So What's a Devil Dog?

So What's a Devil Dog?

Bold Commerce CollaboratorMar 9, '18

Deployed Devil Dogs and Troopster Military Care Packages

Looking to support you Devil Dog overseas?  Troopster is a veteran-owned and veteran-operated business that lets friends and families of deployed troops buy, personalize with photos & notes, and send care packages, all from the comfort of your own home! You pick the pack, and we do the rest. Check out our awesome collection of Marine care packages below:  

  • The Few The Proud Pack ($18.99)
  • The Chesty Puller Pack ($64.00)
  • Upload Photos ($1.00)
  • Add a Personal Note (Free!)

  • So What’s a Devil Dog?

    Good question. If you have a loved one in the Marine Corps, or you’ve just crossed paths with Marines somewhere, at one point or another you’ve probably heard the term “Devil Dog.”  But what’re the origins of this ferocious moniker? When the Marines were fighting in World War I, they fought with such ferocity that their German adversaries began to refer to them as teufel hunden, or Devil Dogs - a tremendous compliment to these fine American warriors.  To this day, if you spend time around Marines, you can’t help but hear, “what’s up, Devil Dog?”  

    A Real Devil Dog

    The Marine Corps Struggles for its Existence

    Okay, so I see where Devil Dog came from, but how did the term go from a German description during World War I to a saying one hundred years later that’s synonymous with Marine?  Well, the Marines haven’t always had a guaranteed future. Actually, in the years leading up to World War I (and the interwar period, too), many in the United States argued that the Marine Corps was a redundant service, one that ought to just be absorbed into the Army.  With its proud history fighting “from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli,” there was no way the Marine Corps was going to let this happen, so the service was always on the lookout for a rallying cry to help defend its existence.

    Belleau Wood and a Resurgent Corps  

    This rallying cry would emerge from the horrors of World War I France.  In the particularly brutal battle for Belleau Wood in June 1918, the Marines would distinguish themselves through their tenacity and ferocity in combat.  In words that would live forever, legendary Marine Dan Daly encouraged his men to charge into the teeth of the German enemy with the cry, “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?”  Daly’s words represent the courage and passion with which the Marines fought. In the end, the Marines lost more men in Belleau Wood than in any single battle prior to World War I, but they turned the tide of the fight.  In recognition of the debt the French nation owed these savage hounds of hell, the Devil Dogs, France renamed Belleau Wood “Bois de la Brigade de Marine.” And, the greatest compliment of all would come from, of all people, US Army General John J. Pershing, who stated, “The deadliest weapon in the world is a United States Marine and his rifle.”

    Devil Dogs in Belleau Wood

    The Marine Corps now had the ammunition it needed to fight its next great fight, the one for the service’s existence.   

    Devil Dog Recruiting Poster

    The Bulldog Fountain

    In a quirk of fate, the myth of the Devil Dog became inextricably linked with a fountain in the town of Belleau.  “Belle eau” actually means “beautiful water” in French, and one of the fountains in the village delivering this delicious water just happened to feature a carved bull mastiff.  But, not letting the facts get in the way of a good story, the Marines couldn’t help but link this statue to their growing teufel hunden mythos.  So, the statue was renamed in accordance with Marine lore and would forever be known as the Bulldog Fountain. This venerable watering hole remains, to this day, a pilgrimage site for America’s Devil Dogs.

    The Devil Dog's Bulldog Fountain    

    Don’t Know One but Want to Support a Deployed Devil Dog?

    Perfect! Troopster partners with our 501(c)(3) charitable corporation, Troopster.  If you want to support a deployed Devil Dog but don’t know anyone serving, this great military charity gives you two options.  For a more personal choice, you can adopt a deployed troop by purchasing a care pack. These packs are then sent to a long (and ever-growing!) list of deployed service members who request free care packs directly from our charity.  Or, for a more straightforward option, you can make a monetary donation, 100 percent of which goes to buying and shipping packs to deployed troops. Both options are tax-deductible.

    Semper Fi, and Thanks For Supporting America’s Devil Dogs!  

    Devil Dog's Control Belleau Wood

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published