Four-footed warrior retires from active duty

  • Published
  • By Airman ZoŃ‘ T. Perkins
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Gglory, a female Belgian Malinois, retired from active duty service Dec. 20, 2018.

She was destined to be a military working dog. Her journey began in July 2009, the day she was born into the puppy program at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. That’s why the first letter of her name is repeated.

After weaning from her mother, Gglory was placed with a temporary foster family for six months to be raised as a normal dog.

“From eight weeks, to about six months she was living a normal life,” said Staff Sgt. Roger Shaw, Gglory’s military working dog handler. “I guess you could say just to be a pup, and to realize what it’s like to be a dog.”

After the fostering period was over, Gglory returned to Lackland and was put on a team with other handlers, where she and other military working dogs were training to be operational, said Shaw.

Gglory trained at Lackland until 2011 when she then came to Vance for further operational training to be a Patrol Explosive Detection Dog.

Gglory spent the next few years going through sessions of pre-deployment training at the Regional Training Center in Fort Bliss, Texas and a deployment to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar before coming to her current handler, Shaw. 

Her training continued with Shaw and the two of them created a bond and built a strong, trusting relationship.

“I would take her out on long walks and let her sniff what she wanted to sniff,” said Shaw.

Whether it was training, work, or just playing around during their off time, Shaw and Gglory shared a mutual trust and were loyal wingmen to one another.

“You know that dog is going to have your back no matter what,” said Shaw. “You know that she is going to love you no matter what. That dog will protect you as much as you protect her.”

Several of Gglory and Shaw’s missions included guarding Trump Tower in New York, keeping the president of the United States and friends and family safe while on vacation in New Jersey, and several different assignments in Oklahoma City.

“Gglory and I have been together for over two years,” said Shaw. “When I’m in uniform and I’m at work, it’s strictly work, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to remember that she’s still a dog.

Gglory is one of the sweetest military working dogs that any of us have known,” said Shaw. 

Gglory’s time in service was drawing to an end due to medical related issues. After nine years of active duty service, Gglory retired and will now be able to live her life as a normal house dog with her owner, Shaw.

“She’ll get to be a normal dog, looking out the window for the mailman and eating and chewing up stuff,” said Shaw. “Now it is her time to catch up on the things she didn’t have the opportunity for during her time in service.”

It’s typical for a working dog like Gglory to take some time transitioning to a “normal” dog life.

“She’s over there sniffing poles and vehicles, and I’m just like, hey, you don’t have to do that anymore,” said Shaw. “You’re a dog now.”

Gglory’s retirement ceremony took place in the Base Auditorium. It was filled with retired military working dogs and their owners to honor her and everything she has done.

All in all, Gglory performed over 3,200 hours of detection work at Vance. She completed nine different Secret Service missions protecting two presidents. And she deployed to the U.N. General Assembly where she protected 193 world leaders.

Gglory received the Meritorious Service Medal at her ceremony for all of her hard work. Then her leash was passed to Shaw, her new owner and former handler. 

“Even though Gglory and I never deployed, we never found anything real, she never really saved my life from a threat like that, she’s saved my life more than I can say,” said Shaw. “Just knowing Gglory was there made everything 10 times better.”