The US Congress is set to award a prestigious medal to Multi-purpose Canine Shimanski, a 12-year-old Belgian Malinois who served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, and Somalia with the US Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.
For his service, Congress is awarding Shimanski the Animals in War & Peace Medal of Bravery, an award created in 2019 to honor service animals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Shimanski was trained to detect explosives while under fire, a duty that required extensive training with his handler, retired Marine Staff Sgt. Brandon Marquez. During one incident in February 2014, Shimanski helped members of a MARSOC Special Operations Team reach a fatally wounded US service member before he checked for explosives as the team rushed to landing zones, where they were evacuated. Shimanski has not only provided Marquez with emotional support but also helps train other dogs by showing them how to be calm and listen to commands.