- Suppressive fires – won’t.
- If it’s stupid but works, it isn’t stupid
- Don’t look conspicuous – it draws fire. (For this reason aircraft carriers have been dubbed bomb magnets.)
- When in doubt, empty the magazine.
- You are not supermen. (Freshly graduated recruits and all fighter pilots, especially take note.)
- Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you.
- Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.
- If your attack is going really well, it’s an ambush.
- No plan survives the first contact intact.
- All five second grenade fuses will burn down in three seconds.
- Try to look unimportant, because the bad guys may be low on ammo. (Trivia devotees will recall the sudden disappearance of rank and distinctive caps on the uniforms worn by Soviet officers in Afghanistan.)
- If you are forward of your position, the artillery will fall short.
- When you have secured an area, don’t forget to tell the enemy.
- Incoming fire has the right-of-way.
- The enemy diversion you are ignoring is the main attack.
- The important things are always simple.
- The simple things are always hard.
- The easy way is always mined.
- If you are short of everything except enemy, you are in combat.
- No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection.
- If the enemy is in range, SO ARE YOU!
- Beer math is 2 beers times 37 men equals 49 cases.
- Body-count math is 3 guerrillas plus 1 probable plus 2 pigs equals 37 enemy killed in action.
- Friendly fire – isn’t.
- Things that must be together to work usually can’t be shipped together.
- Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support desperately. (Corollary: Radar tends to fail at night and in bad weather, and especially during both.)
- Anything you do can get you shot – including doing nothing.
- Make it too tough for the enemy to get in, and you can’t get out.
- Tracers work BOTH ways.
- The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
- If you take more than your fair share of objectives, you will have more than your fair share to take.
- When both sides are convinced they are about to lose, they are both right.
- Cancian’s Dictum: The side with the simplest uniforms wins.
- Professional soldiers are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs
- The easy way is always mined.
- If the Enemy is in range, SO ARE YOU!
- When you have secured an objective, don’t forget to let the enemy know about it.
- Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support desperately
- If you are short of everything except enemy, you’re in combat.
- Anything you do can get you shot, including doing nothing.
- If you take more than your fair share of objectives, you will have more than your fair share of objectives to take.
- When both sides are convinced that they are about to lose, they are both right.
- Air strikes always overshoot the target, artillery always falls short.
- When you have sufficient supplies & ammo, the enemy takes 2 weeks to attack.
- When you are low on supplies & ammo the enemy decides to attack that night.
- If at first you don’t succeed call in an air-strike.
- Exceptions prove the rule, and destroy the battle plan.
- The enemy never watches until you make a mistake.
- One enemy soldier is never enough, but two is entirely too many.
- The more a weapon costs, the farther you will have to send it away to be repaired.
- Field experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
- No matter which way you have to march, it’s always uphill.
- The one item you need is always in short supply
- Friendly fire isn’t. If the sergeant can see you, so can the enemy.
- Remember, a retreating enemy is probably just falling back and regrouping.
- Never draw fire, it irritates everyone around you.
- Try to look unimportant, they may be low on ammo.
- The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions: a. when you’re ready for them. b. when you’re not ready for them.
- Teamwork is essential; it gives them someone else to shoot at.
- If the enemy is in range, so are you
- If you can’t remember . . . the claymore is pointed at you (The claymore is a flat mine that is set up and pointed at the enemy, unless you set it up the wrong way)
- The important things are always simple
- No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection
- No inspection-ready unit has ever passed combat
- All-weather close support doesn’t work in bad weather
- The bursting radius of a grenade is always one foot greater than your jumping range
- The only terrain that is truly controlled is the terrain upon which you’re standing
- The law of the bayonet says the man with the bullet wins
- The best tank killer is another tank. Therefore tanks are always fighting each other . . . and have no time to help the infantry
- Precision bombing is normally accurate within plus/minus one mile
- Cluster bombing from B-52s and C-130s is very, very accurate.
