More than eleven hundred dogs served in Vietnam as part of the United States Armed Forces. Working alongside members of all branches of service, these canine soldiers filled vital roles in the campaign in Southeast Asia. Despite their numbers and heroics, the history of the dogs and the servicemen who worked with them is relatively unknown, even among the dog handlers themselves. Even before American troops were formally committed in Vietnam, military advisors to the region recognized the usefulness and importance of military working dogs. As early as 1960 American scout and sentry dogs were introduced in South Vietnam to assist the Army of the Republic of Vietnam in protecting their military installations as well as in searching for the Vietcong and soldiers of the North Vietnamese Army. Utilizing dogs that had been left behind by the French, U.S. Air Force personnel established the Army Republic of Vietnam dog program.