Jun 27

The Stories Behind 6 of the USMC’s Bulldog Mascots

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 10:19 AM

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Marines earned the title “Teufel Hunden” (German for “Devil Dog”) at the Battle of Belleau Wood in 1918, so it was only natural that on June 27, 1927, the U.S. Marine Corps adopted the English Bulldog as the official mascot.

Here are six Bulldogs of the Marine Corps:

SgtMaj. Jiggs ready to launch. (Photo: USMC)

SgtMaj. Jiggs ready to launch. (Photo: USMC)

 

1. Sergeant Major Jiggs I (1922-1927)

 

Gen Smedley Butler and SgtMaj. Jiggs, circa 1926. (Photo: USMC)

Gen Smedley Butler and SgtMaj. Jiggs, circa 1926. (Photo: USMC)

The first English Bulldog to join the ranks was Jiggs, who was enlisted in 1922 by BGen. Smedley Butler. “Sgt. Jiggs” starred in the 1926 movie “Tell It To The Marines.” Jiggs ultimately rose to the rank of Sergeant Major before he died in 1927. His memorial was held in Quantico, VA, coffin surrounded by hundreds of flowers from Marines across the fleet. That same year, the English Bulldog was adopted as the official U.S. Marine Corps mascot.

 

2. Sergeant Major Jiggs II (1927-1928)

 

Sergeant Major Jiggs II, circa 1928 (Photo: USMC)

Sergeant Major Jiggs II, circa 1928 (Photo: USMC)

Jiggs II was donated by boxing champion and former Marine, James “Gene” Tunney. The bulldog’s behavior wasn’t the best. He chased visitors around Headquarters Marine Corps and even bit a few. His Marine handlers assumed that barrack life just wasn’t the enough for him. Jiggs II ultimately died of heat exhaustion in 1928.

 

3. Sergeant Chesty III

 

Lt Col H.S. Popper, Jr., USMC, in ceremonies at Quantico, Virginia, swears in the new Jiggs (left) and musters out the old Jiggs (right), on October 17, 1954. (Photo: USMC)

Lt Col H.S. Popper, Jr., USMC, in ceremonies at Quantico, Virginia, swears in the new Jiggs (left) and musters out the old Jiggs (right), on October 17, 1954. (Photo: USMC)

Chesty III was stationed at the Marine Corps Barracks Washington. He was awarded a Good Conduct Medal for his service because, unlike his father (Chesty II), he never went AWOL, bit anyone, or tried to escape.

 

4. Sergeant Chesty XIII (2008-2013)

 

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s Golden Retriever, Bravo, greets Cpl. Chesty XIII. (Photo: DoD/ Erin Kirk-Cuomo)

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s Golden Retriever, Bravo, greets Cpl. Chesty XIII. (Photo: DoD/ Erin Kirk-Cuomo)

In 2012, at the end of a military parade, Chesty XIII started barking and growling at former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s golden retriever, Bravo. A few weeks after this incident, Chesty XIII was promoted to sergeant.

 

 5. Corporal Chesty XIV (2013-2018)

 

Cpl. Chesty XIV attends the Washington National's U.S. Marine Corps Day baseball game. (Photo: US Marine Corps Photo/LCpl Mario Ramirez)

Cpl. Chesty XIV attends the Washington National’s U.S. Marine Corps Day baseball game. (Photo: US Marine Corps Photo/LCpl Mario Ramirez)

Chesty XIV started his military career in 2013. He has been on the job for 40 ‘dog years,’ so he’s eligible for full retirement. Every Friday evening, Chesty XIV marches in the Formal Parade at Marine Corps Barracks Washington.

 

 6. Recruit Chesty XV (2018-present)

 

Recruit Chesty XV prepares to put on his gear as he arrives at Marine Barracks Washington, Washington D.C. (Photo: US Marine Corps Photo/Sgt. Robert Knapp)

Recruit Chesty XV prepares to put on his gear as he arrives at Marine Barracks Washington, Washington D.C. (Photo: US Marine Corps Photo/Sgt. Robert Knapp)

Chesty XV made his debut on March 19, 2018. and should begin marching in parades starting July 2018.