Meet the Marine Corps’ newest ― and maybe most famous ― lance corporal.
The pedigree English bulldog had proven to his Marine leadership that he was ready to promote ― but he still let out some excitable barks and wiggles during his own ceremony.
“One of the most well-known lance corporals out there, and this is the behavior we get," Col. Donald J. Tomich, commanding officer of the Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., said during promotion ceremony remarks.
The 1 ½ old ― born Jan. 4, 2018, according to his handler ― enlisted in the Marine Corps on March 19, 2018. He finished recruit training a little over a year ago, in July 2018, and became the official mascot on Aug. 25, 2018, according to a Marine Corps press release.
Chesty XV performs at all the D.C. barracks summer evening parades, held with the precision drill Silent Drill Platoon and “Commandant’s Own” Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.
“He’s had some incidents,” said Gunnery Sgt. John Jackson, communication strategy and operations chief at the Marine Barracks Washington, D.C.
When Chesty was a private at his first Friday night parade and the spotlight came on, he “rolled over and didn’t want to walk,” Jackson said.
But his Marine colleagues insist he’s come a long way since then and that he’s prepared for his new rank.
He loves gloves, Staff. Sgt. Alexander Spence, the assistant drill master who is responsible for Chesty during the parades, told Marine Corps Times. And he keeps the other Marines in line by making sure they don’t drop their gloves: “Drop one and it’s his.”
“He’s a little rough around the edges,” but his fellow Marines are committed to getting him where he needs to be, Spence said.
Chesty XV and his mascot predecessors are named after legendary Marine Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” Puller, who earned five Navy Crosses and a Silver Star during his decorated career, which spanned battlefields from Nicaragua, World War II to Korea.
The Marine bulldog mascots have participated in the evening parades since their July 5, 1957, inception, according to a news release.
“He’s just like any other Marine here at Marine Barracks Washington,” Spence said.
Andrea Scott is editor of Marine Corps Times. On Twitter: _andreascott.