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Lance Cpl. Preston Ford, military working dog handler, K-9 Unit, Provost Marshal's Office, went on the board to become part of the K-9 unit two days after coming to his first duty station in Twentynine Palms. Ford wanted to be part of K-9 so he could start his own dog training business after his service in the Marine Corps.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd

What I’ve Learned: Lance Cpl. Preston Ford

4 Nov 2015 | Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd 10th Marine Regiment

Military working dog handler, Military Working Dog Section, Provost Marshal’s Office.

Age: 20

Hometown: Newton, Kansas .

Lance Cpl. Preston Ford, military working dog handler, Military Working Dog Section, Provost Marshal's Office, went on the board to become part of the K-9 unit two days after coming to his first duty station in Twentynine Palms. Ford wanted to be part of K-9 so he could start his own dog training business after his service in the Marine Corps.

I grew up on a wheat farm as a kid. My brother and I worked on the farm growing up. One day, my brother called me and asked if I wanted to join the Marine Corps. I had nothing else going on that afternoon so I said “yeah.”

I decided to be [military police] because growing up my dad worked in law enforcement. He was also part of K-9.

I also wanted to be K-9 so that I could train dogs after I get out of the Marine Corps. K-9 gave me a head start with that dream.

After going through the basic military police school I was given my orders to Twentynine Palms. None of the instructors knew anything about the base so I didn’t know really what to expect. Turns out it’s not that bad of a place once you get here.

On my second day here, I was still checking in. I was told that they told me that there was a K-9 board was coming up. There was a spot open and I made it.

I just got back from the school for K-9 and I realize how blessed I had been for the opportunity. Not to mention, I had the opportunity to be part of the very thing I wanted to do so soon.

I like dogs because they don’t lie to you. There is an unconditional love with dogs. They will have your back and you become a team. There is also a great deal of jobs available once you get out of the military in K-9 training.

The thing about K-9 is that no one can learn everything about K-9. If you own a truck you will eventually learn everything about that truck, but no two dogs are the same. They each have their own personality. Every day there is something new to learn in this job-field.

The fact that no two days in K-9 are going to be the same keeps me motivated. We do the same training but that is it; every day is something new.

Being in K-9 is like being part of a small family. The people in K-9 helped me in many ways getting started with college and my engagement.

We train our dogs to perform to the standard of a real-life situation. We challenge ourselves and our dogs so that we will be prepared when the time comes.

One of the biggest reasons for pushing ourselves the way we do is because people hiding drugs are going to do whatever they can to hide them from us.

At the end of the day, I love being part of K-9. There is a saying “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” That statement is true for me.

My dream is to settle down and train dogs on a farm. I want to start my own business as a basic obedience trainer.


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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms