The 1st Armored Division Transformed Its M1 Abrams Tanks Into Santa’s Sleigh

The world’s only enchanted sleigh that can fight its way onto contested rooftops.

byTyler Rogoway|
M1 Abrams photo


It's that time of year! St. Nick has made his list, he has checked it twice, and is now about to set out on his annual global present-giving power projection mission. While there have been many non-magical interpretations of Santa's mass gift distribution platform, aka his sleigh and reindeer, some of the folks at the U.S. Army's 1st Armored Division looked towards the M1 Abrams main battle tank for inspiration. 

Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, whose last posting was as commander of U.S. Army Europe and who has since become a regular commentator on CNN, posted a video of the tank version of Santa's sleigh on Twitter along with the following message:

Oldest son commands a tank battalion in ⁦@1stArmoredDiv⁩ To “prepare” for the holidays, the troops had a contest to decorate their vehicles. Never saw a tank platoon replicating Santa’s sleigh before! Proud of these soldiers.

Good leaders create memories.

The design work on those M1s is really pretty well done—Rudolf's red nose and antlers and all. 

While there are bound to be some who may be taken aback by war machines being portrayed as Santa's sleigh, I would counter that they are grossly overthinking it. This type of thing is a tradition across the military, with Santa often arriving in fighter jets and armored personnel carriers to bring cheer to the children of service members in various U.S. military units. This year, in particular, where close-up events are not allowed, a display like this serves as a great holiday distraction for military families who have had a long year of COVID-19 hell. In this case, it was also a morale-builder for those in the unit themselves.

A little Christmas competition never hurt anyone.

Santa arrives to greet military families on all types of vehicles. The Air Force has a particular knack for this type of Santa reveal:


So there you have it, the world's only enchanted sleigh that can fight its way onto contested rooftops.

Merry Christmas to all of those at 1st AD!

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