Combat Assault Dogs (CAD)

Combat Assault Dogs (CAD) have transformed the tactics of the Special Operations community. With speed, discipline, agility, and ferocity, these dogs have demonstrated the resilience necessary to infiltrate via helicopter, parachute, or rubber boat. The Belgian Malinois, also known as the Belgian Shepherd, is the predominant breed utilized by SEAL Teams. Their compact size and lightning speed help to create a tactical advantage for SEALs and other Special Operations units.

Favored for their intelligence, agility, loyalty, and obedience, Belgian Malinois are fierce and fast with acute vision. Lighter and leaner than the German Shepherd traditionally employed as the police working dog, the Belgian Malinois sports a compact frame, which is advantageous when tandem parachute jumping or rappelling–an intrinsic part of many SEAL missions. Their exceptional sense of smell makes these canines an optimal breed for detecting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

Countless lives have been saved by Combat Assault Dogs, largely in part because the bond between the dog and handler is spectacularly strong. The canine’s handler is typically a Navy SEAL or U.S. Navy Master-at-Arms (MA). Most people are familiar with the term Multi-Purpose Canine (MPC). Multi-Purpose Canines possess specific skills and are attached to Special Operations Forces. These dogs will conduct dozens of dangerous combat missions over multiple deployments around the globe, most of which the public will never hear about.

The courage and dedication these heroic canines possess is unparalleled. On average, they serve six years. Upon retiring a Combat Assault Dog, the handler has first right of refusal.

The Museum proudly displays one of the original K-9 vests worn by a Combat Assault Dog during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The unit patch on the vest is from Task Unit Trident in Afghanistan. During this deployment, CAD Rocky led a 45-man element safely through heavily mined enemy areas. During nine operations, Task Unit Trident was responsible for the capture of four High-Value Individuals (HVI) and 172 enemy forces killed in action, directly supported by the stellar teamwork of a Combat Assault Dog.

Multi-purpose Canines Gallery

Canines who have died in the line of duty

Spike 22 Dec 2006 (KIA)
Robiek 23 March 2008 (KIA)
Falco 15 June 2008 (KIA)
Toby 26 Nov 2008 (KIA)
Mialo 24 Feb 2009 (KIA)
Remco 7 July 2009 (KIA)
Bart 6 Aug 2011 (KIA)
Bronco 2 May 2013 (KIA)
Rando 17 June 2011 (KIT)
Mustaf Aug 2017 (KIT)