The Jeep Wave: Honouring the Tradition of Camaraderie on the Road

For those who have recently joined the ranks of Jeep owners, a peculiar phenomenon might catch you off guard: that curious two-fingered wave from passing Jeep enthusiasts. Unbeknownst to you, you are actually partaking in a time-honored tradition – the Jeep wave. The Jeep wave is more than just a casual gesture between Jeep owners passing each other on the road, but a way to express respect and kinship between fellow Jeep enthusiasts. In this article, we embark on an exploration into the origins, history, hierarchy, and essence of the Jeep wave, an symbolic gesture that has cemented its place as one of the most iconic forms of camaraderie on the road.

What is the Jeep Wave?

The Jeep wave is a distinctive and widely recognized form of greeting exchanged among Jeep owners on the road. It embodies a sense of companionship and shared enthusiasm within the Jeep community. When two Jeep drivers cross paths—whether driving in opposite directions or passing each other on the road—they often raise their hand or fingers from the steering wheel to acknowledge each other with a friendly wave. This simple gesture reflects a sense of kinship and connection among Jeep enthusiasts. The wave dates even further back than the popular “Jeep Ducking” practice (also known as Duck-Duck-Jeep), where Jeep owners sometimes place small rubber ducks on their vehicles as a fun and whimsical way to engage with other drivers in a similar fashion. (If you’re asking yourself “What is Jeep Ducking?” You can read more about this specific act of kindness in this blog ➝ “How Duck Duck JEEP is Bringing JEEP Communities Together”)

The Origin of the Jeep Wave

The Jeep Wave’s origins are thought to be traced back to WWII, where the Willys MB, one of the earliest versions of the Jeep, was used for transporting personnel in every branch of the US Military. In that era, MB drivers would uplift each other’s spirits by gesturing with a quick wave, signified by a double-finger salute while gripping the wheel or a rapid hand raise beside the windshield. This gesture was a morale booster and showcased camaraderie among soldiers. After the war, surplus Willys MBs were sold, allowing many veterans to drive them across small-town America, and the wave tradition continued as a salute to their service and was extended to all Willys drivers. Even with the introduction of civilian Jeeps like the Jeep CJ-2A in 1945, the wave endured, evolving into a symbol of admiration for the iconic four-wheeler and giving birth to the Jeep Wave as we know it today.

What are the rules of the Jeep Wave?

There is a hierarchy to the wave in accordance with the rules, and the “lesser” Jeep is the one that always waves first. Here are some guidelines for Jeep Wave rules:

Rule #1: Honoring the Elders. The age of the model determines the degree of respect conveyed. This holds especially true for classic or vintage Jeeps. If you drive a JK Wrangler and encounter a CJ or VJ, you initiate the wave. In the presence of an original Willys MB, a moment of reverence is in order.

Rule #2: Embrace Accessories. The level of off-roading gear adorning your Jeep contributes to your position in the hierarchy. Extras like winches, jacks, body armor, lift kits, and sizeable tires elevate your Jeep status.

Rule #3: Embrace the Dirt. A pristine, car-washed Jeep should yield to the one still caked in mud from recent trailblazing. Visual indications of a well-loved and well-used Jeep warrant admiration.

Rule #4: Model Matters. All Jeep models, from Wranglers to Renegades, partake in the Jeep wave. However, distinctions exist. A city-oriented daily driver like the Grand Cherokee differs from a rugged Wrangler built for rock crawling. While affection for all Jeep vehicles prevails, the wave originates from the less off-road-oriented Jeep.

The Jeep Wave program extends its embrace to a range of cherished Jeep models, which include:

And of course, all classic models like the Jeep CJ, SJ, and XJ will automatically earn you a wave as well.

