D-M Airman is top dog

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Lori Lemay, 355th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, poses for a photo at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., April 1, 2014. Lemay was awarded the Air Education Training Command Commander's Award for her professionalism and academic excellence during the Military Working Dog Handler course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Josh Slavin/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Lori Lemay, 355th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, poses for a photo at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., April 1, 2014. Lemay was awarded the Air Education Training Command Commander's Award for her professionalism and academic excellence during the Military Working Dog Handler course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Josh Slavin/Released)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Staff Sgt. Lori Lemay, 355th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, has accomplished a lot in the past couple months. She has had a permanent change of station to D-M from F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, and graduated from Airman Leadership School, but perhaps the most satisfying accomplishment was graduating at the top of her MWD handler class.

After being approved to cross-train from her traditional security forces job into the limited MWD career field, Lemay left to attend a 13 week course at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

"I love dogs and have always wanted to be able to work with them," said Lemay. "Really, what better partner could you possibly ask for?"

While at Lackland AFB Lemay learned obedience training, controlled aggression, and detection. To graduate from the school, the students must demonstrate hand motions and verbal commands that are used to control the dogs as well as showing how to work with them to take down and subdue threats.

Lemay excelled throughout the course earning her the AETC Commander's Award. This top honor is achieved by displaying overall professionalism and academic excellence.

"I think my most memorable story from school has to be from a controlled aggression training session," Lemay said. "I had the suit on and was running from the dog and got 'housed'. I pretty much got hit so hard I did a complete 180 with both feet straight up in the air. All of my instructors ran up and said they had never seen that happen before."

Although she had no prior experience as a dog handler Lemay has an associate's degree in law enforcement and has had the opportunity to work with MWD's and their handlers in her past assignments.

Currently, Lemay is waiting to be paired with her first four-legged partner and is excited to take on the new chapter of her career.