May 28, 2018

How a Bulldog Became the U. S. Marine Corps Mascot

Jack Kemp from the American Kennel Club Website... The Legacy of Chesty: How a Bulldog Became the United States Marine Corps Mascot From the article: Meet Chesty XV. He is the newest Bulldog recruit to join the United States Marine Corps, and he has big paw prints to fill. As the 15th Chesty to serve as the Marine Corps’ unofficial mascot, he already has the first of his many duties figured out: boosting morale. Chesty has plenty of Bulldog charm, a breed known for its loyalty and friendliness — as well as its tenacity. But does he have what it takes to uphold 61 years of tradition? Unofficial Mascot, Official Duties The Corps adopted the Bulldog as its mascot after World War I. According to tradition, the Marines fought so fiercely in the battle of Belleau Wood in France that the Germans called them “teufel hunden” after the devil dogs from Bavarian folklore. The nickname “devil dogs” stuck. Bulldogs are internationally recognized as symbols of courage. Sports teams and universities around the country employ the thickset bruisers as their mascots, and the Bulldog was famously associated with Winston Churchill’s defiance of Nazi Germany. In fact, Bulldogs became the unofficial mascot of the United States Marine Corps after a recruitment poster featured a Bulldog wearing a U.S. helmet chasing a fleeing Dachshund in a German helmet. For the Marines, there’s no better breed to stand in as their “teufel hunden.” It didn’t take long for real Bulldogs to enlist. Jiggs, the first Marine Corps Bulldog, joined the ranks in 1922. He was buried with military honors after his death four years later. In 1957, Chesty I, named for Lt. Gen. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, Jr., became the first in a long line of Chestys to represent the Marines. For breed enthusiasts, it is easy to see why Bulldogs embody the Marine Corps motto, “Semper Fidelis” (always faithful). Tough, fearless, tenacious, and muscular, Bulldogs exemplify the fighting spirit of the Marine Corps. Read the rest at The American Kennel Club website.

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