) picked by unit trainers. The dog then lives with the officer and the officer’s family when not at work.

    • #8
    • October 30, 2019, at 8:41 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    Great dogs for military and police work. The Portland Police Bureau has two Belgian Malinois in their K-9 unit.

    Officers wishing to transfer to the Canine Unit have to have a minimum of 4.5 years of service with the Police Bureau before they can apply. To be selected for a position, an officer has to pass an in-depth background investigation, a rigorous timed physical agility course, a dog handling assessment by unit trainers, and a lengthy oral interview. Once selected for an assignment, the handler is matched up with a dog (German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, or a Dutch Shepherd) picked by unit trainers. The dog then lives with the officer and the officer’s family when not at work.

    Awesome, @dougwatt! I’ve seen other training films and the training is brutal for handlers and dogs. But necessary. Thanks for putting this up!

    • #9
    • October 30, 2019, at 9:12 AM PST
    • Like
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    I have a special place in my heart for German shepherds. My husband owned a couple before we were married. And on my morning walks I see a fellow with a gorgeous German shepherd named Gunner. Is that perfect or what? He looks fierce, but he is a sweetheart and loves to be scratched–the dog, that is. Makes me want a dog . . .

    • #10
    • October 30, 2019, at 10:06 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. danok1 Member

    I’m fairly certain that the dog in question is a female.

    • #11
    • October 30, 2019, at 10:09 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. danok1 Member

    One of the handlers I worked with in the 1980s worked a Malinois patrol/explosive-detection dog. Beautiful dog, good at the EDD portion of his job; a bit exuberant in the patrol aspects. Not quite as bright as the GSD mixes we had, but overall a fine MWD.

    As for Conan: 17/10, would feed steak everyday.

    • #12
    • October 30, 2019, at 10:10 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Valiuth Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    From Powerline:

     

     

     

    But think how many more Terrorist this guy could kill? 

    • #13
    • October 30, 2019, at 10:11 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    danok1 (View Comment):

    I’m fairly certain that the dog in question is a female.

    Are you talking about the dog on my walks? Um, that’s pretty easy to determine, isn’t it? I don’t think all male shepherds are aggressive.

    • #14
    • October 30, 2019, at 10:12 AM PST
    • Like
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    danok1 (View Comment):

    One of the handlers I worked with in the 1980s worked a Malinois patrol/explosive-detection dog. Beautiful dog, good at the EDD portion of his job; a bit exuberant in the patrol aspects. Not quite as bright as the GSD mixes we had, but overall a fine MWD.

    As for Conan: 17/10, would feed steak everyday.

    Thanks for the story! What is 17/10

    • #15
    • October 30, 2019, at 10:13 AM PST
    • Like
  16. danok1 Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    I’m fairly certain that the dog in question is a female.

    Are you talking about the dog on my walks? Um, that’s pretty easy to determine, isn’t it? I don’t think all male shepherds are aggressive.

    No, the MWD in the post.

    • #16
    • October 30, 2019, at 10:14 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. danok1 Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    danok1 (View Comment):

    One of the handlers I worked with in the 1980s worked a Malinois patrol/explosive-detection dog. Beautiful dog, good at the EDD portion of his job; a bit exuberant in the patrol aspects. Not quite as bright as the GSD mixes we had, but overall a fine MWD.

    As for Conan: 17/10, would feed steak everyday.

    Thanks for the story! What is 17/10

    There’s a Twitter account called “We Rate Dogs.” Every dog is at least 10 10 out of 10 (written 10/10). So our Conan here (the terrorist-chasing dog in the post) is 17 out of 10.

    • #17
    • October 30, 2019, at 10:16 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  18. Kozak Member

    • #18
    • October 30, 2019, at 10:23 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. Kozak Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    From Twitter, someplace.

    Everything I need to know about Islam is reflected in it’s attitude toward dogs.

    • #19
    • October 30, 2019, at 10:24 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  20. Seawriter Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

     

    But think how many more Terrorist this guy could kill? 

    Probably not that many. She would play with the first one before killing it, and then take a nap. The rest would get away.

    • #20
    • October 30, 2019, at 10:38 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  21. Percival Thatcher

    Kozak (View Comment):
    Everything I need to know about Islam is reflected in it’s attitude toward dogs.

    • #21
    • October 30, 2019, at 11:02 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  22. Kozak Member

    Not just dogs….

    The Lost Battalion and Cher Ami

    • #22
    • October 30, 2019, at 11:27 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Not just dogs….

    The Lost Battalion and Cher Ami

    Wow! That is an amazing story!! Thanks, @kozak!!

    • #23
    • October 30, 2019, at 11:39 AM PST
    • Like
  24. Kozak Member
    • #24
    • October 30, 2019, at 12:16 PM PST
    • Like
  25. She Thatcher
    She

    iWe (View Comment):

    Wow. And I thought Belgians were entirely useless. 

    The waffles are great, though.

     

    • #25
    • October 30, 2019, at 12:21 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  26. She Thatcher
    She

    The Babylon Bee has Kavanaughed the hero(ine) dog:

    https://babylonbee.com/news/cnn-uncovers-evidence-hero-dog-sniffed-butts

     

    • #26
    • October 30, 2019, at 12:23 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    She (View Comment):

    The Babylon Bee has Kavanaughed the hero(ine) dog:

    https://babylonbee.com/news/cnn-uncovers-evidence-hero-dog-sniffed-butts

     

    That is hysterical! Thanks for giving me my laugh for the day, @she!!

    • #27
    • October 30, 2019, at 12:40 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  28. Lois Lane Coolidge

    I am glad the dear friend helped the men, but I think that was more on instinct. The dog acts with greater free will and chooses to work in love.

    • #28
    • October 30, 2019, at 12:52 PM PST
    • Like
  29. Valiuth Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

     

    But think how many more Terrorist this guy could kill?

    Probably not that many. She would play with the first one before killing it, and then take a nap. The rest would get away.

    To be honest though all the dogs do is just chase them into tunnels so that would be one more than any dog has killed. The great thing about our special tiger forces would be that they would be able to act independently deep into enemy territory. 

    • #29
    • October 30, 2019, at 12:56 PM PST
    • 1 like
  30. Doug Watt Member

    The Belgian Malinois is a high energy dog. Regardless of breed these dogs for military and police work are smart, they seek out the niche they occupy as part of a team. I’ve heard the K-9 barking in the background when the handler hits the gas and informs the dispatcher that they will respond to a call. Whether in a military helicopter, or a police car, they know when they are on the way to work.

    They are held in high esteem, and deservedly so. I have some personal experience with a K-9 that tracked an armed robber whose vehicle slammed into my police car. My partner and I had the privilege of watching that K-9 capturing that armed robber, and that capture led to not just one arrest for armed robbery, but three more counts of armed robbery of the same “shop and rob” over a three week period.

    • #30
    • October 30, 2019, at 4:45 PM PST
    • 5 likes