This nickname for the United States Marine Corps originated during World War I. In 1918, the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines were sent to reinforce the French in the Belleau Wood. Soon after they arrived, the commander of the French forces advised then Colonel Wendell C. Neville to retreat.

Neville replied, "Retreat? Hell, we just got here!" Though outnumbered, the Marines proceeded to drive the Germans from Belleau Wood, and for the ferocity of their fighting and disturbing marksmanship earned the nickname "Teufelhunden," or "Devil Dogs."