- Perfect plans aren’t
- The easy way generally gets you killed
- Armored vehicles are bullet magnets, a moving foxhole that attracts attention
- Ammo is cheap; your life isn’t
- If you can’t see the enemy, he still may be able to see you
- Final protective fire doesn’t
- The most dangerous thing on a battlefield is an officer with a map
- A sucking chest wound is Nature’s way of telling you to slow down
- The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions: 1. when they’re ready 2. when you’re not
- There is no such thing as a perfect plan
- There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole
- A retreating enemy is probably just falling back and regrouping
- Things that must work together, can’t be carried to the field that way
- Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support
- Radar tends to fail at night and in bad weather, and especially during both
- There is nothing more satisfying than having someone take a shot at you and miss
- Military Intelligence is a contradiction
- Fortify your front; you’ll get your rear shot up
- The easy way generally gets you killed
- Mines are equal opportunity weapons
- The Cavalry doesn’t always come to the rescue
- Bombers are the ultimate close support weapon
- The one item you need is always in short supply
- It’s not the one with your name on it; it’s the one addressed “to whom it may concern” you’ve got to think about
- Whenever you have plenty of ammo, you never miss.
- Whenever you are low on ammo, you can’t hit the broad side of a barn.
- The complexity of a weapon is inversely proportional to the IQ of the weapon’s operator
- To steal information from a person is called plagiarism. To steal information from the enemy is called gathering intelligence
- The weapon that usually jams when you need it the most is the Machine gun.
- The crucial round is a dud.
- If your ambush is properly set, the enemy won’t walk in it.
- Equipment will be damaged in direct proportion to its cost.
- You can win without fighting, but it’s a lot of tougher to do. And the enemy may not cooperate.
- Having all your body parts intact and functioning at the end of the day beats the alternative…
- If you are allergic to lead it is best to avoid a war zone.
- Hot garrison chow is better than hot C-rations which, in turn, are better than cold C-rations, which are better than no food at all. All of these, however, are preferable to cold rice balls even if they do have little pieces of fish in them.
- A free fire zone has nothing to do with economics.
- Medals are OK, but having your body and all your friends in one piece at the end of the day is better.
- Being shot hurts.
- Thousands of Veterans earned medals for bravery every day. A few were even awarded.
- There is only one rule in war: When you win, you get to make up the rules.
- C-4 can make a dull day fun.
- There is no such thing as a fair fight — only ones where you win or lose.
- If you win the battle you are entitled to the spoils. If you lose you don’t care.
- Nobody cares what you did yesterday or what you are going to do tomorrow. What is important is what you are doing — NOW — to solve our problem.
- Always make sure someone has a can opener.
- Prayer may not help . . . but it can’t hurt.
- Flying is better than walking. Walking is better than running. Running is better than crawling. All of these, however, are better than extraction by a Med-Evac even if it is, technically, a form of flying.
- If everyone does not come home none of the rest of us can ever fully come home either.
- Carrying any weapon that you weren’t issued (e.g, an AK) in combat is Not A Good Idea!
- A combat vet will know the sound of an unfamiliar weapon in an instant and will point and shoot.\Not only that, AKs use green tracers which mean “shoot ’em all and let God sort them out”.
- As has been noted, “Friendly fire isn’t!”
- When the going gets tough, the tough go cyclic.
- Military Intelligence is not a contradiction in terms, “Light Infantry” is!
- Proximity factor: The need for relief is directly related to the distance of the relief station.
- Always keep one bullet in the chamber when changing your magazine.
- In peacetime people say, “War is Hell”. In combat, under fire from artillery, airplanes, or whatever, a soldier thinks, “War is really really really LOUD as Hell!!!”.
- If you can think clearly, know exactly what’s happening, and have total control of a situation in combat, then you’re not in combat.
- When you get the coveted 1,000 yard stare, don’t forget about the enemy who is 30 yards away and about to pop your ass.
- Stay away from officers in combat; they’re clever decoys for noncoms.
- If you think you don’t need something for your combat load for an OP PLAN, you’ll probably wish you had it after the shit hits the fan in combat.
- Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Failure of plan A will directly affect your ability to carry out plan B.
- War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left.
- Lackland’s Laws:
- Never be first.
- Never be last.
- Never volunteer for anything
- An escaping soldier can be used again.
- If you think you’ll die, don’t worry you won’t.
- Near death, but still a live? There is nothing wrong with physics. God doesn’t like you.
