“Alameda-based Coast Guard K-9 recognized with Distinguished Service Medal” –D11

Petty Officer 1st Class Cory Sumner, a Maritime Enforcement Specialist at Maritime Safety and Security Team San Francisco, holds K9 Feco at the Animals in War and Peace Medal of Bravery and Distinguished Service Medal Ceremony March 9, 2022 at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. Sumner is K9 Feco’s handler and trainer at the Canine Explosive Detection Team at Maritime Safety and Security Team San Francisco. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kimberly Reaves)

Had to pass this along. I note the dog is a Chief and the handler is a First Class, so the Dog out ranks the handler?

News Release

U.S. Coast Guard 11th District Pacific Southwest

Alameda-based Coast Guard K-9 recognized with Distinguished Service Medal

Editor’s Note: Click on images above to download full-resolution version.

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Coast Guard K-9 Chief Feco, a 9-year-old Hungarian Vizsla, stationed at Coast Guard Marine Safety and Security Team San Francisco, was presented the Animals in War and Peace Distinguished Service Medal Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Members of Congress recognized and honored six animal heroes for their accomplishments in both war and peace at the second annual Animals in War and Peace Medal Ceremony.

The ceremony highlights America’s appreciation of the sacrifices and heroism of American animals who served the United States and advances the effort toward the creation of an annual process to nominate animals for the Medal of Bravery and Distinguished Service Medal.

Feco joined the Coast Guard in late 2014 and is stationed at the Marine Safety and Security Team San Francisco K-9 Unit where his main responsibility is explosives detection at the Ports of San Francisco and Oakland.

Feco has participated in 1,467 events. Notable events include:

  • Presidential security details for former President Barack Obama
  • Judicial and Supreme Court security details
  • 2016 Summer Olympic Track & Field Trials
  • The National Football League Superbowls L, LII, and LIII
  • The National Baseball League World Series
  • The National Basketball League Playoffs
  • The National Hockey League Stanley Cup
  • San Francisco and Los Angeles Fleet Weeks

The Coast Guard has 16 canine explosive detection teams around the country made up of one human handler and one working dog.

2 thoughts on ““Alameda-based Coast Guard K-9 recognized with Distinguished Service Medal” –D11

  1. Military Working Dogs are always honorary NCOs and are always at least one rank higher than their handler. This was done to reinforce the idea in handlers that working with the dog is a respect-based relationship.

    MWDs used to be ineligible for decorations, and thus the outside of the military pyramid of honor awards which were started by societies and organizations. However, this has changed too, and MWDs (and other animals) can be decorated with military awards.

    The “most-decorated” MWD was in the Italian theater in WWII. He broke away from his handler, jumped in an Italian machinegun nest, and bit and chased all 4 Italian soldiers out of the fighting position. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and a Purple Heart for that and later met President Eisenhower, who got a nip when he reached down to pet the dog…

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