Photo: Sgt. Amber I. Smith/U.S. Army

SEOUL (Reuters) - The Pentagon has told the White House that the U.S. military will not be politicized, a U.S. official said on Sunday, in response to a controversy after officials directed the United States Navy to keep the USS John S. McCain out of sight during a recent speech by President Donald Trump in Japan.

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While researching another story, I came across a recent exercise designed to steel NATO for battling Russian subs. The war game was named for a ferret-like creature that subsists on insects and worms.

Exercise Dynamic Mongoose.

Nothing like a small mammal to drive terror into an adversary's heart.

How do military leaders come up with these? In the case of the U.S., military commands are assigned blocks of the alphabet, say from AA to AD, from which they can choose two word names. Such as Agile Diver. The rules forbid "commercial trademarks," "anything offensive to good taste," or that are similar in spelling to a code word.

They also set aside words for certain commands. "Cheese," for example, is only to be used by the chief of naval operation's office. Ditto "rabbit."

(Great Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill specifically warned about "frivolous" words, saying no one would want to tell a grieving mother her son died in an operation named "Bunnyhug.")

Here's a totally objective guide to the worst-named military operations and exercises of all time.

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An Air Force explosive ordnance disposal technician returns from a manual approach to an improvised explosive device training scenario June 25, 2015, in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Brittany E. Jones)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

The pilots who fly the Air Force's fighters and bombers, the crew members who keep them in the air, and the controllers who guide them are all focused on getting ordnance to targets. The Air Force's explosive ordnance disposal technicians, however, are part of a small cadre whose job is to find and eliminate ordnance on battlefields or at home.

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"This is the incredibly strong soldier morale of China's PLA" (People's Daily/Twitter)

China's state-run news organization is being shamed for flaunting its "incredibly strong soldier morale" in a video showing a People's Liberation Army service member participating in what appeared to be an obstacle course.

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Georgia Army National Guard Soldiers board an aircraft to begin the first leg of their deployment in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel. (Georgia National Guard/Maj. William Carraway)

As veterans, it's easy to believe all the popular hype that the military is filled with heroes. From football games to the movies, military members are lionized, not on an individual basis, but on a collective one. The average citizen would be hard pressed to name one Medal of Honor recipient, but would probably say without hesitation that all the troops are heroes.

Whether a day out of boot camp or a 30-year combat vet, everyone who's worn a uniform is a modern-day Captain America. That's great, and perhaps a welcome change from how people viewed the military after Vietnam.

Unfortunately, too many vets believe their own PR, and subscribe to what I'd call the “veteran superiority complex."

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Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. (Associated Press/Michael Conroy)

During a radio interview on Thursday, former CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz opened his mouth and quickly inserted his foot, claiming that he spent more time with the military than other 2020 presidential candidates.

It's a claim he walked back real friggin' fast.

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