Sage is the US Navy's newest four-legged friend, beginning her role as their residential facility dog with a special title. She became the first "expanded operational stress control canine," the US Department of Defense announced Friday.
Sage will join the naval team aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford under a pilot program. Her mission, if she chooses to accept it, will give her the important role of helping sailors cope with stress while deployed.
She will be an official member of the crew.
At just 3 years old, this Labrador retriever has been trained for therapeutic methods to help sailors during deployment by providing "comfort and morale boosts as part of the ship's warfighter toughness mental health and resiliency team," the Department of Defense stated.
Sage joined her handlers to visit sailors stationed in the Mediterranean Sea, aboard the USS Normandy.
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Tactical canines are extremely versatile and powerful tools. Bigger dogs like German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois can neutralize threats on command by holding an individual in place with their strong jaws.
Military canines can also be trained to sniff out drugs, bombs, cadavers or missing people. This is particularly important in situations where people may be trapped under collapsed buildings or rubble, unable to cry for help.
Now, Sage will join a team that allows her to focus on lifting spirits, and helping officers cope with their hardest days.