A multi-purpose canine assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment was killed during a close-quarters battle in southwestern Afghanistan, during which an Army Ranger also died, military officials confirmed Tuesday after a biography of the dog began circulating online.
“Maiko was killed in action while leading Rangers into the breach of a targeted compound,” an unofficial biography leaked online reads. “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.”
The biography said Maiko’s actions saved the life of his handler, whose name Army Times is not publishing, “and other Rangers involved during the clearance.”
Tracy Bailey, a spokeswoman with the 75th Ranger Regiment out of Fort Benning, Georgia, confirmed to Army Times that the biography is accurate, but said it was not authorized for release.
“It is our policy not to release information on the [multi-purpose canine] program as the tactics, techniques and procedures associated with the program are closely held,” Bailey said. “We are still trying to determine who released this information.”
The document appeared to first originate on the popular Facebook page U.S. Army W.T.F! Moments, though the page did not disclose who gave it to them.
Another Army Ranger, Sgt. Leandro Jasso, also died during the raid. A preliminary investigation has determined Jasso was likely shot accidentally by an Afghan commando he was partnered with, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said last week.
Maiko was an experienced veteran of 2/75. He deployed a total of six times to Afghanistan, conducting more than 50 Ranger-led direct action raids.
He was originally born in Holland in June 2011, and came to the United States at 15 months old. The Regimental Dog Program selected Maiko for training from Shallow Creek Kennel, a working dog training facility located in northwestern Pennsylvania, in October 2012.
Maiko completed Regimental Basic/Advanced Handler’s Course in January 2013. There, he was trained on patrol tactics, explosive detection and tracking skills.
Over the course of his career, Maiko detected improvised explosive devices, conducted building clearance and apprehended enemy combatants for the Rangers of 2nd Battalion.
At the time of his death, Maiko was the most senior multi-purpose canine assigned to 2/75, with the most training and combat experience.
He was partnered with five different Rangers over his time in the service.
“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 handlers made mistakes,” the biography reads.
The document described Maiko as a loyal operator, who gave his life for his teammates.
“The result is tangible to all of us, it is an empty kennel, husbands coming home to their wives, kids getting to see their fathers once more, and Rangers getting to live to fight another day,” it reads.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.