33 US Military Trivia Facts That’ll Surprise You

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1555th Parachute Infantry Battalion

The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion was an all-black airborne unit. Instead of overseas deployment, they fought wildfires started by Japanese balloon bombs on the US west coast. The "Triple Nickles" parachuted directly into affected areas for half the fires they fought.


2. The US military has never banned the use of napalm on military targets away from civilian areas and still has a type of bomb very similar to napalm called the Mark 77 that has been used in both Iraq and Afghanistan.


3. Only 9 US military officers have held the 5-star rank. It was created during WW2 because US officers were often commanding allied officers of higher rank. A 5-star officer cannot retire and remains on active duty for life. It was retired in 1981 on the death of General Omar Bradley.


4. The US Military still uses 8-inch floppy disks on outdated IBM computers to run the nuclear missile systems. It's because they are incredibly hard to hack. The computers are essentially air-gapped and the old IBM computers are reliable. They could run for another 40 years with spare parts.


5. The US military developed special cold weather boots called Bunny Boots which feature a full inch of wool lining. Each boot weighs 1.5kg and they can be used in -58°C temperatures.


6761st Tank battalion

The 761st Tank battalion was made up of almost completely African-American tankers. It was considered one of the best tank units of the war and held 1 Medal of Honor winner, 11 Silver Stars, and 300 Purple Hearts.


7. The worst breach (Operation Buckshot Yankee) of U.S. military computers in history happened when someone picked up a memory stick they found in the parking lot and plugged it into their computer, which was attached to United States Central Command.


8. Fentanyl lollipops are used in the US military to treat combat casualties. They are taped to the victim's finger so that, once sedated, they let the lollipop fall from their mouth to reduce the chance of overdoses.


9. In 1963, the US Military created an artificial ring around the Earth, in order to serve as a man-made ionosphere. The ring was made of copper needles and was used for worldwide communications in the case that the Soviets disabled all other methods of communication.


10. The US military considers suicide to be a crime, and service members have been sent to prison for attempted suicide.


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11SADM

The US military had a backpack nuke (S.A.D.M.) that could be carried by a single person.


12. During World War 2, the US military developed a chocolate bar designed for difficult climates. The treat was Dubbed “Hitler’s secret weapon” by troops for its taste and difficulty digesting.


13. In 2003, the U.S. military planned to attach caged chickens to the top of their Hum-Vees as they entered Iraq, to act as an early warning system to any dangerous chemicals or nerve agents. The operation was dubbed Operation Kuwaiti Field Chicken (KFC).


14. Every branch of the US military has a "Hollywood Liason Office" to coordinate cooperation with film and TV shows to "to accurately depict military stories and make sure sensitive information isn’t disclosed."


15. The US military accidentally bombed Boise City, Oklahoma in 1943 and the city erected a memorial 50 years later to mark the event.


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16Enter Sandman

The US military would play Enter Sandman for hours on end to aid in the interrogation and torture of prisoners. Asked about this, Metallica's James Hetfield responded "We've been punishing our parents, our wives, our loved ones with this music forever. Why should the Iraqis be any different?"


17. During World War 2, the US 4th Infantry Division used Comanche Code Talkers in Europe. In their code substitution, the word for the tank was “turtle,” for bomber “pregnant airplane,” for machine gun “sewing machine,” and for Adolf Hitler “crazy white man.”


18. Camp Century was a top-secret US military base built under the ice sheets of Greenland in 1960 to house missiles. Built under the cover of climate research, it housed 200 people and was powered by the world’s first portable nuclear reactor. Denmark didn’t uncover the base’s existence until 1995.


19. On February 24, 1942, the US Military ordered a total blackout of Los Angeles and fired 1,400 anti-air artillery and thousands of .50 caliber shots at a hovering object for 1 hour.


20. In 1968, the US army accidentally killed 6,000 sheep on ranch land north of its biological and chemical weapons testing facility known as the Dugway Proving Ground. The Skull Valley Sheep Kill - as it came to be known, was caused by the open-air testing of a highly toxic nerve agent "VX".


21US military

In the 60s, the US military secretly sprayed (possibly radioactive) experimental chemicals, like zinc cadmium, on thousands of residents of poor neighborhoods in St. Louis, without their knowledge or consent, to see what would happen.


22. The US military in World War 2 painted special paint on jeeps. The paint’s purpose was to protect against chemical weapons attacks. It’s called “M5 liquid vesicant detector paint.”


23. In the 1950s, the US military secretly dropped millions of mosquitoes onto populated areas of Georgia and Florida while testing the feasibility of "Entomological Warfare."


24. The US Military used to play a creepy ghost recording, called the Wandering Soul, over loudspeakers in Vietnam to scare enemy soldiers.


25. The US Military designed a laser rifle called the PHASR rifle, which disorients and temporarily blinds the target. It also looks like the Storm Rifle in Halo 4.

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