What does U.N.C.L.E. stand for? Originally, nothing. But the creators/writers were pressed to come up with something. The result of their efforts: The United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. By the time the first episode aired on 22-September-64, this appeared in the end titles: "We wish to thank the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement without whose assistance this program would not be possible.'' What does Thrush stand for? In the series, the organization was merely called Thrush. Ace paperbacks, which published a series of paperback novels based on the show, had one installment in which Thrush stood for The Technological Hierarchy for the Subjugation of Humanity and the Removal of Undesirables. This is very popular with long-time fans of the shows, who have adopted it as "canon" or at least near-canon.