Can you answer these real 'Jeopardy!' questions about U.S. military history?
The United States military is a complicated organization. With echelon ranks and byzantine rules and regulations, knowing it inside and out can baffle even the most astute and interested military observers and historians—or the most talented of “Jeopardy!” contestants.
The famous quiz show, in which participants are given an answer to which they must formulate the question, has featured several military-centric questions over the years. The questions range from the sites of specific battles to the occupations of former commanders in chief and test the depth of knowledge for each contestant.
Stacker looked at recent trivia questions on the military and found an incredible array of topics to test the mettle of even the most devoted of military or trivia buffs. When the military is mentioned, it’s easy to assume the scope will be limited to battlefields. But the military’s enormous reach extends far beyond.
Those who hope to answer all the trivia questions correctly must know, for example, the specific name of the military installation in Nevada in which conspiracy theorists have long believed the military is hiding aliens. Such a question belies the enormous power and reach of the military, as a landowner and an authority, with the presumed power to control and influence seismic events.
And America’s military is often run differently from those of other countries, which offer valuable comparative insights into its unique nature. In some countries, for example, the head of the armed forces and the head of government are different positions, whereas, in the United States, they are one. In other cases, the U.S. military has been impacted by the vicissitudes of the operations and adventures of other nations.
Click through to see just how many “Jeopardy!” questions with a connection or comparison to the U.S. military you can answer.
Methodology: Stacker compiled a list of 25 questions about U.S. military history featured on the show “Jeopardy!,” using the J! Archive.
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- Clue: Despite objections from the Pentagon, on July 26, 1948, Harry Truman issued an executive order telling the military to do this.
- Category: On This Day
- Value: $2000
- Date episode aired: July 26, 2019
Answer #1: What is abolish discrimination in the armed forces?
While Truman also butted heads with some of his top military brass over decisions he made during his administration like dropping the atomic bomb, the decision Truman made on July 26, 1948 was more prosaic: Truman abolished "discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin" which lead to the armed forces being formally and officially desegregated.
[Pictured: Executive Order No. 9981, Ending military segregation, 1948.]
- Clue: Gold Beach was at the center of the five designated landing areas during this 1944 military operation.
- Category: On the Beach
- Value: $400
- Date episode aired: May 30, 2019
Answer #2: What is Operation Neptune or D-Day?
Gold Beach was the code name for the site of one of the most famous military battles of World War II: Operation Neptune, commonly known as D-Day or the invasion of Normandy. D-Day, which led to the liberation of France from Nazi Germany, left a verified 2,499 Americans dead.
[Pictured: British troops come ashore at Jig Green sector, Gold Beach, 1944.]
- Clue: The story goes that 19th century Marines wore collar protection from bayonets—hence this nickname.
- Category: Military Matters
- Value: $600
- Date episode aired: July 20, 2012
Answer #3: What are leathernecks?
Semper Fidelis, Latin for "always faithful," is the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps (often shortened to Semper Fi). As of 2017, the Marines number 182,000 active-duty soldiers with 38,500 in reserve.
[Pictured: U.S. Marines recruits train at Parris Island.]
- Clue: The Marine Military Academy in Harlingen, Texas, boasts the original plaster statue of the flag-raising here.
- Category: Statues
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: April 8, 2014
Answer #4: What is Iwo Jima?
A fierce, five-week-long engagement in the Pacific theater during WWII, the fighting in Iwo Jima centered on fortified Mount Suribachi, upon which the iconic flag-raising happened on Feb. 23, 1945. The Japanese fought nearly to the last man; U.S. Marines took only 216 prisoners from the more than 20,000-strong Japanese fighting force.
[Pictured: Iwo Jima statue in Arlington, Va., which is inspired by the original statue in Texas.]
- Clue: In 2013, the government officially said this "numeric" military facility in Nevada existed, but aliens...not yet. Not...yet.
- Category: The Western U.S.
- Value: $800
- Date episode aired: March 28, 2019
Answer #5: What is Area 51?
One of the most enduring American conspiracy theories involves the supposed presence of aliens at a remote military facility in Nevada called Homey Airport or Groom Lake, but more commonly called Area 51. While the CIA confirmed the existence of the area in 2013, the military claims the area is used for classified purposes—which only gives conspiracy theorists even more of a reason to believe life from other planets is behind the fortified walls.
[Pictured: Warning sign outside of Area 51.]2018 All rights reserved.