Under the Radar

The 15 Coolest Unit Nicknames in the US Military

BY ORVELIN VALLE — WEARETHEMIGHTY​.COM

Every unit in the military has a nickname, but some are way cooler than others. We looked around for some of the best nicknames across the military. Here’s what we found:

1. Hell On Wheels

2nd Armored Division, US Army: The 2nd Armored Division was active from 1940 to 1995 and was once commanded by Gen. Patton. It played an important role during World War II and was deactivated shortly after the Gulf War. Gen. Patton gave the unit the nickname after witnessing its maneuvers in 1941.

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2. Old Iron Sides

1st Armored Division, US Army: The “Old Ironsides” nickname was given by Maj. Gen. Bruce R. Magruder after Gen. Patton named his division “Hell on Wheels.” Feeling that his division should have an awesome nickname too, Magruder announced a contest to find a suitable name before settling on “Old Ironsides,” as an homage to the famous Navy warship.

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3. Bloody Bucket

28th Infantry Division, US Army: Originally nicknamed “Keystone Division,” the unit acquired the nickname “Bloody Bucket” by German forces during World War II because the red keystone patch resembled a bucket.

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4. Red Bull

34th Infantry Division, US Army: This National Guard unit participated in World War I and World War II and was deactivated in 1945. It was once again activated in 1991 and since 2001 its soldiers have served in Afghanistan, Iraq and homeland security operations.

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5. Yellow Jackets

Electronic Attack Squadron 138 (VAQ-138), US Navy: This EA-18G Growler squadron based out of Whidbey Island, WA has a fitting name for what it does. It buzzes adversaries with electronic attacks rendering them useless.

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6. Gunslingers

Strike Fighter Squadron 105 (VFA-105), US Navy: This squadron was originally commissioned in 1952 as the “Mad Dogs” and was decommissioned in 1959. It was recommissioned as the “Gunslingers” in 1969 to participate in combat operations in the Gulf of Tonkin and has remained active ever since.

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7. Diamondbacks

Strike Fighter Squadron 102 (VFA-102), US Navy: Based out of NAF Atsugi, Japan, the Diamondbacks are attached to Carrier Air Wing 5 and deploys aboard the USS George Washington (CVN-73).

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8. Bounty Hunters

Strike Fighter Squadron 2 (VFA-2), US Navy: Based out of Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA, this F/A-18F Super Hornet Squadron is attached to Carrier Air Wing 2 and deploys aboard the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).

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9. The Professionals

2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, U.S. Marine Corps: Based out of Camp Pendleton, CA, this infantry battalion consists of about 1000 Marines and sailors.

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10. Betio Bastards

3rd Battalion 2nd Marines, US Marine Corps: Based out of Camp Lejeune, NC, this infantry battalion has about 800 Marines and sailors.

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11. Destroyers

2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, US Marine Corps: Based out of Camp Lejeune, NC, this battalion’s primary weapon is the 8-wheeled LAV-25.

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12. Magnificent Bastards

2nd Battalion, 4the Marines, U.S. Marine Corps: Based out of Camp Pendleton, CA, this infantry battalion has about 1,100 Marines and sailors.

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13. Kickin’ Ass

148 Fighter Squadron, US Air Force: Based out of Tucson Air National Guard Base, AZ, this F-16A/B Fighting Falcon squadron’s main role is to train foreign military pilots.

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14. Headhunters

80th Fighter Squadron, US Air Force: Based out of Kunsan Air Force Base, South Korea, this F-16 Fighting Falcon squadron has served in operations in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

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15. Rocketeers

336th Fighter Squadron, US Air Force: Based out of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC, the “Rocketeers played key roles during Operation Desert Storm dropping more than six million pounds of ordnance on scud missile sites, bridges and airfields.

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7cc2d58a75f63dd62c48af721ef7b5af  Orvellin Valle -Social Media Editor at We Are The Mighty

Orvelin Valle is a U.S. Navy veteran who served aboard the USS Kitty Hawk with VAW-115 Liberty Bells.


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