Tomorrow (Saturday, May 17) is Armed Forces Day, which honors Americans serving in the five branches of our military: the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. In addition to the brave men and women who defend our country and assist others around the globe, we’d like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to another kind of hero—the U.S. military working dog, or MWD.
According to the Department of Defense, the U.S. military has used working dogs since the Revolutionary War. The most extensive use of MWDs occurred during World War II, when more than 10,000 specially trained canines served as sentries, scouts, messengers and mine detectors. Dogs have also served alongside our soldiers in World War I, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the War on Terror.
Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, has been the home of the U.S. Armed Forces’ Military Working Dog Program since 1958. It is also the site of the U.S. Working Dog Teams National Monument (pictured), which was formally dedicated and added to the inventory of national treasures on October 28, 2013.
We thank the Defense Department and the U.S. Air Force for recognizing that the loyalty and sacrifice of these animals must never be forgotten.
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Jeffers