U.S. military officials have confirmed the death of a military working dog in Afghanistan after his biography and the news of his death was leaked on social media.
Maiko was killed while serving in 2nd Ranger Battalion with U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. Leandro A.S. Jasso, who was also killed, during a raid against al-Qaida militants in southern Nimruz province on Nov. 24.
The 75th Ranger Regiment said that Maiko’s biography was not approved for release but a spokesperson confirmed it was accurate. While the Army confirmed the information was leaked, it is not known if it was going to be released to the public at a later date.
According to the biography, the 7-year-old multi-purpose canine was leading the Rangers into the compound when a terrorist began firing upon them.
“Maiko’s presence and actions inside the building directly caused the enemy to engage him, giving away his position and resulting in the assault force eliminating the threat without injury or loss of life,” the biography reads.
Jasso was not Maiko’s handler but died from injuries sustained during the same operation, which had have been said to be caused by friendly fire. Military officials said his death was caused by Afghan forces who accidentally shot him during the close-quarter fighting during the raid.
Maiko is credited with saving the life of his handler, SSG Jobe, and “other Rangers involved in the clearance.”
Before his death, he completed over “50 Ranger-led direct action raids” and had been deployed to Afghanistan six times.
He was the most senior Ranger canine in his battalion and had the most combat experience.
“Maiko was best known for his easy-going temperament, his rock-solid consistency in training, deployments and his forgiving nature when his revolving door of new handler made mistakes.”
He was described as operating without regard for his own well-being and loved charging into the unknown after shooters.
“Rest assured, Maiko never backed down from a fight with the enemy, training or combat,” the biography said. “He embodied what it means to be a Ranger.”
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