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The term “Devil Dog” was given to the Marines commanded by General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing at the Battle of Belleau Wood on 6 June 1918 by engaging the Germans in hand-to-hand combat. The battle was so intense that some of the marines had lost their weapons and resorted to biting the Germans. As a result of the tenacity of the marines, the German adversaries called the marines “Teufelhunde” which literally means “Dogs of the Devil”. This term is now known as “Devil Dogs”.
The Military Order of the Devil Dog (MODD) was organized in 1939, in Boston, MA. The charter as a subsidiary organization of the Marine Corps League occurred on 19 March 1940. The MODD is organized in nearly every state where the Marine Corps League has a presence.
The MODD is the Fun and Honor Society of the Marine Corps League is comprised of only regular members of the League who have been recommended for membership by two members of the MODD. Each member undergoes a series of initiations. First as a Pup, in their Pound (the local organization), then as a Devil Dog in their Pack (the State organization), and finally as a Pedigreed Devil Dog at the Supreme Growl held in conjunction with the National Convention of the League. Each degree must be held for one full year before candidacy for the next degree may be considered. Advancement is not automatic after one year, it must be earned, it is a privilege, NOT a right.
The MODD promotes good fellowship amongst the members of the different Marine Corps League Detachments. It provides amusement and entertainment at all gatherings of the League, when and where advisable, preserves and strengths the principles and ideals of the League, and maintains true allegiance to the United States of America and its Constitution and laws. The MODD is very active in raising funds for different charities with an emphasis on children's charities.