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Marines Introduce Their Latest Mascot: “Chesty the Recruit”

Chesty” is like Uga of the Uni­ver­sity of Geor­gia, a bull­dog.  And since he’s a dog, he will have to be replaced from time to time with younger — some­times cuter — ver­sions of himself.

The Chesty will the 14th “Chesty” the United States Marines Corps has used for mas­cot pur­poses.  He is kept in Wash­ing­ton, DC and often in the per­sonal care of a bat­tal­ion at Marine Bar­racks — Wash­ing­ton, the famous ones near the Naval Yards at the cor­ner of 8th and Eye SE.

The Marines rolled out the red car­pet for 9-week old Chesty the Recruit Thurs­day night at the Home of the Com­man­dants at the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Marine Bar­racks. Bon­nie Amos, the wife of Marine Corps Com­man­dant James Amos, met the lat­est Chesty Thurs­day night.

My gosh this is the cutest puppy … I think this one will be fine as wine,” Mrs. Amos said in an inter­view Fri­day. “He has a great lit­tle personality.”

The Marine Corps first announced the arrival of Chesty the Recruit on Face­book and put out a release. After a period of between six and eight weeks of “boot camp,” Chesty the Recruit may have a chance to appear along­side Sgt. Chesty dur­ing the Sum­mer time Fri­day Evening Parades at the Marine Bar­racks in Washington.

At the end of the parade sea­son, the Marines plan to offi­cially hand over the mas­cot duties to the new Chesty. (All Marine mas­cots are named after Lt. Gen. Chesty Puller, the most dec­o­rated offi­cer in Marine Corps history.)

Sgt. Chesty,” offi­cially known as “Chesty the XIII,” is the first of the Chesty’s to be pro­moted from “Pri­vate First Class Chesty” to full sergeant.

Appar­ently the word is it was a field pro­mo­tion caused by win­ning “a growl-off” with out-going SecDef Leon Panetta’s golden retriever “Bravo” last August.  Chesty, who’s nor­mally pretty calm because he’s a stan­dard photo-op for small chil­dren attend­ing the Fri­day Evening Parades, appar­ently decided he was going to be “Top Dog” when Panetta brought Bravo along for a visit to the Barracks.

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.

Word on the bar­racks was that most of the senior offi­cers wives opposed the pro­mo­tion for Chesty XIII.

No word yet if White House dog “Bo” vis­its the Bar­racks with Pres. Obama.  (He didn’t when the Pres­i­dent attended the same Evening Parade I did in 2009.)

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