Valor Friday

| March 4, 2022

Hertz, retired Royal Air Force working dog

I’ve previously talked about Britain’s highest honor, the Victoria Cross. They also have an animal-equivalent award for animals in war, issued by the PDSA. The PDSA is an animal welfare charity, not dissimilar from the Humane Society here in the states.

The PDSA’s Dickin Medal is considered to be the dog/horse/cat/pigeon version of Britain’s highest honor. The 74th recipient since the award’s inception in 1943 during the height of the Second World War was recently made to a dog named Hertz. We’ve looked at previous recipients in past articles (here and here).

Hertz’s name is appropriate. He served with the Royal Air Force police. Most military working dogs are trained to detect explosives, drugs, or find and track people. Hertz meanwhile was trained in the detection of electronic devices. He’s the first dog with such training to have earned the Dickin medal. He was also the first dog in British military service to be so trained.

The German shorthaired pointer was born in Croatia. Showing skills in drug detection, Hertz was bought by the RAF as a one year-old and selected for training in the detection of personal electronic devices (PEDs).

Hertz’s training soon commenced. The RAF utilized Her Majesty’s Prison Service experience, since they have dogs trained to detect contraband electronics. After that, Hertz and his handler, Warrant Officer Jonathan Tanner (a sergeant at the time), were deployed to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan in 2013.

On his very first mission he located drugs and electronic devices that provided vital military intelligence. Word soon spread of the successes of the new dog, and he was used throughout Helmand Province and Kabul.

During Hertz’s 13 month deployment to Afghanistan, there was not a single rocket attack on Camp Bastion. This has been directly attributed to Hertz’s ability to locate PEDs being used by Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces to transmit and receive intelligence.

The PDSA says of Hertz;

His work was vital to ensure the safety of all the personnel working there, both locals and military. It is difficult to truly estimate how many lives he saved through his actions.

When WO Tanner’s deployment ended, Hertz was handed off to Corporal Simon Dack. The dog’s natural talents and great training meant that even with a change in handlers, he continued to perform his most excellent service.

Dickin Medal

On the receipt of the Dickin Medal, WO Tanner said, “For a military working dog that I have trained and handled to be recognised in this way is fantastic. At no point during the training process or our operational deployment did I expect or even suspect that Hertz would be acknowledged on the global stage by the PDSA.”

Hertz found hundreds of items of contraband during his time in Afghanistan. Many of the electronic devices he seized had actionable information on them, protecting British and coalition forces wherever he went.

Hertz is now 10 years old. He’s now retired. He lives in Surrey with his new owner Paul Chard. Chard says the old war dog is enjoying his retirement and likes walks along the beach. Chard says, “If I take him to somebody’s house where he’s never been he’ll go around sniffing everywhere.”

It proves the old saying is true. You can take the dog out of the fight, but you can’t take the fight out of the dog.

Category: Afghanistan, Air Force, UK and Commonwealth Awards, Valor

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He would be handy to have to help locate my cell phone when nobody is around to call it and help me find it.

Who’s a good boy.


Probably can help you keep up with the Tee Vee Remote too, Odie. Hertz is a Good Boy! Bet his rations are a step up from Bully Beef and Tea.

Great write up, Mason. Lubs me some stories of Fur Clad, four legged Warriors. Thanks! 🐕

jeff LPH 3 63-66

A MEGA bz to HERTZ,.

As I’ve mentioned in the past about my talking dog who was also a mathmatics expert. So one day I asked my dog what is 2 minus 2 and the dog said nothing.


Nice. I hope he enjoys retirement, maybe do a lil quail hunting, fish for leaves in puddles?

I hope he finds all the best sticks too!


On a parallel note

Last weekend my 12 year old son and I did something we hadn’t done in over two years due to the Pandemic.

We had boarded our dog for a couple days as we went out of town where we couldn’t bring our housewolf. As we had some time to kill because we couldn’t bail him out until after 1630

So we went to the local multi-plex and caught the 1400 showing of DOG. Other than some nonsense about expired CAC cards it wasn’t too bad. My son gave it 10 out of 10.

Lulu had a Purple Heart.


Thanks again, Mason.


Ol’ Poe thinks the medal should be doggie-biscuit shaped…


Thank You, Mason, again, for sharing another story of Valor.

Heinz is a way better Sniffer than Ole Joey, AKA POTUS…😉😎