During the unit activation ceremony Oct. 24, Special Troops Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Thomas Bayer II reminded the audience that throughout the history of warfare, militaries and dogs have always had a very special bond.

During the unit activation ceremony Oct. 24, Special Troops Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Thomas Bayer II reminded the audience that throughout the history of warfare, militaries and dogs have always had a very special bond.

"K-9 units have served in every conflict and war, from World War I to the mountains of Afghanistan today," he said. "No other asset that we have in the United States inventory has quite the effect of a highly trained K-9 team."

Bayer looked out at the Fort Leavenworth K-9 teams and told those gathered how proud he was that the teams have executed every mission flawlessly.

"They receive accolades after every mission," he said. "They always come back, refit, retrain and stand ready to execute any mission, anytime."

Bayer said the unit teams would continue to support missions as before.

"Our military working dog teams will continue to deploy as singular teams," Bayer said. "They've done so worldwide in support of the Global War on Terrorism and here in the United States — they did so just a couple days ago, as a matter of fact, in support of the president of the United States, the vice president and other candidates in our election year. They are and will continue to support the presidential campaign series through the election period."

Kennel Master Staff Sgt. James Woodward noted that military working dogs have been used by the Army for years, starting with the first K-9 corps in 1942, and those dogs provided base defense, mine detection and communications duties.

"As the Army and missions have changed, so have the needs and capabilities of these fine handlers and dogs," he said. "In today's military, much like before, these Soldiers standing before you truly serve at the tip of the spear. These teams will always be found at the front, walking point and standing guard against the harm or enemies that try to inflict upon our brothers in arms."

Woodward echoed Bayer, saying there is nothing in the military's arsenal quite like the military working dog teams.

"It is proven that in whatever area our military working dogs are actively engaged, whether that be as explosive detection, combat trackers or mine detection, our casualty rate falls by 65 percent," he said.

Woodward noted the uniqueness of the occupation of military working dog handlers.

"This profession is all-encompassing, for with no other job in the Army is another living entity completely devoted to and dependent upon the Soldier."