JTLV Student Driver

It’s not every day you see a giant STUDENT DRIVER banner hanging across the front bumper of a half-million-dollar military vehicle. But late last month, several Marine units at Southern California’s Camp Pendleton, spend time behind the wheel of their newest vehicle, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).

According to Business Insider, students spend their first day of driver’s education in the classroom learning everything there is to know about the JLTV. After reading the manual from front to back, students got hands-on training both behind the wheel with instructors and wrenching along with side skilled mechanics. They spent time cruising White Beach, bouncing over dunes, splashing through the ocean, and dodging cones on an obstacle course.

But what is this new four-wheeled beast? The JLTV is the HMMWV’s very capable replacement. It has more ground clearance, it’s faster, more reliable, and far more versatile than the slow-moving desert tortoise it replaces. Many have called the JLTV an up-armored trophy truck, thanks to its massive wheel travel and off-road prowess.

Designed and built by Oshkosh Defense in Wisconsin, the JLTV is powered by a Banks 866T 6.6 liter diesel engine based on the popular GM Duramax L5P architecture.

Over 2,000 JLTVs are scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Army each year between 2020–36. The Marines are slated to acquire 5,500 JLTVs by 2022. Smaller quantities will also be supplied to the Air Force and Navy.

Photos by US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Alison Dostie