On the first day of December, 2018, a “tweet” appeared on Twitter that was significant not only because of this dog’s life, but as further illustration that we have come a long way from the Viet Nam War when military canines were considered to be disposable”equipment.” That Maiko’s passing would be mentioned not only in the Army Times, Stars and Stripes, and The Hill (“trade” publications, if you will), but also carried in the UK’s Daily Mail, the Drudge Report, the Washington Examiner, Australia’s Business Insider, and Reddit.com, among many others, is, we think, evidence of hard earned appreciation for what all military dogs do, including MPCs – Multi-Purpose Canines, which is what Maiko was. Mention of a military dog’s passing would never been news-worthy even twenty years ago, to say nothing of providing an obituary on one platform that reaches 261 million international users (Twitter), and one billion people active on another, Facebook. Though no mentioned was made about Maiko’s breed that we could find, we believe he was a Dutch Shepherd.
Maiko’s obituary appears below:
Multi-Purpose Canine (MPC) Maiko was born June 5“,2011 in Holland. He came to America at 15 months old and was selected and purchased by the Regimental Dog Program (RDP) from Shallow Creek Kennel in October of 2012. Maiko completed the Regimental Basic/Advanced Handler’s Course in January of 2013 with SFC Jonathan Dickson where he was foundationally trained on patrol, apprehension functions, explosive detection, and tracking. Upon completion of the
Handler’s course, Maiko was assigned to 2″“ Ranger Battalion.
Maiko performed successfully during his first training cycle and was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan with SFC Dickson. During Maiko’s career with 2/75, he deployed a total of six times to Afghanistan, conducting over 50 Ranger-led direct-action raids. Maiko has consistently proven himself exceptional in a number of K-9 employments ranging from IED detection, building clearance, apprehension of combatants, and EKIA clearance. Maiko has additionally taken part in over eight Mission Readiness Exercises (MRX’s), 50 full-mission proﬁles, eight validation exercises, and ten TDY training exercises.
At Maiko’s time of death, he was the most senior MPC assigned to 2/75 with the most training and combat experience. Over the course of his six deployments, he was handled by five different Rangers. Maiko was best known for his easy-going temperament, his rock solid consistency in training, deployments, and his forgiving nature, when his revolving door of new handlers made mistakes. He has had an everlasting impact on every man who worked with him. At times it would be painful bumps and bruises, from receiving his punishing bites during training. Most often it was a softened heart after getting to experience Maiko’s calm and joyful disposition.
Rest assured, Maiko never backed down from a ﬁght with the enemy, training or combat. He embodied what it means to be a Ranger, especially a Ranger MPC. He was clear—headed, reliable, and relentless in his passion to do his work. There was not a day that passed where he was not 100% committed to giving everything he had, regardless of how hot it was, how long the inﬁll was, or how many buildings needed to be cleared. Maiko operated without regard for his own well-being. He loved charging into scenarios unknown, to apprehend barricaded shooters or squirters. The result is tangible to all of us, it is an empty kennel, husbands coming home to their wives, kids getting to see their fathers once more, and Rangers getting to live to ﬁght another day.
This became very real on the night of 24 November 2018 in Nimrov Province, Afghanistan. While conducting a raid in support of Operation Freedoms Sentinel, Maiko was killed in action while leading Rangers into the breach of a targeted compound. Maiko’s presence and actions inside the building directly caused the enemy to engage him, giving away his position and resulting in the assault force eliminating the threat without injury or loss of life.
The actions of Maiko directly saved the life of his handler, SSG lobe, and other Rangers involved during the clearance. The loss of Maiko is devastating to all that knew and worked with him. However, we can appreciate his amazing life and career in the 2”“ Ranger Battalion through his duty and sacrifice. MPC Maiko will forever be remembered by his character and the teammate he truly was.
“…and I will shoulder my share of the task whatever it may be, one hundred percent, and then some!”
Rest Well, Maiko.