25 Military Baby Names That Honor American Heroes

Are you searching for the perfect baby name?

When people think of military baby names, the first to come to mind are probably names like “Ace” and “Gunner.” But if you’re a military service member, veteran, or spouse, you probably want a baby name that truly honors the tradition of service and sacrifice. A name you can say proudly because it comes from someone who wore it that way; someone who truly made a difference. 

Here are 25 military baby names that honor our military heroes of past and present. 

 

Military Baby Names for Boys

Clinton

Meaning: Hilltop town

Clinton Romesha is a former US Army staff sergeant who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Battle of Kamdesh (Afghanistan) in 2009. He left the Army in 2011 to spend more time with his family. 


Daniel 

Meaning: God is my judge

Daniel J. Daly was a gunnery sergeant in WWI who was awarded the Medal of Honor twice. 


Desmond 

Meaning: Gracious defender

Desmond Doss was a famous WWII medic who refused to carry a gun or harm anyone in battle. During the Maeda Escarpment of Okinawa in 1945 he saved the lives of 75 American soldiers – treating his own life-threatening injuries while doing so. He subsequently received the Medal of Honor. 


Douglas

Meaning: Dark river

Douglas MacArthur was a revered WWII general who led America to victory in the Pacific theater. He also led UN troops during the Korean War. He was awarded with the Medal of Honor. 


Henry 

Meaning: Home ruler

Henry Johnson served in a black regiment known as the Harlem Hellfighters. His nickname was “Black Death.” During a raid in Argonne Forest in WWII, he rescued a fellow soldier despite suffering 21 wounds. Unfortunately, his discharge papers did not reflect his heroism, and he was later denied disability papers and his Purple Heart. His son went on to become a Tuskegee Airman. 


Jonas 

Meaning: Dove

Admiral Jonas Howard Ingram served in the US Navy during both world wars. He commanded the Atlantic Fleet in 1944 and was awarded the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, and more.


Luke 

Meaning: Light giving

Frank Luke was a WWII fighter pilot. Luke shot down 14 enemy balloons and four aircraft in a span of just nine days (and only thirty hours in the air). His plane crashed over France and he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. 


Marco 

Meaning: Mars (the Roman god of war) 

Marco Martinez received a Navy Cross for his brave actions in Operation Iraqi Freedom. When his squad leader was wounded, Martinez took control and advanced on the enemy, firing an RPG to allow a wounded Marine to be evacuated, and single-handedly assaulting the enemy building. 


Marshall 

Meaning: Love of Horses

George Marshall was a United States Secretary of State and one of the most decorated military leaders of all time. He was responsible for increasing the Army’s size from 270,000 men in 1940 to over 1,462,000 in 1941. When the war ended, there were over eight million soldiers in the Army, and more than 12 million total military service members. Marshall also helped conceive Operation Overlord — the codename for the Battle of Normandy. 


Matthew 

Meaning: Gift of God

Matthew Urban was a lieutenant colonel who earned seven Purple Hearts during WWII. He was nicknamed “The Ghost” and refused to leave his men on the battlefield, even while critically injured. 


Murphy 

Meaning: Sea warrior

Another name from WWII soldier Audie Murphy. 


Patton 

Meaning: Fighter’s town

General George S. Patton is regarded as one of the most successful US field commanders of any conflict. He was nicknamed “Old Blood-and-Guts” and was known for his brashness and hot temper. Even so, his strong leadership and self-sacrifice made him loved by his men. 


Ross 

Meaning: Headland

Ross A. McGinnis joined the Army on his 17th birthday (he had wanted to be a soldier since the age of five). In 2006, while patrolling in eastern Baghdad, a grenade was thrown into his vehicle. Instead of jumping out of the gunner’s hatch, McGinnis threw himself over the grenade to save one of his platoonmates. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

 

Military Baby Names for Girls

Cathay 

Meaning: China 

Cathay Williams was the first African-American woman to serve in the Army. She enlisted as a man under the name of William Cathay during the Civil War, and remains the only known female Buffalo Soldier. 


Elsie 

Meaning: Pledged to God

Elsie S. Ott served in the Army Nurse Corps and revolutionized medical care in the military. Until WWII, wounded men were not evacuated and instead received care on site; Ott helped instill a new procedure, saving many lives. She was the first woman to receive the US Air Medal. 


Grace 

Meaning: Beauty, gentleness, kindness

Grace Hopper was a Harvard graduate who joined the Navy at the tail-end of WWII, despite the men who argued against her. Hopper developed COBOL (Common Business Operating Language), the universally accepted computer coding language of the time. She eventually rose to the rank of rear admiral and served an incredible 43 years in the Navy. 


Jacqueline

Meaning: Protected by God

Jacqueline Cochran was the head of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) in WWII. She received a Distinguished Service Medal and three Distinguished Flying Cross Medals. 


Noor 

Meaning: Light

Noor Inayat Khan was a British radio operator in WWII. Khan was a descendant of Indian royalty, and willingly chose to serve so that she could fight against fascism. She was eventually betrayed by a double agent, taken prisoner, and executed in 1944. 


Ruby 

Meaning: Deep red precious gem

Ruby Bradley was a WWII nurse who was taken Prisoner of War after Pearl Harbor. She performed over 230 surgeries at a POW camp in Manila and also assisted women in childbirth. After she was set free, she went on to serve on the frontlines of the Korean War as chief nurse. 


Tulsi 

Meaning: Basil

Tulsi Gabbard is the first government official to voluntarily leave office to serve in war. She has gone on two tours of duty in Iraq and Kuwait as both an Army medic and military police officer. She was elected to Congress in 2012 and launched a campaign for president in the last year. Throughout her political career she has advocated for service members and veterans. 


Virginia 

Meaning: Maiden

Virginia Hall was a British spy during WWII. The Gestapo knew her as the most dangerous of the Allied spies. She worked in France for three years until she was forced to escape into the Pyrenees Mountains on foot (and she wore a prosthetic leg). She later joined the CIA. 

 

Unisex Military Baby Names

Audie 

Meaning: Noble strength

Farm-boy-turned-bad*ss Audie Murphy is one of the most decorated US soldiers of all time. He earned the Medal of Honor after he climbed atop a burning tank destroyer with only a machine gun to stave off the enemy. He went on to become a successful actor. 


Bailey 

Meaning: Courtyard within castle walls; law enforcer

Anne Bailey moved from her home in Liverpool, England to Virginia in 1761. After her husband died, she took up a rifle and joined the local militia. Nicknamed “Mad Anne,” Bailey was a frontier scout who served in the Revolutionary War. She’s most famous for her 100-mile ride to Fort Savannah from Fort Lee; the ammunition she took back ultimately saved Fort Lee. 


Lane 

Meaning: Small roadway or path

Sharon Ann Lane served as a first lieutenant and Army nurse in the Vietnam War. She had dropped out of college to pursue service as a nurse, and was known for her work ethic and kindness. She was tragically killed in enemy fire at the age of 25, and posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Bronze Star with “V” Device (to denote heroism), and more. 


Sam 

Meaning: God heard; listener; flower

Deborah Sampson was a female soldier who disguised herself as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War. When she was shot in the leg, she dug the bullet out herself to avoid being discovered. She was eventually honorably discharged, and went on to be one of the first female lecturers. 

 

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