Army crews may love to christened their weapons with all kinds of names, but this one may be the scariest — and most lethal — name we've seen yet.
The 1st Armored Division on Saturday shared a photo to Twitter of the name 'coronavirus' emblazoned on the 155 mm gun of an M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzer:
We’re taking preventative measures in the field as we continue to train and protect the safety of our Soldiers and Leaders.
— 1st Armored Division (@1stArmoredDiv) March 14, 2020
Given that the Army's armor crews just love to embrace names that inspire terror in the enemy — from Chuck Norris to Baby Yoda, among other colorful contributions to the genre — it was only a matter of time until some crafty artillery soldier with a dark sense of humor decided to slap a tribute to COVID-19 on a big gun.
And it is kind of dark! According to the latest figures assessed to the New York Times, the coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 5,736 people and sickened more than 153,100 others around the world. Globally, the disease has a 3.4 percent death rate, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated at a press briefing, a rate that's higher than the seasonal flu (0.1) and even the Spanish flu pandemic (2 to 3 percent). It's a damn serious pandemic that's thrown the entire U.S. military, not to mention the entire world, on high alert, not a punchline for barracks banter.
Anyway. We salute you, 1st AD, for your surly howitzer name. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your face while operating!
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