Mustaches, Short-Shorts, and MP5s: Rad Dad Operators

June 5, 2023Mac Caltrider

How rad dads look rolling up to meet their daughter’s prom date: Rec Specs, pocket protector, and an M4 with an OG Aimpoint. Photo courtesy of Reddit.

Not all dads are created equal. Some don turnout gear to fight fires while others work in air-conditioned offices and never miss a Little League game. To all the dads out there who’ve worked long hours in any profession to support their families, we salute you.

But while we celebrate all the great dads out there this Father’s Day, we want to highlight a select few. Here’s to the dads who lead more dangerous lives and carry a gun for their livelihood. In their honor, we’ve compiled photos of some of the raddest-looking dads to ever burn all the burgers at the 4th of July barbecue.


The look Dad gives you when you don’t hold the flashlight steady enough. It's unlikely any son could live up to this frogman’s standard of manliness.


Even nerdy dads can be rad. This accountant-turned-operator might push pencils for a living, but there’s no doubt he’s responsible for more than one bad guy pushing up daisies.

Marine Raider

The dad who likes to partake in the Devil’s Lettuce but has no reservations about kitting up and letting the neighbors know who the real king of the block is.

operator dad

You won’t catch this rad dad slipping. He flies Old Glory in his front yard, 365 days a year. He still plays colors at dusk and dawn.


Aviators. Wranglers. Suppressed Car-15. Perfectly quaffed hair. Token local kids. This dad is as rad as the 1991 “Like a Rock” Chevy commercial.


The OG GWOT operator. You know he gives this exact look at the family barbecue whenever someone tries to interrupt his moment of zen by the grill.

old school

This dad started smoking Marlboro Reds when he was 14 and never looked back. He drives a 1980 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, listens to White Snake daily, and refuses to drink hipster beer because he knows it weakens genes.

special forces

The dad who refuses to wear a shirt between March and October. No matter what.


This group of rad dads are probably all still wearing God’s Plaid and crushing Miller Lite together. Party on, dads.


With every style of ’80s Dad jeans represented, this is the ultimate Rad Dad lineup. Only a crew this cool could pull off a full-sized Maglite duct-taped to an MP5.

Mike Vining

The raddest of all dads. Don’t let the hipster hats and creepy mustaches fool you, these are some of the baddest dudes to ever walk the planet. 

Read Next: Living Legends: The Incredible True Stories Behind Three Iconic Photographs

Mac Caltrider
Mac Caltrider

Mac Caltrider is a senior staff writer for Coffee or Die Magazine. He served in the US Marine Corps and is a former police officer. Caltrider earned his bachelor’s degree in history and now reads anything he can get his hands on. He is also the creator of Pipes & Pages, a site intended to increase readership among enlisted troops. Caltrider spends most of his time reading, writing, and waging a one-man war against premature hair loss.

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