Thursday 19 October 2023

KRG Envoy attends Marshall Legacy Gala

Washington, DC, USA – On October 19, 2023, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Representative, Ms. Treefa Aziz, and her team attended the Marshall Legacy Gala in Washington, DC. This event celebrated the achievements of Deputy Officer Sajed Majeed from the KRG’s Ministry of Peshmerga (MoP) and dog Marschall.

In her remarks, Representative Aziz lauded Deputy Officer Majeed and Marschall as true heroes dedicated to locating and disarming explosives that pose a threat to the safety of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. Their tireless efforts have been instrumental in safeguarding countless lives.

The gala honored Deputy Officer Majeed and Marschall with the 2023 Explosive Detection Dog Team of the Year Award. Marschall, a seven-year-old Belgian Shepherd, known as the "King" of the MoP's K9 Unit, was donated by CHAMPS students at Glenelg Country School in Maryland in 2018. His impressive size and strong work ethic earned him the regal nickname.

Sajed Majeed, Marschall’s dedicated handler, has been a crucial member of the Peshmerga forces for eight years, courageously fighting against ISIS for four of those years. Their unbreakable bond and exceptional teamwork have made them the most sought-after K-9 team in Peshmerga operations.

During a critical counter-ISIS operation spearheaded by U.S. and Peshmerga Forces in May, Marschall's extraordinary capabilities were highlighted as he discovered a concealed bomb along a road, thereby saving over 50 lives. This remarkable feat earned the team a Certificate of Achievement from the U.S. Consulate in Erbil. The duo's efforts in locating explosive remnants left by ISIS have brought peace and safety to Kurdish villages in Jalal Agha, Palani, Gawra, and Khadr Jija.

The Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI), founded in 1997 by General Gordon R. Sullivan, continues the vision and legacy of Nobel Peace Laureate George C. Marshall. MLI's mission encompasses a range of projects aimed at alleviating suffering and fostering hope, growth, and stability in countries ravaged by conflict. These projects include Mine Detection Dog Programs, Survivors' Assistance, the Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS), Women's Empowerment, Inter-Ethnic Reconciliation, and Leadership Development.