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August 30, 2012

Dawgs Will Be Dawgs...

Or in this case, Devil dawgs. Insubordination, or completely understandable display of martial spirit? VC asks, you decide:

nosetonose.jpg

The Marines won't say it out loud, but everyone knows that Cpl. Chesty got promoted to sergeant this summer not for being a good Marine, but for his in-your-muzzle confrontation with the top dog in the Pentagon.

Just two weeks before his promotion, the Marine Corps mascot, an English bulldog formally known as Chesty XIII, had a run-in with Bravo, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's golden retriever. Chesty, usually known for happily mugging for photos with kids, revealed his inner grunt when he spotted the larger dog at the conclusion of a pomp-filled military parade held in honor of the Pentagon chief. Chesty growled, barked and ignored his choke-chain of command as he went nose-to-nose with Bravo.

As Chesty's growl erupted into an angry bark, an officer urgently whispered in the ear of his handler, Sgt. Chris Harris: "Keep the leash tight."

That kind of breach of decorum at the headquarters barracks, where the top generals and their wives reside, could have been career-ending for most Marines.

Chesty weathered the controversy and came out of it with a new stripe on his uniform.

...Col. Montanus, who had the dog's fate in his hands, acknowledges that Chesty was wrong to shove his short snout in Bravo's face. "There absolutely was a protocol break," he said. "We don't bark at guests, whether they are human or the canine variety."

But, the colonel said, much of the opposition was baseless. A barracks spokesman says senior Marine wives love and support the current Chesty. And at 54 pounds, Chesty fits nicely in the dress blues he was issued as a younger dog, thanks to being served half the daily kibble ration of his chunky predecessors.

Nevertheless, in a speech at Chesty's June promotion ceremony, Col. Montanus acknowledged the decision was "touch and go."

"There are some Marines that are destined to be sergeant," he said. "Then there are some whose conduct is…questionable. Chesty is one of those Marines."

Col. Montanus said he had considered formally punishing Chesty for "disrespect to a superior commissioned dog."

It is true that "Chesty made threatening gestures," he said. "But we decided the body of work for Chesty was enough he rated becoming a sergeant."

...Col. Montanus calls the clash with Bravo a minor infraction. Chesty, the colonel says, excels at his main responsibility: Accepting hugs from children with enthusiasm and without biting.

As for Bravo's master, there seem to be no hard feelings. "Chesty may bark a lot," Mr. Panetta said. "But he understands the chain of command.".

May it ever be so.

On the thorny question of insubordination, we'll let Grim decide :p

Update: Grim has spoken!

The problem with having a human assign a dog rank is that we don't do it the same way that the dogs do. Chesty was simply establishing that, in dog-rank, he was not the subordinate.

If the Marines want a dog who will act like a corporal instead of a two-star general, they should enlist a chihuahua.

Heh...

Posted by Cassandra at August 30, 2012 08:11 AM

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Comments

I dunno... it kind of reminds me of this story:
http://www.duffelblog.com/2012/05/marine-officers-wife-emotionally-disturbed-after-denied-a-salute/

Cause Leon Panetta's dog doesn't hold his rank either.

Posted by: MikeD at August 30, 2012 10:57 AM

I realize the Duffle blog is parody, but I saw a lot of dumb stuff in 30 years in the military. To be honest, I only saw one officer's wife like that. It's a stereotype that I didn't see acted out very often.

On the otter heiny, my oldest friend in the Corps married her husband when he was a PFC. He retired as a full bird Colonel. She used to say that the worst rank-wearing she ever saw was meted out by staff NCO wives when her husband was junior enlisted. It was close to bullying. I wasn't there, so I'll never know but my friend was the youngest of 16 children and was raised up in a family with no money. She took care of everyone else and wore her husband's rank in the best way: the one that believes a sense of duty and responsibility, not privilege, comes with rank. The higher up you get, the heavier the burden and the more restrictions on what you can and can't say or do.

That's the way I was raised too - rank doesn't entitle you. It imposes obligations on you that others don't have to fulfill.

