He was a military working dog whose performance, bark and bite was unquestionable; But to his keeper Shane Marks, Mig’s greatest strength was his ability to boost morale in times of adversity.

Mig, a military working dog (MWD) from No. 3 Security Forces Squadron, served for five years and recently passed away peacefully after a short battle with illness. He was 11 years old, or 77 in human years.

The German Shepherd and veteran was well-known for supporting various exercises and operations, including exercises Black Dagger, Talisman Sabre and Operation Southern Indian Ocean at Learmonth, Western Australia.

In 2014, Mig was awarded the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Trackers and War Dog Association Medal for five years’ service to the ADF, a recognition not too many working dogs live long enough to earn.

In the same year, after acquiring several service injuries, Mr Marks retired Mig and integrated him into his home seamlessly (despite what the cats may say).

He said the passing of military working dogs normally goes unnoticed by the wider ADF community.

“Our four-legged service members are a vital part of the team, they put their life on the line to serve and protect our people. However, they are not often recognised unless killed in action.

“I’m so proud to have served by his side and have him become part of my family, although he was always family to me.

“My wife and I didn’t think he would last into 2015 but thankfully our vet helped us come up with a treatment program, he was a bit slower but he was old after all.

“Every birthday from when we got him home was a gift.

“I will always remember and honour his contribution to national security and, most importantly, my family.”

Then Aircraftman Shane Marks with Mig and the then Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin (retd). The Binskin family fostered Mig while he was a puppy before becoming a military working dog. Photo: Leading Aircraftman Scott Woodward

Throughout his working career, Mig was also fostered for six months by the former Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin (retd), who was Air Commander Australia at the time.

“He was a great pup and will always be a part of my life,” Air Chief Marshal Binskin said.

Rest in peace, mighty Mig