Newest Marine is only 6 months old
SAN DIEGO — Smedley Butler officially became a Marine Thursday morning in a ceremony at Camp Pendleton, although he’s just 6 months old.
Smedley is an English bulldog that recently became the mascot at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. The new private first class replaced Cpl. Belleau Wood, a canine that retired in April to live with a family in Temecula, according to the MCRD.
Smedley — named after a major general who was the most decorated Marine when he died — received the eagle, globe and anchor emblem in a ceremony that symbolizes the culmination of recruit training. The ceremony marks the first time recruits are called Marines.
The dog’s duties as mascot include participating in events like family day, motivational runs and graduation ceremonies, in addition to various community relations and recruiting events throughout the western recruiting region.
Smedley, whose namesake was the second commander of the MCRD, continues a tradition of mascots at the facility. The first depot mascot was James Jolly Plum Duff, an English bulldog introduced by Butler in 1939.
Belleau Wood was named after a battle in France during World War I in June 1918.