Maybe it's just the women I hung around, but most officers wives I was friendly with were self effacing to a fault - I always avoided any mention of rank or even (if I could get away with it in conversation) any mention of who my husband was.

You get a very different perspective as an officer's wife. For one thing, when attending command events, if you spend any time at all talking with the enlisted wives (and I always did) you'll be regaled with stories of every perceived slight or bad attitude. It's a test of sorts - how much crap will she put up with? Can she hang?

It gets old after a while. You listen and nod your head, and occasionally indulge in the odd witticism when people go too far. And wait for it to stop (all the while trying not to think about how many times you've shelled out money to host command events or busted your butt to create a sense of family in a new command). I always figured that eventually, these women would wise up and treat officers' wives as they would like to be treated (and the way they say they wish we would act) - as individuals who exist apart from their husband's rank, and should be judged accordingly. :p

Posted by: Cass - Confirmation Bigot-in-Training at August 30, 2012 11:37 AM

As a former Dogface soldier, I have to side with Chesty on this one. He was just showing his war face to someone on up the chain who thinks he should wear a blue helmet instead of a MARPAT one.

Posted by: Battleblue1 at August 30, 2012 12:40 PM

The problem with having a human assign a dog rank is that we don't do it the same way that the dogs do. Chesty was simply establishing that, in dog-rank, he was not the subordinate.

If the Marines want a dog who will act like a corporal instead of a two-star general, they should enlist a chihuahua.

Posted by: Grim at August 30, 2012 12:59 PM

He was just showing his war face to someone on up the chain who thinks he should wear a blue helmet instead of a MARPAT one.

Chesty was simply establishing that, in dog-rank, he was not the subordinate. If the Marines want a dog who will act like a corporal instead of a two-star general, they should enlist a chihuahua.

OK, both of these made me laugh out loud :p

Posted by: Cass - Confirmation Bigot-in-Training at August 30, 2012 01:01 PM

Cass, I SWEAR I didn't mean anything by the duffleblog post! Just that perhaps Chesty thought Bravo was trying to wear his owner's rank... that's all.

Posted by: MikeD at August 30, 2012 01:26 PM

I know that :)

Sorry if I wasn't clear, Mike - that's my fault, and I didn't mean to offend. My comment wasn't in response to you, but rather to the stereotype in the satirical post you linked to.

Posted by: Cass - Confirmation Bigot-in-Training at August 30, 2012 01:54 PM

If the Marines want a dog who will act like a corporal...they should enlist a chihuahua.

Come on, now. There's no need to go insulting the corporal....

[g]

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at August 30, 2012 03:12 PM

Ich war ein Corporal, einsatz!

Posted by: Adolf Shickelgruber at August 30, 2012 04:02 PM

OK, smarty pants :)
I had to Google that. I learn something new every day!

Posted by: Cass at August 30, 2012 05:31 PM

Stupid dog with the stupid meritorious promotions.

This Chesty's predecessor and I arrived at 8th and 'I' the same day. Same rank.

He picked up PFC (and then Lance) waaaay before I did for - as best I could tell - drooling.

Not that I'm bitter about it.

Posted by: Brian Dunbar at August 30, 2012 07:35 PM

He picked up PFC (and then Lance) waaaay before I did for - as best I could tell - drooling. Not that I'm bitter about it.

That wins comment of the day :p

Posted by: Cass at August 30, 2012 08:40 PM

Offend ME? Hell, ma'am... I was horrified that I offended YOU. I'm the guest here and I'd be utterly mortified if I were to offend you.

Posted by: MikeD at August 31, 2012 08:14 AM

If the Marines want a dog who will act like a corporal instead of a two-star general, they should enlist a chihuahua.

This MUST have been written by someone who has never SEEN a chihuahua.
Those little ratters are nasty, vicious runts, and they don't take sh!t from NOBODY, and are very vocal in their disapproval.
Talk about acting like a General (if not a tin-hat dictator...)

Posted by: Jean at August 31, 2012 09:32 AM

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