LONDON, UK – An arms race grips the world even as ever more powerful weapons emerge. This new race isn’t about stealth technology or more powerful explosives. It’s about animals.
Since time immemorial, military units have kept mascots and perhaps you, dear reader, were thinking about that. But no, animals are claiming positions across the world that grant title and responsibility. Consider, William Windsor, Lance Corporal, Royal Welsh, 1st Battalion. A goat. But not just any goat. He is descended from a long line of “Combat Goats,” beginning in 1775 when a goat led the Welsh regimental colors at the Battle of Bunker Hill. According to the BBC, Windsor is not a mascot, but a serving member of the armed forces. Like any other soldier, there have been occasional problems with discipline. According to Wiki, “Another royal fusilier goat earned the nickname ‘the rebel’, after he butted a colonel while he was stooped over fixing his uniform’s trouser-strap. The incident was described as a ‘disgraceful act of insubordination.’ ”
Since the UK has demonstrated great success employing animals in their military, it only follows that other military organizations would pursue the same approach. Meet Nils Olav, Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian Royal Guard. Seen below, he inspects the troops, solemnly walking an carefully examining each uniform. More than a few soldiers, with their uniforms in less than tip top condition, have wilted beneath his icy gaze.
Canada has joined the race in a big way. Below, “Pierre” the Moose is responsible for inspecting aircraft before they begin important missions. “His antlers have this uncanny knack for finding any loose plates or ordinance,” says Flight Engineer, Horace “Harry” Keen. “He’s been an invaluable help to us. The flight crews just don’t feel safe if Pierre doesn’t give their aircraft the once over.”
Taking the animal arms race to a new level, China places actual weapons into the hands (paws) of it’s animal soldiers. Meet “Ai Guo,” a Panda with an attitude. According to Chinese officials, Ai Guo holds many marksmanship records within the PLA. Though this sounds impressive, it may serve to cast doubt on the quality of PLA troops. China insists this is not so, explaining that Ai Guo has hit the broad side of a barn many times already. Presently, Ai Guo is training other Pandas. China expects to have a battalion deployed by 2016. That’s assuming their human comrades survive the gun training.
Not to be outdone by anyone, Iran claims to have deployed an entire division of heavily armed and highly motivated squirrels. Iranian officials say that it’s “Raging Rodents” possess capabilities far in excess of any “equivalent” units in the Western world. A military contact close to the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who could not be named as he is not designated to speak to the press, says, “The Raging Rodents are something we’ve addressed. It’s a concern. Should US troops be deployed to Iran for any reason, we’ve instructed military units to stay clear of public parks.” Seen below, a corporal directing troops during maneuvers.