Valiant Army dog Axel honoured posthumously


Axel, an Army dog, was posthumously honoured with a ‘Mention in Dispatches’ for showing exemplary courage during several counter terrorism operations.

A Belgian Malinois breed, Axel is the first Army’s assault Dog to get a ‘Mention in Dispatches’ by President Droupadi Murmu after getting a recommendation from the chiefs of services to recognise distinguished and meritorious service in operational areas, said Army officials. The Army stated that Axel’s award would be published in the Gazette of India. Earlier in 2016, army dog Mansi was given mention in disptches award.

The two year old dog carrying the identity Number 74B7, was deployed for operation in Wanigam Bala in Jammu and Kashmir as a critical force multiplier for an independent room intervention task. On July 30, according to the citation, “the Army dog exhibited exemplary training standards and resolute courage by rushing towards target building entrance exposing himself to terrorist’s fire. He meticulously followed verbal commands and provided live-relay of topography of target building and immediate surroundings. He sanitised the outside veranda, first room and moved tactically the second room”.

On seeing a terrorist holding an AK-47 assault rifle, the canine warrior displayed absolute strength and aggression, and jumped and attacked him, said the Army. The terrorist shot the dog on his left shoulder from point blank range. Despite being wounded, the dog again tried to attack but fell down and got killed in action due to excessive blood loss, the army stated.

“This valiant act revealed information about terrorist’s weapon, disclosed and pinpointed his location ensuring effective fire by own troops and neutralisation of a dreaded terrorist without any collateral damage,” read the citation.

His handler also got injured in the operation.

Axel was enrolled in the Army on June 26, 2020. Since December 2021, he had participated in numerous counter-terrorism operations in J&K including in Operation Rakshak. World over many armed forces, including the United States, use

the Belgian Malinois breed for special operations. The Indian Army too has trained these dogs for carrying out surveillance of enclosed areas and jungles through head-mounted cameras which helps troops to mount action.

The Malinois is one of four breeds of Belgian shepherd dogs. It owes its name to the city of Malines, in northern Belgium, where it was originally bred.

Published on

August 17, 2022

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