Not only are dogs beloved members of our families, but they are also loyal and courageous partners in our military.
Here are 17 photos that show just how critical these dogs are as they serve in the U.S. military.
1. Military Working Dog Beano shows his handler some love before a training exercise. The pair
May I Have This Dance? Source: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Aaron Diamant
2. Cpl. Chesty XIV is the official mascot of the U.S. Marines.
Cpl. Chesty, the official mascot of the U.S. Marines. Source: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Adrian R. Rowan HQMC Combat Camera/Released
3. This Military Working Dog jumped off of a helicopter as part of a training exercise over the Gulf of Mexico.
Military Working Dog with 10th Special Forces Group. Source: DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez, U.S. Air Force/Released (CC by 2.0)
4. Xarius, a Military Working Dog, licks his handler, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mark Bush. The two are deployed in southwest Asia.
Xarius the Military Working Dog kisses his handler. Source: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Bowcock (CC by 2.0)
5. Doc is an improvised explosive device detection dog, which means he assists with route clearance during combat.
Doc, an improvised explosive device detection dog. Source: DoD photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline, U.S. Marine Corps/Released
6. Senior Airman Chelsea LaFever smiles during training with her Military Working Dog, Zzusa.
Military Working Dog Zzusa smiles. Source: U.S. Air force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr. (CC BY-NC 2.0)
7. This U.S. Army tactical explosive detection dog is training for future rescue missions.
A pararescueman hoists into a helicopter with his U.S. Army tactical explosive detection dog. Source: DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade, U.S. Air Force/Released
8. A Military Working Dog wears his Doggles during an operation in Afghanistan.
Doggles! Source: Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Jason Brace, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Task Force Wolverine Public Affairs (CC BY 2.0)
9. Perro the Military Working Dog shakes paws with Spc. Morgan Chami, a human intelligence specialist.
Shaking hands with Perro, a Military Working Dog. Photo by Spc. Matt Kuzara (CC BY 2.0)
10. Wilbur is a Military Working Dog with a Marine special operations team. He’s pictured here taking a break from his work in Afghanistan.