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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We Are The Mighty (WATM) is dedicated to serving the military community with authentic entertainment and original content. With a team of military veterans and civilian military supporters, WATM features premium original and curated video programming of all genres as well as photography, stories, quizzes, lists and much more. For more, visit the We Are the Mighty site.

Arnold: Joining the Military is ‘Ballsy’

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Former California governor and Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger is speaking out about the killing of Cecil the lion, a beloved cat from Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Cecil was lured from the park on July 1st and killed, beheaded and skinned by Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer. The news has set off an online firestorm and now Palmer is under siege: the Zimbabwean government has asked the U.S. government to extradite him to face charges in Africa. +Continue Reading

Rebecca Ferguson Explains Why You Should See ‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’

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Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation opens this Friday in theaters. We’ve already seen video of Tom Cruise’s incredible stunt work in the picture. Today, costar Rebecca Ferguson talks to us about her role in MI5.

In the new movie, Ethan Hunt and his crew realize that a shadow organization has matched its skills and plans to destroy the IMF. Alec Baldwin plays the head of the CIA who simultaneously wants to shut down operations and Cruise must save the world and the IMF all at the same time.

Ferguson hails from Sweden and got her start in English-language productions as Queen Elizabeth in the BBC series The White Queen and has played Ergenia in Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules. She spoke with us in late April when visiting the USA to promote the new movie.

You had a big part in Hercules last summer, but Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is your first Hollywood movie set in modern times. Tell us about your character in the film.

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is about the team trying to neutralize the Syndicate, who themselves are trying to destroy the IMF.

We meet my character in a dungeon where Ethan Hunt is in a tight spot. She is a disavowed British agent, undercover and ruthless. We find out that Ethan Hunt and Ilsa fight very well together. They move as if they’ve never done anything else better than that.

She joins Ethan and the team for an incredible mission to break down the Syndicate. She’s sort of Ethan Hunt’s equal and matches him in skill.

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Talk about the fight scenes.

Well, it took some training to be able to create that. I think we trained for about a month and a half, up to two months before shooting. I was training five, six hours a day, six days a week, to be able to handle these incredible fighting moves. And it was all from holding our breath under water and I had far to go to be able to handle that. It was kind of intense.

Your costar, Tom Cruise, has always had a reputation as a guy who wanted to do as many as his own stunts as possible.

You know what, I don’t think actually wanted to. I think he’s famous for actually doing it. This man does all his stunts. So it was challenging and fun to work and see him in action because it made me feel that it’s possible. I mean if you have a great team and you feel supported and you feel safe, it’s just passing that threshold of fear. And doing it.

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This movie was directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who worked with Tom on “Jack Reacher.”

I was beautiful, the way that Tom and Chris worked together, because they’ve had years of friendship and collaboration, it just works the way they think and they talk. They help each other end sentences. Then you bring in Wade Eastwood, who is the stunt coordinator, and he breaks it down to reality and makes it as authentic as possible. And then they just train us to be able to do it. It works beautifully.

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What did you enjoy about working on this film?

What I loved was trying to find that specific way of fighting for my character. Tom as Ethan Hunt has his own way of fighting. It’s just not falling into each other’s movements, you want to be able to stand out and find your own movements. That was so much fun creating it for my character. I mean she’s not as tall and strong as these other guys, so she has to be quick and smart and she’ll use momentum and motion to be able to jump up around the neck and wrap her legs around and quickly break their necks. We did that with Pilates and regular training and stunts. Tthere’s so much that goes into it. For me, it’s a dance, because I’ve danced quite a lot. I use a lot of dance motions to be able to make it graceful as well.

What’s up next for you?

My next film is going to be Florence Foster Jenkins and it’s opposite Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant. Directed by Stephen Frears. So that’s like an 180 turn from high action to 1940’s story about an opera singer who can’t sing.

The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

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Director Michael Bay plans to get right into the middle of the 2016 elections with the release of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, which hits theaters on January 15th, 2 1/2 weeks before the Iowa Caucus.

The movie is based on Mitchell Zuckoff’s book Thirteen Hours: A Firsthand Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi, a moment-by-moment account beloved by Washington types who believe the CIA order the security officers to “stand down” during the crisis.

Bay, who gets a lot of flak from critics for action pictures like Transformers: Age of Extinction and Pain & Gain, isn’t known for taking on highly-charged political topics in his movies but Paramount has decided to release 13 Hours on the same January weekend that’s proved so successful for military-themed movies like Zero Dark Thirty, Lone Survivor and American Sniper.

The movie details the story of the private contractors hired to protect State Department personnel during the September 11, 2012 attacks on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

Bay gets into the political thriller game with Jim and Roy from The Office (John Krasinski and David Denman) in lead roles. The film also stars Max Martini (Saving Private Ryan, Captain Phillips) Pablo Schreiber (The Wire, Orange is the New Black), Toby Stephens (Black Sails, Die Another Day) and James Badge Dale (The Pacific).

Check out the trailer below and let us know if you plan to see 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.

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The Pentagon has long insisted that its recruiting centers around the country be staffed by unarmed men and women, mostly to create what that brass believes is a welcoming environment for potential recruits and partially to short-circuit theories that the military is secretly planning a domestic takeover. +Continue Reading

Sound Off: Should Jade Helm Conspiracy Theorists Apologize to the Troops?

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We’re a couple of weeks into the Jade Helm 15 military exercises in Texas and no citizens have been rounded up, no guns have been seized, no one’s been shackled inside a train car, no abandoned Walmarts have been pressed into service and President Obama has not declared martial law. +Continue Reading

Review: Cambridge Audio G2 Bluetooth Speaker

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The Cambridge Audio G2 advertises itself as a mini portable bluetooth speaker. While it may be just a bit large to be called mini, it represents a real effort from the manufacturer to create a smaller, more portable and sturdier speaker without sacrificing too much in the audio quality department. +Continue Reading

Casting Call for American Military Families

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Does your military family need a helping hand? Do you know a military family who needs support? Leftfield Entertainment, the production company who brought you Pawn Stars, American Restoration and Counting Cars, is casting a new “major broadcast network” show that’s “dedicated to thanking American Military families across the country for their service, while showcasing the brotherhood that makes our armed forces the finest in the world.” +Continue Reading

6 Pieces of Gear You Won’t Believe the Military Used

BY DAVID NYE — WEARETHEMIGHTY​.COM

Military budgets can contain some surprising items. These six pieces of gear probably raised some eyebrows when they were purchased. +Continue Reading

One Newspaper’s Spectacular Nazi Cremation Fail

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The Millard Family Funeral Chapels in Missouri just wanted to advertise its cremation services with an image of a soldier and asked the Jefferson City News Tribune to create an advertisement that highlighted its “cremation with integrity.”

Some low-level employee in the advertising department puts “soldier” in the search engine for their photo service and randomly picks a guy in a helmet, a guy who turns out to be a German Nazi soldier from World War II. +Continue Reading