Following up on your story about military working dogs:

Following up on your story about military working dogs:
Marine Scout Dogs In Support of the Combined Action Platoons During the Vietnam War, John Denecke served as a Scout Dog Handler with his dog, Rex5A31, with the 3rd Combined Action Group in 1969. He wrote: “A Scout Dog Team was a big advantage to these (Combined Action Platoon) small units because of the dog’s ability to detect and search out the enemy much quicker than a human could. The handler was only as good as the dog and the most important asset was the handler’s ability to read his dog’s alert and act upon it.” Denecke continued that too many dogs have similar training, but no two dogs are the same. He further explained that it was vitally important for the handler to really know his dog and learn what every move means; it was the only way the dog could communicate with the handler:
The most important effect Rex had when working in the villages was the psychological one. Since the enemy worked in small numbers when trying to penetrate a village, they would avoid one where they thought a dog team was working, because they knew the dog’s capabilities for early detection and also the dog’s eagerness to attack if the handler thought it was needed. Never staying in one village for a long period of time was also an advantage because the enemy was never sure where you were and the dog worked best in strange areas. Most of our experiences with these small units were night ambushes and daytime search and destroy missions. Once Rex had his work collar on and we started moving out, he knew what to do. We usually walked about 20 meters out in front of the column so that if Rex did alert on anything, I could react and protect him because his job was done. The rest was up to the squad. Often we ended up ambushing the enemy who had intended to ambush us because of Rex’s outstanding sense of smell and danger. A day does not go by in my life that I don’t think of Rex and wish he could have come home with me. I’ll never forget him as long as I live. He is the reason I am still living. Semper Fi, Rex, John J. Denecke, January, 1970.
From former Combined Action Platoon Marine Tim Duffie: “John J. Denecke died in June of 1998, shortly after he submitted this story to the Combined Action Platoon website I created. I received an email from his family telling me how pleased he was to know Rex will continue to be honored on the website.” Excerpt from Combined Action by Gene Hays, available at Amazon.com.

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Response to Boot Camp Stories

For some reason I got picked to work at the range mess hall during the rifle range. I was changing out the milk in the milk machine and there was a DI next to me in nicely pressed bravos. The clip came off the fresh container of milk and milk spewed everywhere. The DI was covered in milk. He was so pissed off, all he could manage was “Get out of my sight” through clenched teeth. So I did just that. – Robert Haynes

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DIEGO AND YENKIE: THE FUTURE OF DOD LAW ENFORCEMENT

Across the Department of Defense, military working dogs serve many purposes. K-9’s are utilized to subdue suspects, find specific items, and people. Most are only capable of one or two of these functions; Diego and Yenkie, residents of the Marine Corps Base Hawaii Provost Marshal’s Office kennels, are a bit different.

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Yellow Foot Prints -San Diego MCRD

I was in Boot Camp in August of 1953, and could not remember if there were yellow foot prints there at my arrival…others during the same area couldn’t remember if they were there either. I called MCRD and talked to a nice young lady in the Museum there. She confirmed that the first they could establish that the Yellow Foot Prints were there was in 1963, in fact JFK visited the base and stood in the foot prints. Also she told me that in 1953 the first recruit graduation books came out. Thought others would be interested …. guess we are now ready to report to the museum at 84 years old….

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I learned to fear amtracks (Not their firepower but getting stuck in the mud).

April 10,1965 we landed in Vietnam as a member of the 9th MEB, I was a rifleman with Fox 2/3 fast forward a few weeks our reinforced Company had just boarded amtracks for a river landing 15-20 minutes later the operator had been tossing us around underwater when he said were stuck in the mud at the bottom of this muddy river, I can’t remember how many of us for sure were stuck inside 15 or more but it was hot, sweaty, and scary! One of the other amtracks had finally pulled us out.

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RETIRED MARINE CORPS AMTRACKER DEVOTES A LIFETIME TO THE ASSAULT AMPHIBIAN COMMUNITY

Tommy “TJ” Pittman’s nearly 50-year dedication to the Marine Corps’ amphibious assault community is personal.

“I’ve loved it; I’ve absolutely loved it,” said Pittman, a logistician who retired in December after working in the Advanced Amphibious Assault program office at Program Executive Officer Land Systems for the past 30 years. “It’s the only thing I’ve done since I was 18 years old.”

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