Equipping for disaster

U.S. Military planning for zombie apocalypse…sort of

By Chris Post

In most zombie movies, the military is unprepared for the threat posed by the extreme nature of an undead apocalypse. There is nothing in their proverbial playbook to tell them what to expect, how to react or, most importantly, how to get ahead of the myriad of problems the walking dead will present.


Soldiers, like Rhodes (played by Joseph Pilato in George Romero’s Day of the Dead), don’t have a very good track record for dealing with zombies in the movies. However, real U.S. military personnel have given the matter of a zombie apocalypse some thought — at least in theory.

Recently released documents would seem to indicate that this is not exactly the case, however. Identified as CONPLAN 8888, the unclassified document was created as part of a training exercise. Apparently spit-balling ideas about the zombie apocalypse was a good way to get the trainees involved and provided a scenario that was not likely to be confused as an actual operation by outsiders. It should also be noted that while the plan is making headlines today, it was actually put together in 2009 and 2010 at the Joint Combined Warfighting School.

At any rate, it does give an interesting insight into the way the military would go about Counter-Zombie Dominance Operations.  Unlike the disorganized response depicted in movies, the military plan would have three specific goals: 1) maintain defensive perimeter to protect human life; 2) conducting operations that will eradicate zombie threats; and 3) aiding civil authorities in restoring law and order.

One fun section outlines possible causes of a zombie outbreak and classifies the resultant zombies into categories that include (among others) Pathgenic Zombies (zombies created by a virus or bacteria), Radiation Zombies (those caused by electromagnetic or particle  radiation), Space Zombies (zombies that result from exposure to an extra-terrestrial catalyst) and my favorite Evil Magic Zombies, or zombies created by accidental or intentional experimentation with the occult.

You can check out the document in its entirety below.


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