They say a dog is man's best friend, and that has never been more true than for the dogs who have served alongside American soldiers in combat. These courageous canines have helped save countless lives and earned their place in history. Here are the stories of five famous military dogs.
1. Sergeant StubbySergeant Stubby is perhaps the most famous military dog in American history. He served in World War I and is credited with saving the lives of many soldiers. Stubby was a stray dog who was found by American soldiers on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut. He quickly became a beloved member of the 102nd Infantry Regiment and was even given his own rank!
During his time in service, Stubby saved his fellow soldiers from gas attacks, found and comforted wounded soldiers, and even caught a German spy by the seat of his pants! After the war, Stubby returned home to the United States where he continued to make public appearances and meet with dignitaries. He even met three Presidents! When he passed away in 1926, he was given a full military funeral complete with honors.
2. ChipsChips was a German Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix who served in World War II. He was originally rejected from service because he allowed himself to be captured by the enemy during a training exercise. However, his owner pleaded for him to be given another chance and Chips went on to serve with distinction in Italy, France, and Germany.
During his time in service, Chips saved his platoon from an ambush and took out several enemy soldiers. For his bravery, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and Purple Heart—making him one of only ten dogs to receive such honors. After the war, Chips returned home to the United States where he lived out his days as a beloved family pet.
3. SinbadSinbad was a Newfoundland who served as a ship's mascot aboard the USS George Washington during World War II. He is credited with saving many sailors from drowning and even discovered a Japanese spy hiding on board the ship! Sinbad retired from service in 1948 and lived out his days at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland where he was much loved by students and staff alike.
4. LuccaLucca was a German Shepherd who served as an explosive detection dog in Iraq and Afghanistan for six years. During her time in service, Lucca found dozens of roadside bombs and protected her fellow soldiers from countless attacks. In 2012, Lucca lost her left leg after stepping on an IED but she recovered quickly and returned to active duty just weeks later! She eventually retired from service in 2016 but continues to work as a therapy dog helping veterans cope with PTSD.
5. CairoCairo is a Belgian Malinois who served as part of Navy SEAL Team Six during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011. Cairo accompanied SEAL Team Six on their helicopter ride into Pakistan and helped protect them from enemy fire once they arrived at bin Laden's compound. After completing this historic mission, Cairo retired from active duty but remains working as a government contractor today.
These five dogs are just some of the many courageous canines who have served alongside American troops throughout history. They have risked their lives to save their human companions and have become famous for their heroic deeds. The next time you see a military dog working hard to keep our country safe, be sure to give them a pat on the head (But please, please, please ask first...)—they've earned it!