Reporting for duty: New Marine Corps mascot Chesty joins long line of distinguished bulldogs


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Chesty, a three-and-half-month-old puppy, joined the long line of famous English bulldogs that have gone before him, becoming Pfc. Chesty XIV — the new mascot of Marines Barracks D.C.

The Marines held a presentation ceremony of the English bulldog on Monday at their barracks at 8th and I streets in Southeast D.C.

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Chesty XIV will replace Sgt. Chesty XIII, who is going to retire after five years of service (that’s 35 years in dog years).

The younger Chesty won’t begin his full-time service until August but will act as a “mascot apprentice.” Until he formally take over, he’ll go to obedience school and join the senior Chesty at the Friday night parades the barracks puts on throughout the summer months.

At Monday’s ceremony, the young pup looked nervous in front of rows of Marines and Commandant James Amos.

He refused to walk up to the general, even after being specifically ordered: “Recruit Chesty, for the last time, report to the commandant of the Marine Corps.”

His handler had to carry him as the senior Chesty barked his disapproval.

Wearing his Marine dress blues, he was officially given his stripes by Amos, becoming an enlisted Marine.

“Chesty, welcome to my corps,” Amos said, adding “How about a kiss?”

The pup, white with brown patches and one black-lined eye, gave the general a friendly lick.

His responsibilities will include marching in the Friday evening parades at the Washington barracks. He’ll also support various events around the Washington region and greet dignitaries.

The 15-pound bulldog is expected to grow to up to 65 pounds. He was bred by Sara Gomez and Abigail Callahan of Stephens City, Va.

English bulldogs became the mascot of the Marines in the 1920s and began to bear the name Chesty in the 1957, after Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller, the most decorated combat Marine in the history of the Corps.

As for the senior Chesty, when his service is done, he’ll live permanently with his sponsor family, a Marine who plays in The United States Marine Band, known as 
“The President’s Own.”