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I hear you, I'm NotDeaf
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Posted: 6/13/2011 8:46:20 AM EST
Hey everyone,

I’m trying to figure this out for my son (anyone at Penich?). He’s trying to figure out what he wants to do as he moves up. He said that he’s interested in becoming a K-9 handler. But everything I’ve read is that you have to be a 31B MOS and they pray to the God above, that you get into the K-9 part.

He’s heard that you do not have to be a military police to become a handler, but he or I can find anything in the MOS department that states that.

So any help would be great… or a point in the right direction would be awesome.
"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson
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Link Posted: 6/13/2011 2:51:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2011 3:02:13 PM EST by Mxpatriot51]
It's not an MOS but a skill identifier (Z6). MWD (Military Working Dog) handlers are generally 31B or engineers (bomb dogs). The school is run out of Lackland AFB. I'm not sure what engineers do with their dogs, but we (MP's) use our dogs both at home and deployed.

There's a push to make K9 handler an MOS, but who knows if that will ever come about.

I would recommend 31B, I think it would be his best chance at getting to work with the dogs. He'll be exposed to them if he's with a unit that works the road (LE work), which will help him meet the right people.

Here's a description of the process: http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/call/thesaurus/toc.asp?id=20364
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Link Posted: 6/14/2011 10:52:09 AM EST
There's also some Spec Ops guys (18 Series) that have dogs also.
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Link Posted: 6/14/2011 11:04:41 AM EST
All I know, it that someone is feeding in info on that he doesn’t have to re-class to a 31B (and pray) to be some a Handler and everywhere I look, that’s all I see.

Now it seems that the Marines have a MOS for just a handler, but I don’t think he’d bail out of the Army and rejoin the Marine’s to get a dog.
"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson
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Link Posted: 6/14/2011 11:08:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/14/2011 11:09:05 AM EST by Bettendorf]
His chances are very slim to be a dog handler if he doesn't become a MP. And once he's a MP, his chances of becoming a dog handler are still slim yet unless he's super squared away and even then, sometimes it's still a re-enlistment option.
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Link Posted: 6/14/2011 1:47:55 PM EST

Originally Posted By NotDeaf:
All I know, it that someone is feeding in info on that he doesn’t have to re-class to a 31B (and pray) to be some a Handler and everywhere I look, that’s all I see.

Now it seems that the Marines have a MOS for just a handler, but I don’t think he’d bail out of the Army and rejoin the Marine’s to get a dog.

Even if he does reclass to MP and get dog school, there is absolutely no guarantee that he wouldn't do 3 years with a dog and PCS right back into a regular MP slot.
My drill sergeant had done three tours as combat arms, had a scar down the length of his face, and was no-shit bi-polar. That's how they are supposed to be.
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Link Posted: 6/15/2011 7:23:01 AM EST
Originally Posted By daemon734:

Originally Posted By NotDeaf:
All I know, it that someone is feeding in info on that he doesn’t have to re-class to a 31B (and pray) to be some a Handler and everywhere I look, that’s all I see.

Now it seems that the Marines have a MOS for just a handler, but I don’t think he’d bail out of the Army and rejoin the Marine’s to get a dog.

Even if he does reclass to MP and get dog school, there is absolutely no guarantee that he wouldn't do 3 years with a dog and PCS right back into a regular MP slot.


Yeah, I'm thinking this is what he doesn't want to happen, re-class and then not get what me wants. He very much likes what's he doing now, he’s been given the opportunity to help others with a wide range of different jobs, so reclassing at this point, doesn't look appealing to him.

I've got a few IM from other folks, thanks to all for the info.
"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson
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Link Posted: 7/2/2011 8:39:38 PM EST
I am a Military Working Dog handler and I agree with what most of the members here posted about K9. In the Army, most K9 handlers are 31B's (Military Police) and most of the time, we have to re-enlist to get the school. I had to re-enlist. Though, if a unit really needs dog handlers, then sometimes re-enlisting is not necessary. There have been a few guys in my current unit who were just "given" the school, did not have to re-enlist at all.

I know SF and Rangers have dogs.....Engineers also have dogs, but I hear as an Engineer, it is very difficult to become a dog handler, there are only so many Engineer dog handlers.

As far as making K9 it's own MOS, they've been talking about it for years....they've been talking making K9 a 31K MOS. But I think if that were to ever happen, it would be way after I get out/retire.
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Link Posted: 7/3/2011 4:38:29 PM EST
Thanks for the info
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Link Posted: 7/5/2011 1:36:25 PM EST
I hear you.... I have been working with K9 for some time now and have to say that there are several factors that you must consider.

First - Do you want to be Military Police or Engineer? Yes, there is an Engineer MWD program and has been actively supporting OIF/OND/OEF for the past several years. So where is the Engineer MWD program located - 100% out of Fort Leonard Wood, MO. It is the one and only Engineer Canine Company.

Second - Is your goal to do nothing but K9 in the army? Well, there is a little something out there called the 31K MOS that is still pending final approval. What is 31K? It is a K9 MOS rather than just having an ASI. Remember - this is still on the drawing board.

Unfortunately, recent restrictions on 12B Combat Engineer retention/enlistment has reduced the current influx of personnel to serve as EN K9 Handlers. No worries though, as long as there is a demand for MWDs, there will always be a way to get into the program and become a MWD Handler.

Just be patient and keep trying. Good luck.
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Link Posted: 7/6/2011 5:06:33 AM EST
Originally Posted By dresch3746:
I hear you.... I have been working with K9 for some time now and have to say that there are several factors that you must consider.

First - Do you want to be Military Police or Engineer? Yes, there is an Engineer MWD program and has been actively supporting OIF/OND/OEF for the past several years. So where is the Engineer MWD program located - 100% out of Fort Leonard Wood, MO. It is the one and only Engineer Canine Company.

Second - Is your goal to do nothing but K9 in the army? Well, there is a little something out there called the 31K MOS that is still pending final approval. What is 31K? It is a K9 MOS rather than just having an ASI. Remember - this is still on the drawing board.

Unfortunately, recent restrictions on 12B Combat Engineer retention/enlistment has reduced the current influx of personnel to serve as EN K9 Handlers. No worries though, as long as there is a demand for MWDs, there will always be a way to get into the program and become a MWD Handler.

Just be patient and keep trying. Good luck.


First post and you waste it on me? Thank you for the advise, once this deplyment is over we'll see what he can do and go to.
"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." Thomas Jefferson
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