Beaufort News

Parris Island fields suggestions for new mascot's name

Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island has a new mascot.

But the mascot doesn't have a name.

The 8-week-old English bulldog puppy arrived this month to replace Sgt. Archibald Hummer, who died in his sleep Sept. 7 at the age of 5.

Hummer had served as the furry face of Parris Island since arriving there as a 14-week-old puppy in 2006 from the same Valdosta, Ga., breeder who provides the University of Georgia with its "Uga" bulldog mascots. Hummer was the first mascot to earn the rank of sergeant in about 20 years, according to depot officials. A funeral service was held Sept. 14 on Parris Island, base officials said.

Though the responsibility of naming the new dog rests with Brig. Gen. Lori Reynolds, the base's commanding general, the Public Affairs Office has been fielding suggestions on its Facebook page.

Possible names have included "Dakota," for recent Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer, "MoH" for the medal itself and "Ira" for Cpl. Ira Hayes, who famously took part in the flag-raising on Mount Suribachi in 1945.

A deadline for naming the new mascot has not been set, base officials said.

After the dog is named, it will step onto the infamous yellow footprints outside the receiving building to begin its version of basic training, which will consist mostly of housebreaking and obedience training.

Sgt. Russell Midori, who served for more than a year as Hummer's handler and is helping care for the new mascot, said the dog will have to prove its mettle before receiving a rank and permission to appear at base events.

"No arrangements have been finalized for instating the rank, and his participation in depot ceremonies and events will be determined by how quickly he develops in training," Midori said.

The new dog is the latest in a long line of mascots at Parris Island, starting in 1915 with Mike, an Irish terrier. A memorial to Mike sits across from the commanding officer's quarters and is the oldest monument on the base.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/OnBaseBeaufort.

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