Military working dogs like the one who chased down ISIS's leader always outrank their handlers. Here's why.
White House via Associated Press
- Military dogs are so important that they hold ranks themselves, and they're always ranked one higher than their handlers.
- By and large, military working dogs are treated as regular US troops would be.
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Military working dogs are an essential part of many missions - even sensitive ones, like the raid on the compound of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Saturday night. They're so important, in fact, that they hold ranks themselves, and they're always ranked one higher than their handlers.
That seniority honors the dog's role and reminds the handler to be lenient when it has a bad day.
The dog who chased after Baghdadi, leading to his death by suicide, has become a celebrity - even though the dog's name remains classified. A photo of the dog led to confirmation of its breed (a Belgian Malinois), but little else is known about the good boy (or girl). Disclosing the dog's name and rank could lead to information about the dog's affiliation with Delta Force, a classified unit, The Washington Post reports. That unit is still in the field, and revealing the dog's name could put its handler at risk, although the dog's possible name and sex have been reported, by Newsweek and the Washington Post, respectively.
Read more to learn more about military working dogs.
The bond between a military working dog and its handler is vitally important to completing missions.
While the military working dogs' rank is a formality, it's meant to encourage handlers to treat their dogs with love and respect.
Military working dogs are non-commissioned officers (NCOs).
Cairo the dog, also a Belgian Malinois, earned accolades from former President Barack Obama for his role in killing al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011.
Military working dogs and their partners both require extensive training to keep up with the demands of their job.
Military working dogs fulfill several important roles in operations, like sniffing out explosives.
Or detecting narcotics.
Locating the wounded.
And as sentinels who can patrol and protect during a mission.
They're more than man's best friend. Military working dogs are an essential part of the mission.
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