Meet Lance Corporal Chesty XV
That little puppy in the grass is Chesty XV in 2018 – and nowadays, at 1 and 1/2, he’s the youngest Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps. He also happens to be an English Bulldog.
Though Chesty XV only attended his first parade as the Marines’ official mascot in July, he’s just the newest member in a long line of English Bulldogs serving as mascots for the Marine Corps. Affectionately known as the ‘devil dogs,’ Marines value their canine figureheads. So, naturally, Chesty and his predecessors train rigorously for their jobs! Each new member has big (dog) boots to fill, so they don’t have much time to waste getting up to snuff. Most start their service as puppies.
Even after a year of preparations, former Private Chesty was only just promoted to Lance Corporal this summer. And he still has a lot to learn. Though some were nervous after Chesty XV’s rocky debut in 2018, nowadays he seems to be taking his new role much more seriously. Way to go, Chesty!
Well, mostly. According to his handler, Staff. Sgt. Alexander Spence, in a Marine Corps Times interview, he has an unbecoming fascination with gloves. According to Spence in the Marine Corps Times:
“Drop one [a glove] and it’s his.”
We’re sure he’ll grow out of it (or at the very least, we’ll all forgive him).
A Mascot in Waiting
The Marine Corps introduced Chesty XV early last year when he was still just a puppy. This video, posted to the Marines’ Youtube channel in March of 2018, was his first big moment in the spotlight. He spent the rest of the year finishing training (3 months of hard work!) and shadowing Corporal Chesty XIV, his predecessor. Chesty XIV came onto the job in 2013, and – as is the case with all Marine mascots – will live out his remaining years in retirement with his loving adoptive family.
But now that Chesty XIV has entered retirement, it’s Chesty XV’s chance to shine. During his promotion last week, he was much more well-mannered than during his first outing.
What’s Next for Chesty XV?
Now that Chesty XV has assumed official duties, his primary role is to serve as official mascot in the Marine Barracks Washington’s evening parades. The parades happen on Fridays in the summer in Washington, D.C. Chesty XV’s handler
Dogs have long played a role in military service life. We’ve covered some of the bonds between Marines and their dogs. But as a mascot, Chesty XVhas the distinction of being a morale booster not only for his troops but for the families and citizens in Washington and across the country.
As arguably the cutest Lance Corporal, Chesty XV still gets respect and love from his fellow enlisted service members. If you live near Washington, give Lance Corporal Chesty XV a heart “oohrah!” when you see him at the Marine Barracks Washington evening parade this summer! For the rest of us, we’ll just have to follow his adventures online.