French police confirmed on Twitter at 0420ET this morning that they lost one of their finest, K9 “Diesel”.

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Special purpose dogs have been a critical component for police and military work in the current war on terror. These dogs are some of the bravest animals on the planet.

One of my close friends and Navy SEAL teammate’s, Mike Ritland of Trikos International, trains these amazing dogs and once told me a story about how he selects the best dogs, only the top 1%, for these units.

After screening hundreds of dogs, he takes a handful for final selection, and still only a few of those make it past his final exam. The last test is a situation where the dog is stressed to the point of complete exhaustion, then the K9 is put in a life ending situation where the animal is clear that death is imminent, then released.

Three things will happen at this point. The dog will either go neutral, run away, or come right back into the fight. Mike only selects that do the latter. “This is a dog that has heart, and will give his all to his handler”, says Mike.

That is Diesel.