TIL about the Horse, Sergeant Reckless. A Horse who served with the marines in Korea. She was able to haul ammunition by herself without a handler, would seek a bunker or lay down when under fire and received two purple hearts as well as other medals for her service in the Korean war.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergeant_Reckless

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  1. >She was also given a red and gold blanket with insignia. Reckless was promoted again, to staff sergeant (E-6), on August 31, 1959, at Camp Pendleton, California. This promotion was also awarded by Pate, then the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Pate personally presided over the ceremony, and Reckless was honored with a 19-gun salute and a 1,700-man parade of Marines from her wartime unit”

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    >She served in numerous combat actions during the Korean War, carrying supplies and ammunition, and was also used to evacuate wounded. Learning each supply route after only a couple of trips, she often traveled to deliver supplies to the troops on her own, without benefit of a handler. The highlight of her nine-month military career came in late March 1953 during the Battle for Outpost Vegas when, in a single day, she made 51 solo trips to resupply multiple front line units. She was wounded in combat twice, given the battlefield rank of corporal in 1953, and then a battlefield promotion to sergeant in 1954, several months after the war ended. She also became the first horse in the Marine Corps known to have participated in an amphibious landing, and following the war was awarded two Purple Hearts, a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, was included in her unit’s Presidential Unit Citations from two countries, as well as other military honors.

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    >The Marines, especially Latham, taught Reckless battlefield survival skills such as how not to become entangled in barbed wire and to lie down when under fire. She learned to run for a bunker upon hearing the cry, “incoming!” The platoon called it her “hoof training” and “hoof camp”. The horse was initially kept in a pasture near the encampment. Reckless had a gentle disposition and soon developed such a rapport with the troops that she was allowed to freely roam about the camp and entered tents at will, sometimes sleeping inside with the troops, and even lying down next to Latham’s warm tent stove on cold nights. She was fond of a wide variety of foodstuffs, entertaining the platoon by eating scrambled eggs and drinking Coca-Cola and beer. Food could not be left unattended around her. She was known to eat bacon, buttered toast, chocolate bars, hard candy, shredded wheat, peanut butter sandwiches and mashed potatoes. However, Mitchell advised the platoon that she not be given more than two bottles of Coke a day. Her tastes were not confined to foodstuffs; she once ate her horse blanket, and on another occasion ate $30 worth of Latham’s winning poker chips.
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    >Reckless’s baptism under fire came at a place called Hedley’s Crotch, near the villages of Changdan and Kwakchan. Though loaded down with six recoilless rifle shells, she initially “went straight up” and all four feet left the ground the first time the Recoilless Rifle was fired. When she landed she started shaking, but Coleman, her handler, calmed her down. The second time the gun fired she merely snorted, and by the end of the mission that day appeared calm and was seen trying to eat a discarded helmet liner. She even appeared to take an interest in the operation of the weapon. When learning a new delivery route, Reckless would only need someone to lead her a few times. Afterwards she would make the trips on her own.

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    >Reckless’s entry into the United States was not without its challenges. The Customs Bureau was not much of a problem but the United States Department of Agriculture insisted a medical check and lab tests be completed before she disembarked from the ship once it reached San Francisco, which would make her late for the Marine banquet where she was to be the guest of honor. The Marines contacted Agriculture Department officials in Washington, D.C. who agreed to allow her off the ship after her blood was drawn for lab tests, with the understanding that if she had glanders or dourine, she would be destroyed or sent back to Japan. **Many of the Marines who actually knew her were incensed at what they considered an affront to her honor when they learned that dourine was an equine sexually transmitted disease.** The night before she arrived, she once again ate her blanket, but a new one with ribbons and insignia was made just in time for her disembarkation. She was led off the ship by Lieutenant Pedersen and set foot on American soil in San Francisco on November 10, 1954, coincidentally the birthday of the Marine Corps. For the Marine Corps Birthday Ball held that day, she rode an elevator, and then ate both cake and the flower decorations.

    This Horse is 150% cooler than you.

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