Four-Legged Devil Dog 'Max'
by U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Brennan J. Beauton
July 17, 2021
"Teufel Hunden" ... meaning “devil dog” in German ... was a nickname earned by Marines, given by German soldiers to describe how Marines fought at the Battle of Belleau Wood in World War I.
Though experts have found this to be myth, 103 years later, Marines still use the term when referring to each other.
However, some Marines embody the nickname, quite literally.
Max, a 3-year-old, 85 pound Belgian Malinois military working dog, works day in and day out to secure and protect Marine Corps Installations on Okinawa.
“We get started pretty early, around 5:00 or 6:00 a.m.,” said Cpl. Jarod Bell, a MWD handler with Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler Provost Marshal Office and Max’s partner. ”We work with our respective dogs and take them out for some physical training. PT for them could be putting them on the dog treadmill, throwing their favorite toy or just going out on a run with them around base.”
MWDs are trained to conduct vehicle searches, searches of open areas, buildings, vehicles and other locations for the detection of explosives or illegal drugs.
The dogs and their handlers are trained out of the 341st Training Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The training is an 11-week course which entails working with and building rapport with a dog before going out on patrols.
Handlers are matched with dogs that have similar personalities. Handlers have a month to build this rapport with their partner dog.
“When we first got paired, it took a little bit of time to build rapport with him,” said Bell, a native of Rochester, New York. “I would just focus on basically building a good relationship, letting him know that I am his handler and that we are partners. It took some time, but now he is my best friend.”
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jarod Bell, a military working dog handler with Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler Provost Marshal Office, leads his partner, Max, over a hurdle on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan on June 23, 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brennan J. Beauton)
Max and Bell have been partners for over a year now.
“My favorite part about working with Max is, no matter what type of day I am having, whenever I come and see him he is just always so excited to see me every day,” said Bell. “Even on a bad day, that kind of affection will cheer anybody up.”
Each bond between a dog and its handler is very unique and special in its own way, explains Bell.
“Everyone makes fun of his ears because they touch, but that is probably my favorite thing about him,” said Bell, as he chuckled. “When you first look at him, his tongue is always to the side, he just looks real derpy, but once he is actually working, he is fierce."
PMO K-9 teams are on shift 24/7 on all bases in Okinawa. When patrolling, these teams are trained and ready for, but are not limited to suspect apprehension, pursuit attacks, building searches, field scouting or drug detection.
The mission of the MCB Camp Butler PMO is to provide law enforcement, investigative and security services as directed by the commanding general.
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