CONPLAN 8888: US Military’s Zombie Defense Strategy

Military strategists and soldiers executing CONPLAN 8888 in a post-apocalyptic city against zombies.

Imagine a world overrun by zombies, a scenario ripped straight from the pages of science fiction and planted firmly into the collective consciousness through countless movies, novels, and TV series.

What might come as a surprise, however, is that the United States Department of Defense has seriously contemplated this scenario. Enter CONPLAN 8888, officially known as “CONOP 8888,” a comprehensive blueprint crafted by the military to tackle a so-called “zombie apocalypse.” Far from a whimsical flight of fancy, this plan aims to offer a structured approach for responding to any catastrophic event that could befall humanity.

Military strategists and soldiers executing CONPLAN 8888 in a post-apocalyptic city against zombies.

Delving into CONPLAN 8888

Developed in April 2011 by the US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), CONPLAN 8888, or “Counter-Zombie Dominance,” is primarily a creative exercise intended to sharpen military planners’ skills. It’s crucial to understand that this document isn’t preparing for an actual zombie invasion. Instead, it employs the concept of a zombie pandemic as a metaphorical stand-in for real-world threats, enabling planners to explore response strategies without the political complications of identifying real nations as potential adversaries. This approach not only sidesteps sensitive diplomatic issues but also keeps training engaging and thought-provoking.

Objectives and Framework of CONPLAN 8888

The goal of CONPLAN 8888 is straightforward: to prepare a defensive strategy to shield humanity from zombies, whether they emerge from a lab, radiation exposure, or even agricultural mishaps (cue the “chicken zombies”). The plan meticulously outlines the tactical considerations needed in a genuine military strategy, covering command protocols, essential service maintenance, civil defense, and outbreak containment. While the premise might elicit a chuckle, the document serves a critical purpose in highlighting the necessity for comprehensive emergency preparedness, drawing on realistic strategies that could be applied to actual emergencies.

Why CONPLAN 8888 Matters
At first glance, CONPLAN 8888 might seem like a playful digression from serious military planning. Yet, it’s a sophisticated tool designed to foster innovative thinking and strategic planning without the usual constraints. This imaginative framework allows military thinkers to exercise their problem-solving muscles freely, potentially leading to breakthroughs in how we approach national defense and crisis management. Moreover, the plan’s principles could realistically be adapted to face modern threats, such as bioterrorism or a devastating pandemic, making the exercise far from frivolous.

Public Interest and Openness
The revelation of CONPLAN 8888 in 2014, following a Freedom of Information Act request, sparked widespread fascination and debate, highlighting the public’s intrigue with the intersection of pop culture and governmental preparedness. The military’s transparency in sharing this document offered a unique peek into the often opaque world of defense strategy, showcasing a lighter, more creative side of military planning.

CONPLAN 8888 stands as a testament to the innovative spirit residing within the corridors of military strategy. By preparing for the most improbable of threats, it ensures that military planners are ready for the unexpected, equipped with robust methodologies honed through unconventional exercises. This plan reaffirms the essential role of imagination in defense and emergency readiness, proving that even the most fantastical scenarios can provide valuable lessons in strategic planning and national security. In essence, CONPLAN 8888 underscores the importance of thinking outside the box, demonstrating that preparedness for a zombie apocalypse can inadvertently prepare us for the realities of tomorrow’s challenges.


What is CONPLAN 8888?

CONPLAN 8888, also known as the Zombie Apocalypse Plan, is a military contingency plan that outlines the military’s response to a zombie apocalypse scenario.

Who developed CONPLAN 8888?

CONPLAN 8888 was developed by the United States Joint Forces Command.

Is CONPLAN 8888 a serious plan?

No, CONPLAN 8888 is not meant to be taken seriously. It is a training exercise used to teach military personnel how to respond to a wide range of potential threats.

What is the purpose of CONPLAN 8888?

The purpose of CONPLAN 8888 is to provide a framework for the military to respond to a zombie apocalypse scenario, which can be used as a training exercise to prepare for other potential threats.

Is CONPLAN 8888 still in use?

Yes, CONPLAN 8888 is still in use today.


1. U.S. Strategic Command. (2011). CONPLAN 8888-11, Counter-Zombie Dominance. U.S. Department of Defense.
2. Bender, B. (2014). “The Pentagon has a plan to stop the zombie apocalypse. Seriously.” Politico. Retrieved from
3. U.S. Strategic Command Public Affairs. (2014). “USSTRATCOM CONPLAN 8888 Disclaimer.” U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved from
4. The Cable. (2014). “Exclusive: The Pentagon Has a Plan to Stop the Zombie Apocalypse. Seriously.” Foreign Policy. Retrieved from

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3 thoughts on “CONPLAN 8888: US Military’s Zombie Defense Strategy

  • Guess I probably be a zombie better from umbrella corp, at least get some good gear before mutation

    • Haha, gearing up like you’re part of a video game before the big change sounds like a plan! Just make sure to pick the most stylish outfit for your zombie debut.

  • CrisisPrepper -

    This strategic plan isn’t just about the undead; it serves as a training tool for emergency preparedness, teaching military planners how to think creatively in crisis scenarios. The document outlines hypothetical responses to a zombie threat, but the underlying principles can be applied to more conventional emergencies and disasters. It’s a brilliant example of using imaginative scenarios to sharpen critical thinking and logistical planning skills. For those interested in disaster preparedness and military strategy, this article provides an intriguing look at unconventional defense planning. Sharing this might spark interesting discussions on the breadth and depth of national security measures.

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