Morgantown, KY (WNKY-TV) - One of the newest members of the United States Marine Corps has four legs and a tail. Chesty Ray is a 10-week-old English bulldog pup who belongs to Morgantown Mayor Billy Phelps. As of this past Veterans Day, Chesty is now a Private in the U.S. Marines. Private Chesty has some big paws to fill as he's named after a very important Marine.
"He was named after Chesty Puller, the most decorated man of the Marine Corps, and Ray Casson, who's our veteran of the year here, so it's Chesty Ray," said Mayor Phelps.
Chesty's new role and rank do make him a true Marine, but luckily his duties will be strictly office related.
"I don't think he'll see combat, but I think the Marine Corps has assigned him as a liaison to the Mayor's office, so it's good to have a representative from the government who's going to be here to help me if I ever need anything," said Mayor Phelps.
Once Chesty grows into his wrinkles, he'll even be fitted with a uniform. All involved says it's a great way to build community relations.
"We have an ROTC program and being a former military person I really love our military, I love our ROTC so it's a good way of promoting our branches of service, the Marine Corps and our city," says Mayor Phelps.
"Being part of the community, promoting the Marine Corps support for the community and it also supports the history and traditions that the Marine Corps has always upheld," said Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Anderson of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Now, like a true Marine, Chesty is off to boot camp.
"Five weeks of intense training on don't bite, don't chew shoe strings," said Mayor Phelps.
"This is by far the first dog I've ever taken home with me that's enlisted in the United States Marine Corps so that's very unique and such an honor on Veteran's Day to have a part in that," said Austin Neighbors an animal behaviorist with Pack BG.
A four legged force ready to serve the city of Morgantown as one of the few, the proud, the Marines.