National K9 Veterans Day | March 13
(Last Updated On: March 6, 2023)


March 13th recognizes National K9 Veterans Day and the dedicated K9 units who’ve served since World War II. 


A lot of things changed after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. We rationed oil, leather, and rubber. The military draft men into service. Women rolled up their sleeves and built war supplies.

And dogs were called to duty. During the first world war, the United States took notice of the European use of canines as sentries, message carriers, and several other functions.

A private citizen, Mrs. Alene Erlanger initiated a program called Dogs for Defense. Along with the American Kennel Club and a handful of breeders, the group aimed to train the dogs for military use.

By November of 1942, the military prepared the first Dogs for Defense for duty in North Africa. While they were gun shy at first, they proved to be well trained.

As the war progressed, Dogs for Defense was unable to keep up with the demand, and the Remount Branch, Service Installations Divisions took over the training of the dogs.

Over the years, the military, police, and rescue have developed a variety of training methods for K9 units. Their training is tailored to meet the demands of the job, and each animal and handler carries out his or her duties to the fullest.


  • Recognize a K9 veteran.
  • Learn more about their service, history, and training.
  • Attend a ceremony honoring the working dogs in military units and working dogs across the country. 
  • Use #NationalK9VeteransDay to post on social media.


National K9 Veterans Day is celebrated on March 13th on the official birthday of the US Army K9 Corps, which was formed in 1942. Joseph White, a retired military working dog trainer, originated the idea for the day.


Q. Does a K9 live with its human partner?
A. Yes. In most cases, the K9 officer is responsible for the dog they are assigned to.

Q. Do K9 officers receive special training?
A. Yes, K9 officers receive specialized training for this unique unit of a police department.

March 13th Celebrated History


Fifteen-year-old Chester Greenwood of Farmington, Maine received the first patent for earmuffs.


The comedy duo Abbot and Costello copyright their baseball comedy routine “Who’s on First.”


RCA Victor releases Elvis Presley’s self-titled first album. The album included songs Blue Suede Shoes, Blue Moon, and I Got a Woman.


Walt Disney releases The Love Bug nationwide. Starring Dean Jones, Michele Lee, David Tomlinson, and Buddy Hackett, the movie features a lovable and single-minded Volkswagen Beetle.


CBS premiers The Incredible Hulk. Bill Bixby stars as David Banner.

March 13th Celebrated Birthdays

Abigail Fillmore – 1798

The fourteenth First Lady of the United States was the first of many teachers in the White House. When her husband Millard Fillmore took office after the death of President Zachary Taylor, First Lady Fillmore turned her attention to creating the first White House library.

Albert William Stevens – 1886

In the 1920s and 30s, the adventurous Army officer developed skills as a high-altitude pilot, balloonist, and photographer. Among his many accomplishments, he took the first photographs that showed the Earth’s curvature and the Moon’s shadow on the Earth’s surface during an eclipse.

Janet Flanner – 1921

“I act as a sponge. I soak it up and squeeze it out in ink every two weeks.” ~ Janet Flanner
For 50 years, the American journalist served as one of The New Yorker magazine’s first writers. She began writing for the magazine under the pen name Genet as the magazine’s Paris correspondent.

William H. Macy – 1950

The award-winning actor began his career in theatre. Today, Macy’s performances on both the small and big screens fill quite an array of characters. While his most memorable may be Frank Gallagher in Shameless and Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo, his Boogie Nights, Magnolia, and State and Main roles are also worth noting.

Notable Mentions

Percival Lowell – 1855
L. Ron Hubbard – 1911
Charo – 1951
Mikaela Shiffrin – 1995

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