- It is better to be lucky than good in the battlefield.
- If it’s worth fighting for…it’s worth fighting dirty for.
If god wanted boots to be comfortable he would have designed them like running shoes.
- If you survive the extraordinary things, it will often be the little things that will kill you.
- Give an order, then change the order, will get you disorder.
You never have fire support in heavy firefight but you always have it on a silent recon mission
- The only thing more dangerous to you than the enemy, is your allies
- Night vision – isn’t
- When you need CAS, they’ll be on last weeks radio fill and you won’t be able to reach them
- When you need Gun ships, they’ll be busy escorting the generals bird around
Supply & Demand law
whatever you have, you won’t need; whatever you need, you won’t have.
- Leadership law
If it was risky, it worked and no one got hurt: you were brilliant
If it was risky, it worked and someone got hurt; you were courageous
If it was risky, it didn’t work and no one got hurt; you were lucky
If it was risky, it didn’t work and someone got hurt; you were stupid (and probably dead)
- The best sniper position is always the hardest to reach
- Snakes aren’t neutral.
- When you need to use the bathroom – the enemy is watching your position
- Murphy was a grunt.
Laws of War for Helicopters
- Helicopter tail rotors are naturally drawn toward trees, stumps, rocks, etc.
While it may be possible to ward off this event some of the time, it cannot, despite the best efforts of the crew, always be prevented.
It’s just what they do.
- The engine RPM and the rotor RPM must BOTH be kept in the GREEN.
Failure to heed this commandment can adversely affect the morale of the crew.
- The terms Protective Armor and Helicopter are mutually exclusive.
- “Chicken Plates” are not something you order in a restaurant.
- The BSR (Bang Stare Red) Law:
The louder the sudden bang in the helicopter, the quicker your eyes will be drawn to the gauges.
Corollary: The longer you stare at the gauges the less time it takes them to move from green to red.
- Loud, sudden noises in a helicopter WILL get your undivided attention.
- The further you fly into the mountains, the louder the strange engine noises become.
- It is a bad thing to run out of airspeed, altitude and ideas all at the same time.
- “Pucker Factor” is the formal name of the equation that states the more hairy the situation is, the more of the seat cushion will be sucked up your butt.
It can be expressed in its mathematical formula of:
S (suction) + H (height above ground) + I (interest in staying alive) + T (# of tracers coming your way).
Thus the term ‘SHIT!’ can also be used to denote a situation where a high Pucker Factor is being encountered.
- Running out of pedal, fore or aft cyclic, or collective are all bad ideas.
Any combination of these can be deadly.
- Helicopters have been described as nothing more than 50,000 parts flying in close formation. It is the mechanics responsibility to keep that formation as tight as possible.
- It is mathematically impossible for either hummingbirds, or helicopters to fly. Fortunately, neither is aware of this.
- LZ’s are always hot.
- There are ‘old’ pilots and ‘bold’ pilots, but there are no ‘old, bold’ pilots.
- The mark of a truly superior pilot is the use of his superior judgment to avoid situations requiring the use of his superior skill.
- Ch-53’s are living proof that if you strap enough engines to something it will fly.
Laws of War for Tanks
- The same gun tube that would probably stay in alignment after lifting a car, will get you beaten after calibration if used to assist in climbing on the tank.
- Tanks draw fire. A lot of it. It does not behoove the infantryman to hide behind one.
- If you’re close enough to actually hear an M1 series tank running, while in combat, and not part of the crew, you’re too close.
Law of Fighting Airplanes
- The enemy is always has the advantage.
- Heat-seeking missiles don’t know the difference between friend and foe.
- ‘Armor’ is a fantasy invented by your C.O. to make you feel better.
- Afterburners aren’t.
- Air Brakes don’t.
- Your cannon will jam in combat, and then when you get back to base there will be nothing wrong with it.
- You may have the better plane, but the enemy is the better pilot. (or vise versa)
- When getting spare parts for your aircraft, you can get them CHEAP – FAST – IN GOOD CONDITION, pick two. (This applies to everything)
- Your radar will not pick up the enemy behind you or the one in the sun.
- If you have got into the sun and are about to ambush the enemy, it will either be a trap or you’ll run out of fuel.