A hundred years ago, the first Army tanks rolled into history, and from what we’ve seen in movies and heard from those who’ve driven them, Brad Pitt was right: “Best job I ever had,” is the resounding theme.
When the United States decided it needed to join the tank community in 1917, it commissioned the building of the M1917. Of course, just like any other great idea in the military, it took time. It took so long it missed World War I. The Marines took the M1917 to China in 1927 and then came back to the US and wasn’t used again.
But the M1918, a Ford 3-Ton was the first of the light tanks designed by the United States. It was small, had one gun, could fit two men in it, and traveled at max speed of 8 mph. It was built from two Model-T engines that were both controlled by the driver, who sat in the front.
Not everyone who serves in the military gets to drive a tank, or any vehicle for that matter, but everyone can certainly appreciate them. So, what makes serving in tank company, or driving an armored vehicle so cool? It probably has a bit to do with the history behind it, the tradition surrounding it, and the future laid out in front of it.
Today, the U.S. military has so many different vehicles that are used in everyday training and combat. Some of them are tracked, some of them have wheels. Of course, we can’t leave out those that fly and float either. The history of military vehicles is lengthy, but even just the glimpse into can see why so many say, “Best job I ever had.”