Four-Legged Devil Dog 'Max'
by U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Brennan J. Beauton
"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.
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
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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