By Lauren Piette
From videos that make us laugh out loud to those that make us want to get up and dance, watching viral videos continues to be internet frequenters and the military member’s favorite pastime. Long replacing television and movies as the center of conversation, videos and posts on social media can’t help but captivate us. Right now, all eyes are on the military’s latest internet sensation — the Fort Bragg 82nd Airborne.

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Don’t Fear! The Cape Fear River Trail Is the Perfect Outdoor Rec Spot Earlier this month, a video dropped on TikTok showing members of Fort Bragg’s 82nd Airborne Division’s Chorus singing “My Girl” on one of Fort Bragg’s drop zones. Currently, it has 536k views on TikTok and over 6.5 million views on the 82nd Airborne Division Association’s Facebook page. [embed]https://www.tiktok.com/@karalhall/video/7085873968174927147?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1[/embed] In honor of this month’s viral sensation, we’re going to take a closer look at the Fort Bragg 82nd Airborne videos and social posts that have broken the internet and remain permanently etched in our minds.

A Bit About the Army’s Fort Bragg 82nd Airborne Division

The Army’s 82nd Airborne Division is an active airborne infantry division that specializes in joint forcible entry operations. The division was constituted in the Army on August 5, 1917, shortly after World War I began. Since its organization in 1917, the 82nd Airborne Division has participated in nearly every major U.S. military campaign. Based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the 82nd Airborne Division is the primary fighting force of the XVIII Airborne Corps. This elite division of soldiers conducts forcible entry parachute assaults and key military operations and can deploy in just 18 hours' notice. Every month, there are roughly 10,000 training jumps conducted by those stationed on post.

Jump Videos

Taking the top video popularity spot are the Fort Bragg 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers, as viewers just can’t seem to get enough of seeing these daring Soldiers in action.

“Paratroopers Static Line Jump From C-17”

With more than 247.95 million views on the YouTube channel AiirSource Military, this video, published in 2016, shows paratroopers from the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division performing static jumps from a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft over the Fort Bragg Sicily Drop Zone.

“82nd Airborne Over Fort Bragg”

Coming in second, with over 6 million views on YouTube, is a 2014 video of 82nd Airborne members jumping out of C-17 and C-130 aircraft over Fort Bragg. Shot by Senior Airman Brandi Hansen and Master Sgt. Pedro Jimenez, the video shows several training jumps and breaks down the phases from loading the aircraft to landing with a parachute.

“Large Package Week”

This jump video shows the 3rd Brigade Combat Team jumping from a C-130 aircraft during a joint 82nd Airborne and Air Force training exercise. Shot in 2016, this video has over 3.2 million views on Facebook. Some other noteworthy viral jump videos include the video of female 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers jumping from a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft with over 5.4 million views, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team conducting an airborne operation with NATO counterparts with 2.3 million views, and the “Knees in the Breeze” Facebook video with 2.2 million views.

Running Cadence

On March 4, 2019, the 82nd Airborne Division released the video, “Here We Go, Get Motivated” on their Facebook page. The video shows a compilation of Soldiers running to classic Army cadences and has gained 1.9 million views.

The Boot Run

Since 2014, Fort Bragg Gold Star family members have been lining Hedrick Stadium with thousands of combat boots in honor of their loved ones. Each boot represents a service member who has passed since 9/11/2001. This display has become a permanent background to Fort Bragg’s “Run, Honor, and Remember” 5k Run and Walk, gaining over 2 million views on the 18th Airborne Corps’ Facebook page.

Controversial Social Media Posts and Videos

Not all of Fort Bragg’s 82nd Airborne Division videos have been well received by the Army. In August of 2020, Army Lt. Nathan Freihofer was placed under investigation for making anti-semitic remarks and jokes while in uniform. That same year, a member of Fort Bragg’s 18th Airborne Corps posted a TikTok video of himself drinking cranberry juice and singing the Fleetwood Mac “Dreams” song during a practice jump. The trend began after Nathan Apodaca, a man from Idaho, posted a TikTok video of himself drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice while skateboarding to Fleetwood Mac. However, the Army wasn’t a fan of the paratrooper’s recreation of the trend, and an investigation was promptly started.

That’s a Wrap

With the year only halfway over, there’s sure to be some hilarious and memorable content from the Fort Bragg 82nd Airborne on the horizon, so keep your eyes peeled for their next viral video moment. We hope that you’ve enjoyed walking down memory lane and revisiting these viral videos with us.

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