Six U.S. animal heroes were honored in the 2023 Animals in War & Peace Medal Ceremony at the U.S. Capitol March 15th. Here's the press release.
The Third Annual Animals in War & Peace Medal Ceremony
recognized and honored six unsung U.S. animal heroes for their accomplishments in both war and
peace in Washington, DC on March 8, 2023 at the Rayburn House Office Building with five U.S.
Members of Congress.
Since 1943, the United Kingdom has been the only country in the world to honor animals with its
international PDSA Dickin Medal, also known as
the Victoria Cross for Animals.
U.S. House of Representatives Julia Brownley (CA) introduced and welcomed guests. U.S House of
Representatives Gus Bilirakis (FL), Don Bacon (NB), Maxwell Frost (FL) and Mike Quigley (IL)
presented medals to America's six animal heroes for either the Animals in War & Peace Medal of
Bravery or Distinguished Service Medal which are both commensurate with the British PDSA Dickin
Medal. U.S. House of Representative Chaplain, Reverend Dr. Margaret Grun Kibben offered the
invocation and participated with medal presentations and a blessing of the animals
The Animals in War & Peace Medal of Bravery was awarded to one pigeon and four canines that
served in past wars (posthumous) representing U.S. military services. The 2023 heroes are The
Mocker (WW1 pigeon); K9 Jafar (Baytown, TX Police Dept (alive)); MWD Paco P352 (U.S. Army
(alive)); MPC Kay (75th Army Ranger Regiment); and MPC Shimanski (Marine Corps Special
Operations Command (alive)).
The Animals in War & Peace Distinguished Service Medal, was awarded to a horse named Sgt. York
(U.S. Army Caisson Platoon (alive)). Sgt. York is distinguished by his exceptionally meritorious
service to our nation in a duty of great responsibility.
To continue the efforts of creating the annual process of recognizing our U.S. animal heroes, a
second House Resolution will be introduced later this spring sponsored by Representative Gus
Nominations are now being accepted for the 4th Annual Medal Ceremony tentatively scheduled for
March 2024. Go to
2023 Animals in War & Peace Distinguished Service Medalists (DSM)
Sgt York and Jafar
DSM #4 - SGT YORK: Army Caisson Platoon - Military Working Equine
(MWE) (alive): Sgt York served 25 years as one of the Caisson Platoon's most
important and storied MWEs. He became a Caparisoned Horse (Cap Horse), a
riderless horse that symbolizes an officer's final ride in battle, where empty
boots are faced backwards in the stirrups. He was the Cap Horse in President
Ronald Reagan's funeral, and countless other dignitaries. In 2004, he was
selected as Horse of the Month by the U.S. Trotting Association.
2023 Animals in War and Peace Medal of Bravery Medalists (MOB)
MOB #12 - K9 JAFAR: Baytown Police, Texas, Multi-purpose SWAT,
Narcotics Detection, Patrol, Belgian Malinois (alive) - Jafar and his partner
were called-up to a barricaded armed suspect situation where a suspect was
reported to have piles of weapons and was firing shots from a handgun into his
neighbors "homes. After an eight-hour standoff, K-9 Jafar was deployed into
the residence, which had been heavily tear-gassed. Jafar located the suspect
hiding in a pantry with two small dogs. Jafar apprehended the suspect, who in
turn grabbed Jafar by the head holding his muzzle closed as the cover officers
moved into the residence and apprehended him without further violence.
Mocker and Paco
MOB #13 – THE MOCKER: WWI, U.S. Army Signal Corps, Homing
Pigeon: During the Battle of Saint-Mihiel in Sept 1918, Mocker arrived with a
message from the frontlines, despite his right eye having been destroyed by a
shell fragment and his head a mass of clotted blood. Thanks to Mocker"s flight,
the German artillery guns were silenced in only 20 minutes. Even with the loss
of an eye, Mocker continued to fly once he healed, eventually credited with
carrying 33 messages during the war.
MOB #14 – MWD PACO P352: U.S. Army, Afghanistan, Belgian Malinois
(alive). Deployed to Afghanistan in October 2012 in support of Operation
Detachment Alpha/Special Operations Task Force. Paco led the unit during
night raids on villages in extremely hostile territories, positively identified 33
IEDs during different missions. He was wounded with shrapnel but returned
to duty after treated for injuries. Upon returning to duty, Paco led a 30-truck
convoy 20-miles during an evacuation that was constantly fired upon with
small arms and rocket propelled grenades. He found 19 IEDs during this 24-
hour exfil alone.
Kay and Shimanski
MOB #15 - MPC KAY: 75th Army Ranger Regiment, Afghanistan/Iraq,
Belgian Malinois: MPC Kay served from 2007–2011 as a Multi-Purpose
Canine trained in apprehension, tracking, explosive and article detection, area
searches, and hunting down fleeing insurgents. MPC Kay successfully
completed over 200 Special Operation nighttime raids, over 75 day operations,
and apprehended several high-profile Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders during his
four deployments. Additionally, Kay located an important phone sim card that
was thrown by a high value target during a raid that was the key that unlocked
a new web of leaders in a specific terror cell.
MOB #16 - MPC SHIMANSKI: MARSOC, Afghanistan/Iraq/Jordan/Somalia,
Belgian Malinois (alive): MPC Shimanski served 4 tours in 7 years. During one
operation in Sangin, Afghanistan, the Team Chief was fatally wounded.
Shimanski, his handler, and two other members of the unit rushed to the point of
injury. Under extremely heavy enemy direct and indirect fire, regardless of his
own safety, MPC Shimanski exited the vehicle with his handler to begin
establishing a safe path to their wounded teammate and the surrounding area.
The team cleared two hasty helicopter landing zones to evacuate their team
member. MPC Shimanski preformed to the highest standard, under gravely
dangerous conditions, without error
For more information, see:
3RD ANNUAL CEREMONY - MARCH 8, 2023, CAPITOL HILL, WASHINGTON, DC
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
2023 ANIMALS IN WAR AND PEACE MEDALS
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2023 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster