Not only are dogs beloved members of our families, but they are also loyal and courageous partners in our military. Here are 17 photos that show just how critical these dogs are as they serve in the U.S. military.

1. Military Working Dog Beano shows his handler some love before a training exercise. The pair “demonstrated locating explosives and aggression work amid the sounds of machine-gun fire.”

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May I Have This Dance? Source: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Aaron Diamant

2. Cpl. Chesty XIV is the official mascot of the U.S. Marines.

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Cpl. Chesty, the official mascot of the U.S. Marines. Source: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Adrian R. Rowan HQMC Combat Camera/Released

3. This Military Working Dog jumped off of a helicopter as part of a training exercise over the Gulf of Mexico.

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Military Working Dog with 10th Special Forces Group. Source: DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez, U.S. Air Force/Released (CC by 2.0)

4. Xarius, a Military Working Dog, licks his handler, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mark Bush. The two are deployed in southwest Asia.

Related: Military Working Dog Hospitalized With His Soldier
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Xarius the Military Working Dog kisses his handler. Source: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Bowcock (CC by 2.0)

5. Doc is an improvised explosive device detection dog, which means he assists with route clearance during combat.

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Doc, an improvised explosive device detection dog. Source: DoD photo by Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline, U.S. Marine Corps/Released

6. Senior Airman Chelsea LaFever smiles during training with her Military Working Dog, Zzusa.

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Military Working Dog Zzusa smiles. Source: U.S. Air force photo/Staff Sgt. Vernon Young Jr. (CC BY-NC 2.0)

7. This U.S. Army tactical explosive detection dog is training for future rescue missions.

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A pararescueman hoists into a helicopter with his U.S. Army tactical explosive detection dog. Source: DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade, U.S. Air Force/Released

8. A Military Working Dog wears his Doggles during an operation in Afghanistan.

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Doggles! Source: Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Jason Brace, 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Task Force Wolverine Public Affairs (CC BY 2.0)

9. Perro the Military Working Dog shakes paws with Spc. Morgan Chami, a human intelligence specialist.

Related: Army Veteran Given a Big a Surprise For His Dog
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Shaking hands with Perro, a Military Working Dog. Photo by Spc. Matt Kuzara (CC BY 2.0)

10. Wilbur is a Military Working Dog with a Marine special operations team. He’s pictured here taking a break from his work in Afghanistan.

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Wilbur, a U.S. Marine Corps military working dog, takes a break with his handler. Source: DoD photo by Sgt. Pete Thibodeau/Released

11. Grek the Military Working Dog waits at a safe house with his soldier before conducting an assault in Iraq.

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Military working dog Grek waits at a safe house in Iraq. Source: U.S.Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall/Released (CC BY 2.0)

12. Troops and civilians in Kandahar attended the unveiling of a war dog memorial.

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Celebrating the unveiling of the war dog memorial. Source: U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0)

13. Coot, an improvised explosive device detection dog, on security patrol with his handler in Afghanistan.

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Coot, an improvised explosive device detection dog, and his handler. Photo by Cpl. Reece Lodder (CC BY 2.0)

14. Gracie the Military Working Dog waits with her handler, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Cody Whitis.

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Gracie the Military Working Dog waiting for a flight. Source: DoD photo by Sgt. Earnest Barnes, U.S. Marine Corps/Released

15. Andy, a U.S. Army Military Working Dog, helps to search for weapons caches in Iraq.

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U.S. Army Military Working Dog Andy searches rubble in Iraq. Source: U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0)

16. Steegan the search dog was a “crucial part of the team” that was searching for improvised explosive devices in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

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Steegan the search dog working in Afghanistan. Photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Ross (CC BY 2.0)

17. Military Working Dog Kally in a night training exercise with her handler.

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Kally the K9 engages in night training with her handler. Source: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Aaron Diamant

We salute these brave K9 members of the military!

Related: Conan’s Faceoff With A Military Working Dog Will Make You Laugh

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