The United States military has a long history of utilizing proven civilian vehicle designs and upfitting them for military use. While the original CJ (Civilian Jeep) was based on a military vehicle, and today's Wrangler is little more than an evolution of those first Jeeps. All has come full circle, it seems, with the Hendrick Dynamics Commando returning the civilian Jeep to military duty.
Off-Road.com has published an interesting and in-depth article on the development of the Hendrick Commando. The vehicle has a lot of unique features designed to let the Jeep fit the big empty slot between the HMMWV (Humvee) and the militarized UTV (side-by-side) in terms of both size and capability. From utilizing a 2.8-liter CRD diesel for foreign-market JKs (modified to run standard JP8 military jet fuel) to upfitting with lift/tie-down points, a stout roll cage, a winch, and gun mounts, Jeep was a big help in making this COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) vehicle a military reality:
First off, Jeep was a big partner in it with us; they really do take their support of the military and their heritage seriously, so when we reached out to them that we needed diesel-engine Jeeps here in the US they made that possible out of Toledo, Ohio. It’s kind of wild – it’s the same factory that was building military Jeeps starting back in 1941, that same place is putting out military Jeeps for that program, which is pretty neat, so Jeep was a big help. -Marshall Carlson, GM of Hendrick DynamicsFor more pictures of the Hendricks Commando exhibition at the 2015 Moab Easter Jeep Safari, head on over to Off-Road.com's story.
It’s a really great success story, the vehicle has performed flawlessly with no issues at all. Really good feedback. It started with [the military] really reaching out to industry to solve a problem that traditional defense contractors weren’t able to figure out. -Marshall Carlson, GM of Hendrick Dynamics