Almost one year ago the Military Police Regimental Association Board of Directors contact James Hall of JH Creative about creating a sculpture for the Military Police Memorial Grove that would appropriately honor the critical work and contributions of military working dogs and their handlers. Hall was excited about the opportunity and was ready to get to work.
“I love working with the MPRA – they’re a dream client. They come to me with an idea and a plan for implementation. They’re always ready to take action and make the project happen,” said Hall.
After completing a series of 4-6 sketches of a German Shepherd, Hall was put in contact with Sergeant Major Timothy Timmons, HQDA Military Working Dog Program Sergeant Major, Office of the Provost Marshal General, who heads up the military working dog program for the Department of Defense. SGM Timmons provided information on the military working dog program and explained why the Belgian Malinois is now the preferred breed.
Hall was able to make a visit to Fort Leonard Wood to see the military working dogs, specifically the Belgian Malinois breed, in person. Seeing the dogs and handlers in person was eye-opening for him.
“The behavior of the animals was impressive. You can tell that they are Soldiers and professionals…they’re laser focused,” said Hall.
Military Police MWD handlers loaned Hall a dog vest, which was very exciting for Hall. He took the vest back to his shop and will use the exact measurements to ensure the sculpture is created as authentically as possible. Though the statue will be much larger than most – the military working dog will measure about five feet tall – being able to touch and feel the vest material will ensure everything is scaled to size.
Hall has created other statues in Memorial Grove, including the most recent Marechaussee on Horseback, but this is the first time Hall has created a statue for the MPRA after being able to see the subject in full uniform and in action.
Seeing the dogs and handlers in action gave Hall a vision for the project. He wanted to capture the military working dog in action and intends for the statue to represent the dedication and excitement the dogs have for their work.
“I hope that once the statue is finished, it will remind visitors of their super sharp focus on their handlers’ commands and complete commitment to the mission,” said Hall.
The statue is expected to be finished and emplaced in the grove during the first week of August. It will sit on a concrete pad about 60” wide and located to the left of the seating area in the grove on the path between the World War II MP Soldier and the Marechaussee on Horseback.