'Shakey the Pig' helps boost morale for 36th MUNS

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Shakey the Pig, the 36th Munitions Squadron mascot, wanders around his cage on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, June 21, 2013. The original mascot of the 36th MUNS was found in 1957 when a couple of Airmen caught him as a piglet. The current Shakey has been the mascot for three years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Robert Hicks)
Shakey the Pig, the 36th Munitions Squadron mascot, wanders around his cage on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, June 21, 2013. The original mascot of the 36th MUNS was found in 1957 when a couple of Airmen caught him as a piglet. The current Shakey has been the mascot for three years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Robert Hicks)

'Shakey the Pig' helps boost morale for 36th MUNS

by: Senior Airman Robert Hicks | .
36th Wing Public Affairs | .
published: June 25, 2013

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam  -- The Air Force's standards have evolved into what they are today, but for the past 56 years there's always one member from the 36th Munitions Squadron who gets away with a 40-inch waist, five inches of scruff and sleeping during work hours.

Inside the, igloo-shaped dog house, sits a boar named "Shakey the Pig," the 36th MUNS mascot. The original mascot was found in 1957 when a couple of Airmen caught him as a piglet and named him Shakey. He got his name because he would get nervous and shake whenever people came into his field of vision.

"When they first caught Shakey and released him around the dorms, the Airman on bay orderly would look after and feed him during the day and the rest of the ammo Airmen would look after him at night," said Airman 1st Class Steven Skotarczak, 36th MUNS storage specialist. "Sometimes the Airman would even go as far as letting him sleep in their room."

The boar's stay in the dorms was short-lived as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services on Andersen intervened and forced them to get a permit to keep Shakey as a pet.

The 36th MUNS has had the current Shakey the Pig for the past three years and the Airmen don't hesitate to walk to his cage and interact with him.

"Having Shakey around is a true morale booster," Skotarczak said. "Whether it's just looking over at the cage on the way to work or going into his pen and feeding him apples and bananas, he brightens my day."

Shakey is cared for by his fellow ammo Airmen and given medical care by the base veterinary clinic a few times a year. During the visit, the veterinarian checks the boars overall health, his body for any sores or lacerations and cleanliness of the cage.

The longest living Shakey the Pig was the first, who lived for 11 years and died of old age in 1968. After one boar dies, the Airmen go out and catch another Shakey and initiate him into the munitions family by following FWS regulations and a veterinarian visit.

Although no one really knows how many Shakey's there have been, the munitions Airmen believe it has been between 10 or 12.

"The squadron is proud to have Shakey as our mascot," said Capt. Ruben Ligsay, 36th MUNS Materiel Flight commander. "He provides the squadron with a unique identity and is an entity to rally behind."

For the 36th MUNS, Shakey the Pig is more than just a boar; he's a morale raiser and most importantly a part of the ammo family.

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