Meet Chesty, the future mascot of the U.S. Marine Corps. Chesty, who couldn't possibly be any cuter, will be the latest in a long and proud line of bulldogs to hold the honor, and like any good recruit, he will not rest on his laurels. Pending obedience and recruit training, this little 9-week-old pedigree English bulldog will earn the rank of private first class, and will have a long list of public services to fulfill.
Chesty is named after Lt. General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller, one of the most decorated Marines in USMC history (technically, this little guy is Chesty XIV, and is replacing Chesty XIII).
Bulldogs have served as the mascot of the Marine Corpssince the 1920s. It is said that during World War I, members of the German forces would call attacking Marines "teufel-hunden," or "devil dogs." When the Marines put a picture of a ferocious-looking bulldog on a recruiting poster, the unofficial decision was clear: The tenacious, strong, and spirited breed would be cemented in military tradition.
Of course, they don't look so fearsome when they're babies, but we suppose that's just a nice byproduct. Click through to aww at more pictures of Chesty, and check out some of his more, ahem, distinguished predecessors.