On May 12, 2021 at two o’ clock in the afternoon, the Department honored our DHS working animals and their handlers at the DHS Working Animal Tribute Wall Dedication Ceremony at DHS Headquarters, St. Elizabeths Campus, Washington, DC. The small but distinguished ceremony took place outside of the Center Building, South Entrance. The ceremony included a welcome by Management Directorate Chief of Staff Janene Corrado, opening remarks by The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, dedication by Randolph “Tex” Alles, Deputy Under Secretary for Management (DUSM), and remarks by Richard “Kris” Cline, Federal Protective Service (FPS) Principal Deputy Director.
The concept for the Tribute Wall was a collaboration between the Office of the Chief Readiness Support Officer (OCRSO) Assets and Logistics led Canine and Equine Governance Board (CEGB) and Facilities and Operational Support (F&OS). After six months of planning and execution, the Tribute Wall was unveiled by Secretary Mayorkas, DUSM Alles, FPS Principal Deputy Director Cline, and CRSO Chaleki. Members of the Management Directorate, law enforcement personnel, and seven hard-working canine teams joined the Department in recognizing the service of our working animals.
DHS has almost 3,000 canines that perform critical missions in agriculture, explosives, person borne, and narcotics detection in addition to a number of other important disciplines and over 300 horses with the mission to detect, track, and swiftly respond to threats and emergent situations in rugged or remote terrains. The Tribute Wall also recognizes the ultimate sacrifice of our working animals, many losing their lives in the line of duty or succumbing to illnesses.
The DHS Working Animal Tribute Wall serves as a symbol of the Department’s gratitude for the invaluable contributions of our canines and equines in helping to secure the nation from the many threats we face and furthering the Department’s goal of keeping America safe.