Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is definitely a big face in Hollywood. Best known for his roles in big blockbuster action films, the U.S. military thought he would be a perfect inspiration for the Blackhawk Squadron Armored Division’s newest tank.
Deciding the former wrestler-turned-actor would be the face they wanted to give the tank, they aptly named the heavy-duty vehicle after him: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. But it was when the actor decided to post a photo to Instagram with profuse thanks that his followers started skedaddling, according to USA Today.
The 1st Armored Division took to their own Twitter account last week to make the official announcement about the new tank’s name.
“‘If you smell what America’s Tank Division is cooking!’ Shoutout to the #IronSoldiers assigned to the @Blackhawk_SQDN for naming one of their tanks in homage to the @TheRock. Hopefully the ‘People’s Champ’ will see it and give you guys a shoutout and a retweet!#TuesdayThoughts.”
A few days later, The Rock shared the photo to his own Instagram page, sending a “salute of respect & gratitude” for the nod to him, and thanking the soldiers who lay down their lives for the U.S. for their service.
View this post on Instagram
I’m sending a salute of respect & gratitude to the Blackhawk Squadron ???????? 1st Armored Division for the honor of naming their tank (the most advanced in the world) Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Heavy duty, bad ass, sexy AF and built to take care of business ???? — but most importantly, thank you all for your service. Grateful to the bone. #IronSoldiers #BlackhawkSquadron #1stArmouredDivision #FortBliss #TheDRJ #BloodSweatRespect
While many fans took to the comments with praise for the actor for supporting the military and being loyal to the U.S. through thick and thin, others were furious.
“he just showed his true colors.. I’m not following anyone who is pro war.. we have enough psycho politicians on both sides for that one,” one person wrote. Another added, “We love and respect you for all the charity and humanitarian acts you have done as well as being the hardest and hardest working actor in Hollywood. It gives me no pleasure to see your name associated with a weapon used for destruction and death.”
Others tried to convince the actor that there is nothing honorable about an army tank being given your name.
“Not sure having a destructive weapon named after you is such a great honor.”
Thousands flocked to the comments section following the mass unfollow, writing that they were going to be following The Rock to make up for all those fans who had decided to leave. Others tried to engage the departing in arguments over war by explaining that military weapons are not used to harm innocents, but to protect against threats.
Despite the angry fans, the image still remains proudly posted to The Rock’s page, with past and present service members taking to the comments section to thank him for showing continued support in spite of the backlash.