SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – “Jack may look a little different than other retirees I’ve officiated for in the past, but he’s still an extraordinary Airman.”
That’s how Lt. Col. Yon Dugger, 375th Security Forces Squadron commander, began the official retirement ceremony for military working dog Jack on May 13, after nine years of service for the U.S. Air Force.
“His commitment to his handlers and the community he serves has been above reproach. After all the hours of training, detection and the deployments that Jack has done, he has earned his right to live out the remainder of his life assigned to Fort Living Room.”
Jack began his military service at Joint Base San Antonio, Lackland, Texas on Dec. 13, 2012, and has been assigned to Scott Air Force Base since Jan. 25, 2015. Throughout Jack’s active duty service he supported the Secret Service, Department of Defense, Department of State, and joint service branches with explosive detection.
Tech. Sgt. Alex Inn, 375th SFS’s Kennel Master, read from Jack’s Certificate for Meritorious Service noting the thousands of hours served on patrol and as an anti-terrorism asset, whose “distinctive accomplishments … reflects great credit upon the Department of Defense Working Dog program.”
Jack’s former handler, Tech. Sgt. Mariah Langeland, 375th SFS NCO in charge of training, chose to adopt him and presented him with a new collar and leash, signifying his transition from military service to retirement.
“I adopted him because of the love I have for him from our time working together, and I wanted to give him the best possible life after retirement,” said Langeland. “Words can’t express how I feel about having him now. It’s just an amazing feeling, seeing him go from a brick kennel with a fence surrounding him to being able to sit on the couch. He will be around kids, and we’ll give him treats and snacks … spoiling him the way he deserves.”
As a final thank you to Jack for his outstanding service, the 375th SFS handlers presented a final salute, and Dugger presented him with an honorary cupcake before he went home to start his new life with Langeland and her family.