Smedley Butler with with his handler, Cpl. Tyler Viglione, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Photo courtesy of Stars and Stripes

Smedley Butler will officially become a Marine Thursday in a ceremony at Camp Pendleton, although he’s just 6 months old.

Smedley is an English bulldog who recently became the mascot at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. He replaced Cpl. Belleau Wood, who retired in April to live with a family in Temecula, according to the MCRD.

Major Gen. Smedley Butller, the mascot’s name sake.

Smedley — named after a major general who was the most decorated Marine when he died — will receive the eagle, globe and anchor emblem in a ceremony that symbolizes the culmination of recruit training. The ceremony is the first time recruits are called Marines.

The dog’s duties will include participating in events like family day, motivational runs and graduation ceremonies, in addition to various community relations and recruiting events throughout the western recruiting region.

Smedley, whose namesake was the second commander of the MCRD, continues a tradition of mascots at the facility. The first depot mascot was James Jolly Plum Duff, an English bulldog introduced by Butler in 1939.

— City News Service

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