Under the Radar

Worst Military Operation Names EVER

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen can't keep a straight face during "Operation Steadfast Jazz."

Recently we included a list of the coolest military operation names in our post on “Seven Days in Entebbe,” which tells the story of the Israeli military's 1976 Operation Thunderbolt (that’s an awesome name by the way). 

That list hits all the right ones including Operation Overlord, Operation Red Dawn, and Operation Urgent Fury. Who wouldn’t be jacked up and ready to fight when you're going in with an operation name that makes you proud?

Other operation names in history were, well…lacking. Here are five of the worst:

Operation Steadfast Jazz

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen meets with soldiers participating in Steadfast Jazz 2013 (NATO photo)

This was a NATO training exercise in 2013 and we hope they at least did “jazz hands” at the end of that one. You just know while briefing the mission, someone finished off by saying, “and all that jazz.” You know they did.

Operation Golden Pheasant

An M-102 howitzer being transported by a CH-47 helicopter in Honduras during Operation Golden Pheasant

Operation Golden Pheasant was the 1988 invasion into Honduras. First, this is just a lame name. Second, it makes me think of a deliciously cooked bird. Never go grocery shopping or name major military operations when you are hungry.  

Operation Viking Snatch

M1A1 Abrams pose under the "Hands of Victory" in Ceremony Square, Baghdad, Iraq. (Technical Sergeant John L. Houghton USAF)

A 2007 operation to combat weapons smuggling in Iraq, this name needs no real explanation as to why it’s on the list. But I’ll bet the guys who came up with it could NOT. STOP. GIGGLING.

Operation Toenails

Map of operations in New Georgia, 1943

Operation Toenails was the 1943 Allied invasion of the isle of New Georgia in the Solomon Islands…but no one knows why they named it that. One can only surmise that at this point in the war, they were tired and just naming things from their own bodies.

Operation Frequent Wind

A South Vietnamese pilot lands his Huey on the deck of the USS Hancock during Operation Frequent Wind

Operation Frequent Wind was the 1975 evacuation of Americans and Vietnamese citizens from Saigon before it fell. So we’ve established this was a pretty big deal and our side comes up with “Operation Frequent Wind” for a name. Leave it to a bunch of military guys to make a fart joke around one of the most visible missions in history.

Stay On Top of Your Military Benefits

Unsure of what veteran healthcare benefits you are entitled to? Keep up with all the changes and details by signing up for a free Military.com membership, which will send all the latest benefits straight to your inbox, as well as give you access to up-to-date benefit information and more.

Show Full Article