Dog down: Broken toe puts Marine mascot Smedley Butler on limited duty

Smedley Butler
Marine mascot Smedley Butler has a broken toe in his left hind paw and must remain in the San Diego boot camp barracks for the next month until it heals.
(U.S. Marine Corps)

Smedley Butler, the new mascot at the Marine boot camp in San Diego, has a broken toe and will be in a cast and on limited duty for a month or so.

The 7-month-old English bulldog jumped out of a moving vehicle at the boot camp and broke a toe on his left hind paw. He was treated by a veterinarian at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

The bulldog is named for the fabled Marine Smedley Darlington Butler (1881-1940), two-time Medal of Honor recipient who rose to the rank of major general. Among other items in his legacy, he is credited with introducing the idea of English bulldogs as Marine mascots in the 1920s.

Smedley Butler, the dog, was born in Escondido and arrived at the camp in June, succeeding Belleau Wood, now retired and living with a Marine family in Temecula.


Until his injury heals, Smedley Butler will not be attending graduation ceremonies or other events and will remain in the barracks.

Mascots are serious stuff in the Marine Corps. They wear miniature uniforms and attend official ceremonies. Some have even been taught how to salute.

Last month Smedley Butler accompanied San Diego recruits at the finish of a march that is part of the grueling Crucible exercise at Camp Pendleton.

There are official mascots at the Marine barracks in Washington, D.C., and the boot camps in San Diego and Parris Island, S.C.


The X-ray of Smedley Butler’s broken toe is posted on the recruit depot’s Facebook page.

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