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545th MP Company

1st Cavalry Division

A Pictorial History

Mascots, Pets and other Critters

As of January 26, 2012


Throughout the history of the Cavalry Military Police, the members of the unit always managed to attach themselves to various animals as pets or mascots and although usually dogs or an occasional cat there have been some very unusual “critters” associated with the unit.  The following is a short pictorial history of some of these great mascots, pets and critters:




Fort Bliss, Texas


In the Horse Cavalry there were horses and stables and hay so therefore there were mice and the obvious solution was a CAT!  This black cat has shown up in several photos of that era, but this is the best one of it.







There are no known photos of pets or mascots from Australia at the writing of this document.


Pacific Theatre



1st Cav MP’s PFC Boos and CPL Wilmoth mounted on a friendly Water Buffalo that seemed to know its way around the unit AO in the Philippines








 When these Security Detachment Cav MP’s realized how fast rabbits multiplied they decided it was best to find it a new home at Camp Drake, Japan circa 1948


 545th MP Co Provisional Platoon member CPL Bill Heiner with the Platoon Mascot at Camp Crawford, Japan circa 1952


1st Cav MP Platoon members discovered a group of stables where horses were kept for the Imperial Japanese Officer Corps and being the Cav MP’s and mostly country boys that they were took them under their wing and actually used them on patrol in Tokyo until they had to turn them over the Japanese Police. Camp Drake, Japan circa 1947 -1948



Even the MP Platoon cooks (PFC Whalen on the left who is a member of our unit association) had a mascot at Camp Drake, Japan in 1948


 PFC Bob Dixon with the 545th MP Co Provisional Platoon Mascot at Camp Crawford, Japan 1952Major Dixon is also a member of our association



There are several photos of the MP Platoon unit barracks area at Camp Drake from 1947 – 1949 with this spotted dog in them.  The photos are all taken from a distance so you can’t quite make out the exact features of the dog, but it must have been well liked by members of the unit as it seemed to be everywhere (to include the beer gardens).  This particular photo was taken of the unit lawn in front of their barracks and the dog is in the center of the group


Cav MP Walking two dogs on a leash and there is no comment on the back of this photo – just Camp Drake 1947 The MP may be just walking them for some officers’ wife or they (the dogs) may in fact be mascots?


545th MP Co, 1st Traffic Platoon Mascot “Blackjack” at Camp Crawford, Japan 1953


 SGT Wagle and CPL Colesbey give the 545th Mascot (name unknown) a bath at Camp Bender, Japan 1953





 Fort Gulick, Panama



 Sp/4 Shearon with the unit “Puppy” in Panama circa 1955 Buford Shearon is a member of our association







 Unknown 545th MP on a young bull outside Camp Custer, Korea circa 1963



 Debby Jon who was the company Mascot at Camp Custer in 1963


Note:  Korea was a very poor country just after the war and dog meat was part of a normal diet for many Koreans so you didn’t find too many stray dogs at that time to turn into Mascots.


 Mounted Drill, Dog Style – Members of the 1st Cavalry Division MP Detachment Sentry Dog Squad execute a right face as they go through the dismounted drill phase of the obedience training received by the dogs.  The men and the dogs are (left to right):  SGT William E. Knapp and Jack, PFC Jack Gabaldon and Basco and Sp/4 Larry B. Grahm and Klodo








 Before being drafted into the Army, this young 545th MP (whose name I cannot remember) lived in a southern state where there were a lot of snakes and he used to catch them for a living (I can just imagine the telephone conversation with a Southern Belle – “Suh, would please come and remove a lil’ ol’ snake from my veranda as it is sorely trying my patience”).  He knew which ones were poisonous and which were not.  He was so good at it that the 1SG kept him on permanent CQ Runner as we had an abundance of snakes in the Company Area and it was not uncommon to wake up in the morning with a snake curled up in, under or near your bunk.  Once this snake expert began his duties as CQ Runner, we ceased to have a problem with snakes.  Everyone was grateful for his expertise and he was often treated at the MP Club to free beers for his efforts! Phouc Vinh, Vietnam circa 1969


545th MP Dave Sussan with his pet snake in Vietnam 1970

Dave is a member of our Association


Sp/4 Jim Barrett and Jocko RVN 1966

Jim is a member of our association


545th MP Ken Buysse on the left Boom Boom the Company Mascot in the center and unidentified 545th MP on the right at Camp Evans 1968

Ken is a member of our association


Unknown 545th MP in Phouc Vinh circa 1969

“This might make a good pet – might catch a few of those rats?”


CPT Glen West, Commander 545th MP Co with the Co Mascot in Phouc Vinh, RVN 1970 – 1971


3d Platoon Mascot – “Whiskey” at Kantum RVN 1967


Charlie the monkey and unidentified MP at LZ English 1967


Dog has Charlie the monkey “Treed” up the Company Bulletin Board at LZ English in1967


ARVN Scout Dog at LZ English 1967


A very drunk goat belonging to 545th MP SGT Norman Alexander at An Khe 1967 (it was only 3.2% Hamms beer so it took quite a bit to get both the SGT and the goat drunk)


Goat is drunk once again in the company street at An Khe 1967


Drunken goat chasing an unidentified 545th MP at An Khe 1967




Saudi Arabia


545th MP PFC Morgan with a desert friend in Saudi Arabia 1990/1991





Desert Storm


This unnamed dog showed up in the 4th Platoon AO in Iraq hundreds of miles from anywhere and was glad to find a home with the 545th MP Co as Plt Mascot where he was fed well and given plenty of water







There are no known photographs of mascots or pets for Bosnia at the writing of this document.





There are no known photographs of mascots or pets for Afghanistan at the writing of this document






Iraq War



These were definitely not the kind of critters you would choose for a pet or mascot!  Supposedly, they blew in with sand storms and of course were called Sand Spiders – UGH!


SPC Chovan (top left) and members of the 1st Platoon, 545th MP Co in Baghdad with all their new friends


Please throw the ball!!


Almost everywhere the 545th went there were goats!


545th MP SSG Ashcraft with one of the many camels the unit came across in Iraq

SSG Mike Ashcraft is a member of our association


There were wild dogs and goats running loose everywhere in Baghdad as seen in this early morning photo.


And – of course – Camels everywhere as well


CPT Timothy Tyson who had handed over the command of the 545th to CPT Ian Townsend in Baghdad and was then the CO of HHC (which included the Horse detachment) had to train the Iraqi Equine Staff to take care of the horses that Saddam and his two sons had kept.  Photo taken at the Baghdad Zoo sometime in 2004 – 2005


This is one of two Cheetahs which were kept as pets by the Hussein brothers and were taken to the Zoo in Baghdad



Of course the Baghdad Zoo would not be complete without a Camel.  CPT Tyson getting a closer look at one of them.





Fort Hood, Texas


This is a photo of Owen, the 545th Company Mascot at Ft Hood 1974 taken in front of the old 545th wooden barracks.  PFC Schmidt holding his paws




Please submit additions or information to:


CPT Sam Reinert

Founder and CEO

545th MP Co Association

626 1/2 South 9th Street
Richmond, Indiana 47374 USA

765 962 4627 phone & FAX