News: 'Adorable' mascot keeps Marines on Camp Fuji in line
Story by Cpl. Warren Peace
By Cpl. Warren Peace
III Marine Expeditionary Force PAO
CAMP FUJI, Japan -- Cpl. Dan Daly Jiggs may be the only Marine to relieve himself on the floor of his commander's office and not receive a court martial.
At a minimum, Jiggs fled the scene of the accident, violating Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice about a year ago when he committed the heinous act, which is punishable with a bad-conduct discharge and six months of brig time.
But Jiggs managed to get off light, receiving a non-judicial punishment and being denied an upcoming promotion.
With the smelly incident behind him, the base mascot now struts around the Combined Arms Training Center, Camp Fuji, Japan, demanding a certain level of attention usually reserved for commanding generals. No one seems to care that he has less discipline than any other Marine on base.
This twelve-inch tall, 5-year-old bulldog's devious exploits have earned him a reputation for having a total disregard for authority since he graduated boot camp, June 6, 2005.
Years ago, Stars and Stripes reported that he ignored former Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James L. Jones when Jones entered the room. Jiggs, with his typical nonchalant manner, lay on the floor chewing on another Marine's uniform cover.
Also, while he was attending "Doggy" Boot Camp on Yokota Air Base, Jiggs failed to report for duty and received his first non-judicial punishment for unauthorized absence. He was demoted from private first class to private for the infraction.
With his less than admirable service record, some might wonder why is he still liked by the Marines and Sailors of Camp Fuji.
"Jiggs keeps me company," said Cpl. Robert C. Phalen, Jiggs' handler and roommate. "He is kind hearted, but he has a very unique personality."
Jiggs' duties as mascot include visiting orphanages near the base, greeting base visitors and promoting good morale throughout the installation.
However, Jiggs seems to feel that his duties are eating rocks, attacking anything that makes noise – especially paper shredders and vacuums – and attacking formations of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets.
"When a cadet is out of step during a (marching drill), Jiggs bites at his boots to correct him," Phalen said. "I think he is just biting the one that looks different from the rest, but it lets (the cadet) know he is out of step."
When he is not acting as a drill instructor, he reverts back to his mischievous ways, committing acts such as marking his territory on the vehicle tires of Camp Fuji officials. Not only is he man's best friend, but he is quite the "ladies' man."
"He was so adorable ... We just fell in love!" the Raiders' cheerleaders wrote on their Web site after a visit to the base last year.
And his charisma goes farther than just turning the heads of cheerleaders.
"I love that dog," said Cpl. Paul G. Johnston, the watch commander with the Camp Fuji Provost Marshall's Office. "It puts a smile on my face just watching him grow up. He has grown into a fine Marine."