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Mare Sergeant Reckless

The fascinating story of the most decorated war horse in history.

February 27, 2018

Sergeant Reckless. Photo courtesy of Robin Hutton.

When most people think of war heroes, they do not think about horses. However, Sergeant Reckless, a small mare of only 13.1 hands, was responsible for saving many lives during the Korean War.

What may have seemed like an ordinary mare to some, became the only animal to ever receive an official rank in the Marine Corps, due to her bravery. During a particularly difficult battle, Reckless made 51 trips, all by herself, to and from the battlefront where her companions were fighting and a supply point.

It was not unheard of for Reckless to commute over 30 miles in a short amount of time while transporting wounded soldiers. She often faced harsh conditions, but she never quit until her job was over. In fact, even when the little mare was injured by shrapnel, she continued delivering supplies to soldiers.

Can you imagine this incredible animal remaining calm as she walked through battlefields, guns going off all around her? Her bravery and composure is what led the Marines to accept that she was, without a doubt, one of them.

Reckless lived through the war and went on to live in the United States; she resided in California until her death in 1968.

The extraordinary mare received two purple hearts before she passed away, as well as many other awards and medals…symbols of the lives she not only touched, but saved.

If you would like to learn more about this incredible horse, I would recommend purchasing Sgt. Reckless: America’s War Horse by Robin Hutton.

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