Wаlkinɡ Deаd Confirms Wһаt Hаppened to tһe Army in Offiсiаl Lore

In The Walking Dead’s comic continuity the U.S. Army isn’t a factor during most of the zombie apocalypse, with the official reason being a good one.

Zombie snarling behind an army soldier


  • The US Army was unable to hold back the zombie horde in The Walking Dead’s comic universe, despite their immense firepower and tactical might.
  • The Army would have been on the front lines but wouldn’t have made it past the first few waves of the dead coming back to life.
  • The military, including the Army, was decimated early on due to a lack of proper intelligence and preparation, leaving survivors to rely on themselves for protection.

The world has fallen in The Walking Dead’s comic universe, with the survivors of the zombie apocalypse few and far between and the leaders humanity once relied upon nowhere to be found, especially when it comes to the various branches of the military meant to keep people safe. And despite the immense firepower and tactical might the U.S. Army has at its disposal, The Walking Dead’s official lore has confirmed why they weren’t a bigger factor in the fight against the undead and why they never will be again.

Barely encountered in comics outside the initial Atlanta-set story arc — the remains of which were seen when Rick and company eventually make it to Washington D.C. to scavenge for supplies — the Army should have been the one military force capable of taking out the zombie horde, but ended up being unable to hold back the undead tide at all.

A zombie horde in The Walking Dead

And when a “Letter Hacks” fan brings up why the Army is practically non-existent during the apocalypse, series creator Robert Kirkman outright reveals, “They would have been on the front lines,” and thus, wouldn’t have made it past the first few waves of the dead coming back to life.

The Walking Dead‘s Army Was On the Front Lines In Comic Continuity

Walking Dead comic cast standing in a line shooting guns

Confirmed in The Walking Dead Deluxe #75, by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, and Dave McCaig, after a fan comments on how they want “Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, National Guard or Special Ops” to have more of a presence, the letter goes on to rightfully point out that, “The United States has the biggest armed forces in the world and we want to see some of that force,” giving a good reason as to why they should appear more often. Responding that the Army was out on the front lines and that “We may eventually see more…,” it’s not until Kirkman clarifies that the military is “…never going to show up in large numbers. Not going to happen,” that the idea of armed soldiers saving the day is squashed.

Falling prey to walker after walker without knowledge of how a single bite or any battle-related death could exponentially make their jobs that much harder to accomplish, the fact that the U.S. Army and all its might doesn’t mean a thing without the proper intelligence to use it, means that the military in all of its forms never stood a chance almost from the start. Furthermore, Glenn had already revealed in a previous issue that the U.S. government thought the virus was coming from outside Atlanta, not from within it, and were woefully unprepared to deal with the hordes now coming at them from both directions, and their complete and utter decimation at the hands of the dead makes total sense.

The U.S. Army Was Decimated First In The Walking Dead Comic Series


It stands to reason that established settlements like the Commonwealth might eventually grow large enough or combine with other groups to one day rival the U.S. Army and its offensive and defensive capabilities, but until that day comes, survivors won’t be able to rely on anyone other than themselves. The Walking Dead universe has no army to speak of to protect humanity from the undead versions of themselves, so it’s a good thing people like Rick Grimes step up to the plate to do what they can in a world gone mad.

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