SAN DIEGO — A four-legged servicemember has officially become an active-duty mascot for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego.
‘Private Bruno,’ a six-month-old English Bulldog, was appointed to his duties during a ceremony Friday morning.
The dignified dog was named after Maj. Gen. Bruno Hochmuth, who at the time of his death was the first General Officer killed during the Vietnam War, according to Marine Corp officials.
Pvt. Bruno will be following in Maj. Gen. Hochmuth’s footsteps as he was also the commanding general of the depot from November 1963 to February 1967, military records show.
Marine Corps officials say Maj. Gen. Hochmuth was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Combat “V” (Valor), the Navy Commendation Medal with Gold Star in lieu of a second award, along with the Purple Heart with Gold Star.
In present day, Cpl. Johnny “Manny” Manuelito, a fellow English Bulldog, relinquished Pvt. Bruno’s duties as the depot mascot on Friday.
Officials say Cpl. Manny will be retiring to Pennsylvania after “four years of faithful service to his country.” He was adopted by Master Sgt. Sheila Brooks, a Marine with the Communication Strategy and Operations Office, who is also retiring.
Pvt. Bruno will now assume his official duties as a representative of the depot during the Moto Runs, family fays, graduation ceremonies, VIP tours, visits and various area recruiting events, Marine officials explained.