Military The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations  

Mike Rothschild
12.2k votes 2.5k voters 393.1k views 30 items

Military operation code names can be tricky to pull off. You want to have a name that conveys power and majesty, striking fear into the hearts of your enemies, but you don't want something that lets your enemy know what you're actually doing - such as the planned German invasion of England (its name, Sealion, let the British know exactly what it was). You also don't want something inappropriately glib, either because it's not macho enough (the US invasion of Grenada was briefly named "Blue Spoon") or sends the wrong message, such as the unfortunately named Korean War-era plan "Operation Killer."

The naming of military operations is thought to have begun with the German Empire in the final two years of World War I. Before then, operations were usually named after either their commanding officer or the general area they were taking place in (i.e., Somme Offensive, Neville Offensive, etc.) But German generals added code names to increase operational secrecy and give them a shorthand for referring to individual parts of the hugely complex battles on the Western Front.

In the decades that followed, operation names went from random designations to carefully chosen code names that would boost morale and offer clever description. American officers in Vietnam and beyond were faced with naming dozens of operations, everything from large scale troop deployments to clearing out small sections of cities. Here are the most awesomely American names for military operations from World War II through Iraq. Bask in their American kick ass majesty and upvote those that are screaming "U S A! U S A!" the loudest.
list ordered by

1
736 118
Operation Overlord is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
zxray added

H-hour, D-Day....'nuff said.

2
883 172
Operation Rolling Thunder is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
The US bombing campaign against North Vietnam wasn't particularly succsseful, but it had an awesome name that proclaimed exactly what it planned to do.

3
765 181
Operation Desert Storm is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
Operation Desert Storm
The code name for the US-led assault to kick Iraq out of Kuwait, the name predicted the conflict perfectly - a storm of hell coming out of the desert.

4
316 61
Operation Phantom Fury is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
zxray added Operation Phantom Fury

The Second Battle of Fallujah—code-named Operation Al-Fajr and Operation Phantom Fury—was a joint American, Iraqi, and British offensive in November and December 2004, considered the highest point of conflict in Fallujah during the Iraq War.

5
553 194
Operation Neptune Spear is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
The plan to take out Osama Bin Laden was carried out by Navy SEALS, whose symbol is the trident carried by the god Neptune - three prongs representing their capabilities on land, sea, and air.

6
514 176
Operation Red Dawn is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
Name the capture of Saddam Hussein after a movie where Americans kick ass and take names? You make the list.

7
406 169
Operation Eagle Claw is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
America is an eagle. What do eagles do to their enemies? Claw them. Because that's what eagles do. Sadly, the attempt to rescue the American hostages in Iran failed miserably - but at least it had a killer code name.

8
384 168
Operation Iron Justice is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
An operation to crack down on black market fuel sales in Baghdad, named for what America dispenses: iron justice.

9
188 69
Operation Steel Curtain is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
zxray added

"Operation Steel Curtain", was a hardened sweep and clear mission hence "steel curtain" because one of the SNCOs was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

10
339 175
Operation Urgent Fury is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
Operation Urgent Fury
The US invasion of Grenada in 1983 boasts an awesomely American code name. You need tough action, and you need it now? Bam, urgent fury!

11
319 166
Operation Spartan Scorpion is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
Operation Spartan Scorpion
Spartans: masterful warriors. Scorpions: killer clawed insects. America: both of these. This operation to finish off Ba'ath party hardliners in Iraq: successful.

12
183 81
Ranker Video
zxray added Operation Just Cause

The United States Invasion of Panama, code named Operation Just Cause, was an invasion of Panama by the United States between mid-December 1989 and late January 1990.

13
262 144
Operation Beastmaster is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
Operation Beastmaster
Naming a plan to clear parts of Baghdad of insurgents after a crappy '80s action movie? Totally American in every way.

14
165 77
Operation Linebacker is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
zxray added

My personal all time favorite OP name, clear example of peace through superior fire power!

15
363 223
Operation Paul Bunyan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
Operation Paul Bunyan
This was a plan to chop down a tree in the DMZ that was obscuring spying on the North Korean side. Earlier, North Korean troops had hacked two American soldiers to death who had been trying to chop it down. So out came the giant guy with the huge axe - and hundreds of armed troops and helicopters.

16
252 142
Operation Warrior's Rage is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
2005 operation to capture insurgents, carried out with the rage of... you know... a warrior.

17
214 126
Operation Valiant Guardian is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
Among qualities to look for in a guardian, being valiant is high on the list. This operation to disrupt Al-Qaeda activities involved 4,000 Marines and took out 250 weapons caches.

18
207 127
Operation Bayonet Lightning is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
What's worse than getting hit with a bayonet? Getting hit with one made of lightning! Much about this quick operation in Iraq remains classified - but not its awesomely American name.

19
125 73
Operation Gothic Serpent is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
zxray added Operation Gothic Serpent

Operation Gothic Serpent was a military operation conducted by United States special operations forces with the primary mission of capturing faction leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid.

20
194 165
Operation Chattanooga Choo-Cho... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
Operation Chattanooga Choo-Choo
You wouldn't think an innocuous '40s song about a train could be used as a military operation - but you'd be wrong. Operation Chattanooga Choo-Choo was the combined bombing offensive by the US and Britain against German railway lines and marshalling yards in preparation for D-Day

21
158 134
Operation Beaver Cage is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
This 1967 plan to take out a Viet Cong base near Da Nang has a name that comes straight from the strip club, guns-a-blazing.

22
29 23
Operation Charlie-Red is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
coelhom23 added Operation Charlie-Red

23
138 141
Operation Montana Mauler is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
Operation Montana Mauler
An anti-infiltration mission against North Vietnamese forces - or a second-tier professional wrestler? You decide.

24
158 164
Operation Breakfast is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
Operation Breakfast
The opening phase of the US bombing of Cambodia was named after breakfast, the most American meal of the day.

25
15 13
Operation Operation Rapier Thr... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Awesomely American Names for Military Operations
kovarben000 added Operation Operation Rapier Thrust

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/oif-rapier-thrust.htm