1. Here’s Sergeant Stubby, American badass and decorated war-torn soldier. He was once a stray puppy, found by then-Private J. Robert Conroy near the Yale campus in 1917.
2. Stubby became the “mascot” of Conroy’s squadron, the 102nd Infantry, 26th Yankee Division.
3. As a mascot, Stubby turned heads. He showed off by learning the drills of the 102nd Infantry. He even learned how to salute. The only problem: Dogs weren’t allowed in the military. The plot to Airbud? No, Stubby’s real life.
4. So when the time came to go to Europe and join the war, Conroy smuggled Stubby onto the SS Minnesota. The commanding officer was upset when he found him until he saw Stubby’s patriotic salute.
5. Stubby then accompanied the 102nd Battalion to the frontlines. Initially, he was brought for morale, but he ended up saving countless lives.
This photo is alleged to be of the 102nd Battalion. While I cannot confirm or deny its authenticity, there is in fact a dog resembling Stubby on their gas masks, and Stubby was their mascot, after all.
6. Injured by a gas attack early, Stubby was nursed back to health. He developed an acute sense for the gas and would run up and down the trench alerting the men when an attack was impending. It gave them time to put on their masks and fit Stubby with his.
This is not Stubby, but this is what he would have looked like in his gas mask. Very handsome.
7. Stubby was a clever little guy, and could identify friend or foe based on the language they were speaking. He had a knack for finding wounded soldiers and alerting medics. He even caught a German spy snooping around Allied trenches.
Big mistake, dude.
8. After catching the spy, Stubby made U.S. history by becoming the first dog to be promoted to sergeant through combat. He even wore the Iron Cross of the German he captured on his doggie jacket, among his many other accolades.
Here’s Stubby receiving a medal from General John Pershing. Much sergeant.
9. Here’s the sergeant with his inferior (and owner), Corporal J. Robert Conroy. Yes, that’s correct: Stubby outranks this mere human.
10. This is how it should be, AMIRIGHT?!
11. By the war’s end, Stubby had served in 17 different battles. At one point, he was even badly injured by a grenade. You don’t accumulate flair like this for nothing!
12. Not surprisingly, Stubby became quite the celeb. Following the Armistice, Stubby met President Woodrow Wilson while stationed in France awaiting his ride home. It’s reported that the two “shook hands.”
Wow. Such Stubby.
13. In 1920, Stubby attended the Republican National Convention (I kid you not), and in 1921 he was invited to the White House by Warren Harding. They may or may not have shaken hands. He returned to the White House to meet Calvin Coolidge a few years later.
Here’s Stubby and his owner/subordinate, J. Robert Conroy.