Thanks to the German Army, the U.S. Marine Corps has an unofficial
mascot. During World War I many German reports had called the
attacking Marines "teufel-hunden," meaning Devil-Dogs.
Teufel-hunden were the vicious, wild, and ferocious mountain dogs of
Soon afterward a U.S. Marine recruiting poster depicted a
snarling English Bulldog wearing a Marine Corps helmet. Because
of the tenacity and demeanor of the breed, the image took root with
both the Marines and the public. The Marines soon unofficially
adopted the English Bulldog as their mascot.
At the Marine base at Quantico, Virginia, the Marines
obtained a registered English Bulldog, King Bulwark. In a formal
ceremony on 14 October 1922, BGen. Smedley D. Butler signed documents
enlisting the bulldog, renamed Jiggs, for the "term of life."
Pvt. Jiggs then began his official duties in the U.S. Marine Corps.
A hard-charging Marine, Pvt. Jiggs did not remain a
private for long. Within three months he was wearing corporal
chevrons on his custom-made uniform. On New Years Day 1924, Jiggs
was promoted to Sergeant. And in a meteoric rise, he got promoted
again -- this time to Sergeant Major -- seven months later.
SgtMaj. Jiggs' death on 9 January 1927 was mourned
throughout the Corps. His satin-lined coffin lay in state in a
hangar at Quantico, surrounded by flowers from hundreds of Corps
admirers. He was interred with full military honors.