MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- The latest addition to the Quantico Provost Marshal’s Office made the switch from active duty to civilian employment without so much as a Transition Assistance Program seminar. As far as Col. Barry Neulen, Security Battalion’s commanding officer, was concerned, he couldn’t hire Dixie soon enough.
“Ever since I got here, I wanted to get a mascot for Security Battalion,” Neulen said. “I was asking about a dog when I took over in 2011.”
What he got was a 5-year-old yellow Labrador retriever and retired improvised explosive device-detecting dog. Dixie is a veteran of a six-and-a-half-month tour in Afghanistan, ending in October of 2011, and now roams the halls of the Provost Marshal’s Office proffering her favorite toy, a well-loved length of orange rope, to anyone willing to play for a minute.
“It’s amazing how Dixie’s presence kind of brings tensions down and puts a smile on everyone’s face,” Neulen said.
He said he’d been aware that military working dogs were coming up for adoption as their program is being downsized, but priority is given to military dog handlers. Working through the Headquarters Marine Corps Security Division’s military working dogs program manager, he got on the list to adopt a dog, and the process to take Dixie on at PMO started last November. She finally arrived in late February.
|Marine Corps News|