The Jeep Wave Program

Designed exclusively for new Jeep owners, the Jeep Wave Program goes beyond simple acknowledgments from fellow drivers; members gain access to several benefits, including exclusive discounts on genuine Mopar parts, top-notch accessories, unique lifestyle products, offers from FCA US LLC (formerly known as Chrysler Group) partners, and membership cards available solely within the program. The doors of the Jeep Wave Program are wide open to owners of qualifying vehicles, encompassing various beloved models from the Jeep brand, such as the iconic Jeep Wrangler and the stately Jeep Grand Cherokee. Irrespective of whether your Jeep is brand new or pre-loved, you’re entitled to reap the rewards. As an added bonus, special offers await those who choose to embark on the exciting journey of Jeep Wave membership— So, whether you’re already behind the wheel of a Jeep brand vehicle or planning to take the plunge, consider embracing the Jeep Wave Program for it’s benefits, from roadside assistance to exclusive discounts on accessories.

What are the benefits of the Jeep Wave program?

The allure of the Jeep Wave Program resides in its special member benefits. From rental coverage to VIP privileges, emergency transportation support, and more, this program serves as a premier loyalty program tailored to pamper Jeep owners. All Jeep vehicles are automatically enrolled in the program with purchase of a New Jeep. Jeep owners who are not already enrolled can easily sign up here. Some of the great perks as a member of this program are:

Your first two oil changes and tire rotations are covered during the first 24 months of ownership and all service is completed by a specially-trained Jeep® Brand technician at participating Jeep Brand vehicle dealerships.
Enjoy no-charge same-day vehicle rental for routine maintenance, trip interruption coverage up to $1,000 per occurrence, and 24/7 roadside assistance for the duration of the 5-Year/60,000-Mile Powertrain Limited Warranty period.
For questions about your Jeep® Brand vehicle, to schedule service, or for anything else you may need, simply call 844-JEEP-WAVE,24/7. You can also get in touch via email or by using the Live Chat option on your account page at any time.

Beginning with 2021 model year, all Jeep vehicles are automatically enrolled into the Jeep Wave program. For 2016-2020 model year vehicles, only select vehicles are automatically enrolled into the program:

The Etiquette of Extending Respect to Fellow Jeepers
The essence of the Jeep Wave program lies in the connection it fosters among Jeep drivers. This unspoken agreement manifests as a wave exchanged between Jeep owners as they cross paths on the road. Participating in the Jeep Wave program calls for adhering to state and local traffic laws while engaging in the gesture. Furthermore, it’s prudent to consult with your rental company to ensure your actions align with their terms without voiding your vehicle’s factory warranty. As you exchange waves, you’re not just conveying friendly recognition; you’re contributing to the creation of a secure environment both on and off the road, bolstered by mutual respect.

Other ways to express you Jeep Wave pride

It’s common for Jeep enthusiasts to display their unwavering pride and strong sense of community in other ways as well. The embodiment of this spirit can be witnessed in the distinctive ways that Jeep owners choose to express their Jeep Wave spirit. A common way to show off this devotion is by adorning the exterior of their vehicles with Jeep Wave stickers and decals. These stickers often feature creative designs incorporating the iconic Jeep grille, rugged off-road landscapes, and slogans that capture the adventurous essence of the brand—and of course, the Jeep Wave.

Friendship is Everything; The Jeep community in Edmonton

Jeep enthusiasts in Edmonton frequently participate in various off-road events and gatherings, where the Jeep Wave culture is on full display. These events provide an opportunity for like-minded individuals in and around Edmonton Alberta to come together, share stories of their off-road experiences, and forge lasting friendships. Jeep meets, trail clean-up initiatives, and charity drives are also organized by these passionate enthusiasts, showcasing their commitment to both the Jeep community and the environment. There are plenty of groups you can join to meet other local Jeep enthusiasts, like Jeep Alberta, and Edmonton Jeep Lovers. All in all, the Jeep Wave spirit goes beyond the mere act of driving – it symbolizes a way of life centered around exploration, camaraderie, and a deep appreciation for the outdoors.

The Jeep Wave program is nurtured by dedicated Jeep enthusiasts who believe in the spirit of community. Engaging in the program is entirely voluntary; and while not participating incurs no penalties, contributing to this shared experience can add an extra layer of joy to your driving adventures. Ultimately, the Jeep Wave stands as a heartwarming testament to the friendship among Jeep owners, elevating their collective pride in the Jeep brand. Engaging in this program is as simple as extending a friendly gesture – a symbol of our shared passion and commitment to the Jeep legacy.