Task Force Names

Names for Task Forces in the deployed environment seem to originate in two ways.

The first is extremely simple: take the unit number and preceed it with TF for Task Force. My current unit is a great example – we are TF62 and the one before us was TF30. That number can be caveated with a descriptive word, should it be needed for clarity. Thus – it is TF62 MED derived from 62nd MED Brigade. Clear, concise and everyone knows both who you are and what you are doing.

Another simple example is CJTF101 (Combined Joint Task Force 101) which should surprise none to learn is based on the 101st Airborn Division.

The other method is a bit more complex. The task force has a name rather than a number. Example – the US Military (Army) in Bosnia was Task Force Eagle. As subsequent units moved in and out to take over operations – the name of the task force did not change, just the organization that had adopted the name. It was why I adopted Task Force Med Eagle for my crew in 1998. It was simple, it was obvious and, like the first users of that name in 1995, it could endure beyond our time in that location. Enduring names make it much easier on everyone around and are cheaper (new signs cost money).

Some of the named task forces are easy – TF Paladin, TF Thunder, TF Lightening, TF Hammer, TF Bayonet, TF Rakkasan. The names ar evocative and might even give you an indication of who they are or what they do. Then there are those from mythology such as TF Phoenix and TF Odin. There are those with bird or animal names – TF Wolverine, TF Falcon. The names may come out of history – TF Bastonge, TF Currahee being related to battles.

I don’t have a clue about TF Destiny.

Some of the Task Forces are local to an area, some span the country. Providing both an handle and an easy to remember form of idenitifcation I like the tradition of naming. And in naming keeping a continuity that can bridge all the turmoil and change.

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3 Responses to Task Force Names

  1. Berg says:

    I have never heard of a TF BOHICA although that name is historical in nature, all military personnel can relate and it never goes out of style…}:o}

  2. Ron says:

    Or they are abbreviations: you mention Odin, which is actually ODIN – Observe Detect Identify and Neutralize.

  3. Steve says:

    Gotta wonder about this one…

    Have Gun, Will Travel ??? I know…I AM showing my age.

    The game, World of Warcraft weapon?

    Or is it artillery referring to ”
    Paladin 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer” (aren’t they all decommissioned by now?)
    Shoot, should have never started on this…not I can’t get it out of my head, since I can’t send you the link, here’s the words with the famous business card.

    Have Gun Will Travel Theme Song
    “Ballad of Paladin” by Johnny Western, Richard Boone, and Sam Rolfe
    Performed by Johnny Western

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