Is it just us or when someone says “baddest vehicles” do you think military, too? Let’s face it, Chargers and Super Duty’s are tough street vehicles, but they pale in comparison to a military-grade rig. Those in the armed forces face some very harsh terrains that our domestic cars and trucks simply can’t handle. Sure, a lifted Super Duty built to the hilt looks as tough as The Rock. But when caught in the middle of a combat zone, would you rather have that or the armored Marauder complete with night vision and mine protection? That’s what we thought. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a short list of some of the most influential, and frankly baddest military vehicles throughout history.
When stacked up against today’s war rigs, the Willys Jeep may seem out of place. But, indeed, this ride was the trusted vehicle of many soldiers throughout World War II. The quarter-ton 4×4 was tough as nails, easily adaptable, and reliable to boot. Qualities any military personnel would appreciate.
To this day, it is still one of the most recognizable vehicles on the planet—a trait that is likely due to its legacy of excellent service and capability during such a defining moment in history. That kind of staying power alone makes it one of the baddest military vehicles we’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
M1009 CUCV Blazer
If the Willy’s Jeep is a war-born hero, the Blazer is one tough civilian-drafted SOB. The military-grade Blazer wasn’t the same as those sold to the general public. In fact, it wasn’t even called a Blazer, but rather the M1009 Commercial Utility Cargo Vehicle (CUCV).
Granted, its active duty was a bit limited, with model years only ranging from 1984-87, but the diesel-powered drivetrain combined with one of the toughest truck platforms America can offer make it worthy of mention. Besides, with a 1200-lb payload capacity and the toughest springs GM had to offer, the rugged and ex-military utilitarianism of the M1009 makes it an ideal overlander or Doomsday-prep vehicle. Whichever suits your tastes.
Around the same time that the military adopted the Blazer, a true legend was brought aboard. The Humvee might be the most iconic military vehicle of all time. After getting its feet wet in Panama in 1989, the US military has yet to let the Humvee take leave.
This monster boasts responsibility for the safe transport of thousands of troops (and counting). It’s equally safe to say that this rig has been the right hand of many of our proud veterans, easily making it one of the baddest military vehicles on this list.
We can’t run through our list without mentioning some of the most over-the-top rigs ever used in combat. Weighing in at over 10 tons, the Paramount Marauder might just be the most intense machine on wheels. It debuted in 2007 in South Africa as an urban-based combat vehicle capable of carrying over ten soldiers through a combat zone. Though it has yet to be adopted by the US military, the Marauder has made appearances across Africa, Eurasia, and the Middle East.
As if war doesn’t present enough traditional threats, soldiers have to look out for the presence of mines during transports and reconnaissance. The Husky Vehicle Mounted Mine Detector (VMMD) is a blast-proof vehicle used by the military for mine detection and route clearance. Previously given the nickname, Chubby, the original Husky VMMD was developed in the 1970s in South Africa.
Modern versions use ground-penetrating radar to detect buried explosives—both metal and nonmetal. And some models can reach speeds of close to 45mph. Not bad for a Mad Max-looking beast that weighs over 18,000 lbs.
Baddest Military Drivers
While ogling over the baddest military vehicles is a fun way to pass the time, so is getting to know the brave men and women who operate these insane rigs. It wasn’t long ago that our nation was shaken by the events of 9/11. We must never forget those people who continuously put their lives on the line to make sure our nation will survive being shaken by the hands of terrorism. So, get out there and say thanks. Find a small way to give back this 9/11 Anniversary to the men and women who keep us safe. And to all the veterans, we may not be able to reach through the screen and shake your hand but from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.