Military Dogs: More Than Just Equipment, They are Our Partners

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  • Military Dogs: More Than Just Equipment, They are Our Partners

    A 3-year-old German Shepherd military working dog named Csubi enthusiastically posed in front of the American flag on August 30 while flashing his trademark slobbery smile and wagging tail. Csubi, like any other hardworking pilot, sat for a formal portrait to honor his accomplishments. Cannon Air Force Base's canine personnel are recognized as more than just equipment; they are vital partners in achieving the base's goals.

    The Kennel Master at Cannon Air Force Base, Staff Sergeant Allison Boehler, stressed the significance of paying tribute to the canine service members. Boehler said, "We treat them like airmen. All of the pilots and their canines will be getting professional portraits shot. We don't think of them as equipment; rather, they're like extra team members while we're in the air. Indeed, they are an ally of ours."

    Csubi's path to becoming a military member was everything but easy. He had spent over a year stationed at Cannon, studying for his certification. Senior airman Jacob Crawshaw is Csubi's devoted handler, and the two of them are together almost always. They undergo intense training, keep watch over the base, and actively look for any dangers in the region.

    Crawshaw refers to Csubi with great fondness, calling him his "best buddy" and emphasizing the unbreakable relationship they have formed through their daily labor together.

    Csubi is one of several military working canines who have been handpicked during puppyhood and trained at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. According to Boehler, the selection committee looks for pups with plenty of enthusiasm and a desire to meet new people. These canine recruits spend a year in a foster system enjoying their "puppy period" before beginning their intensive training.

    According to Boehler, "They throw toys within a puppy litter and see what sort of dog is going to have the urge to play with the toy," which sheds insight into the thorough selection procedure. Your dog is likely not a suitable candidate if they don't show much enthusiasm when presented with the toy or incentive.

    When it comes to protecting the people and property at Cannon Air Force Base, the whole K-9 team receives intensive training in detecting skills and bite work. Csubi and the other canine airmen not only keep watch over the base 24/7 but also take part in outreach programs to spread the word about what the Air Force can do for the local population.

    Cannon Air Force Base makes sure that the furry heroes' achievements are recognized and appreciated despite the lack of formal military ranks for them. For example, Csubi has been given the honorary rank of staff sergeant to emphasize further the point that these canines are more than just tools; they are valuable partners who need to be treated with dignity.

    For Boehler, "it's more of a custom, simply so that way we are constantly reminded that our dog is not equipment, that they are our partner and we treat them as such."

    Csubi and other military working dogs like him serve a crucial role in keeping Cannon Air Force Base safe and secure. They are seen as more than just pets; their commitment, devotion, and limitless energy are recognized and respected.

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