Here are some of Murphy’s Laws of Combat. I came across these a lot in the military. Enjoy.
Friendly fire - isn’t.
Recoilless rifles - aren’t.
Suppressive fires - won’t.
You are not Superman; Marines and fighter pilots take note.
A sucking chest wound is Nature’s way of telling you to slow down.
If it’s stupid but it works, it isn’t stupid.
Try to look unimportant; the enemy may be low on ammo and not want to waste a bullet on you.
If at first you don’t succeed, call in an air strike.
If you are forward of your position, your artillery will fall short.
Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself.
Never go to bed with anyone crazier than yourself.
Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.
If your attack is going really well, it’s an ambush.
The enemy diversion you’re ignoring is their main attack.
The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions:
when they’re ready.
when you’re not.
No OPLAN ever survives initial contact.
There is no such thing as a perfect plan.
Five second fuses always burn three seconds.
There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole.
A retreating enemy is probably just falling back and regrouping.
The Ol’ Ranger’s addendum:
Or else they’re trying to suck you into a serious ambush!
The important things are always simple; the simple are always hard.
The easy way is always mined.
Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at.
Don’t look conspicuous; it draws fire. For this reason, it is not at all uncommon for aircraft carriers to be known as bomb magnets.
Never draw fire; it irritates everyone around you.
If you are short of everything but the enemy, you are in the combat zone.
When you have secured the area, make sure the enemy knows it too.
Incoming fire has the right of way.
No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection.
No inspection ready unit has ever passed combat.
If the enemy is within range, so are you.
The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
Things which must be shipped together as a set, aren’t.
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.)
Anything you do can get you killed, including nothing.
Make it too tough for the enemy to get in, and you won’t be able to get out.
Tracers work both ways.
If you take more than your fair share of objectives, you will get more than your fair share of objectives to take.
When both sides are convinced they’re about to lose, they’re both right.
Professional soldiers are predictable; the world is full of dangerous amateurs.
Military Intelligence is a contradiction.
Fortify your front; you’ll get your rear shot up.
Weather ain’t neutral.
If you can’t remember, the Claymore is pointed toward you.
Air defense motto: shoot 'em down; sort 'em out on the ground.
‘Flies high, it dies; low and slow, it’ll go.
The Cavalry doesn’t always come to the rescue.
Napalm is an area support weapon.
Mines are equal opportunity weapons.
B-52s are the ultimate close support weapon.
Sniper’s motto: reach out and touch someone.
Killing for peace is like screwing for virginity.
The one item you need is always in short supply.
Interchangeable parts aren’t.
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.
When in doubt, empty your magazine.
The side with the simplest uniforms wins.
Combat will occur on the ground between two adjoining maps.
If the Platoon Sergeant can see you, so can the enemy.
Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can sleep.
The most dangerous thing in the world is a Second Lieutenant with a map and a compass.
Exceptions prove the rule, and destroy the battle plan.
Everything always works in your HQ, everything always fails in the Colonel’s HQ.
The enemy never watches until you make a mistake.
One enemy soldier is never enough, but two is entirely too many.
A clean (and dry) set of BDU’s is a magnet for mud and rain.
The worse the weather, the more you are required to be out in it.
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 more a weapon costs, the farther you will have to send it away to be repaired.
The complexity of a weapon is inversely proportional to the IQ of the weapon’s operator.
Field experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
No matter which way you have to march, its always uphill.
If enough data is collected, a board of inquiry can prove anything.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism. (in boot camp)
Air strikes always overshoot the target, artillery always falls short.
When reviewing the radio frequencies that you just wrote down, the most important ones are always illegible.
Those who hesitate under fire usually do not end up KIA or WIA.
The tough part about being an officer is that the troops don’t know what they want, but they know for certain what they don’t want.
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 M60.
The perfect officer for the job will transfer in the day after that billet is filled by someone else.
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.
The newest and least experienced soldier will usually win the Medal of Honor.
A Purple Heart just proves that were you smart enough to think of a plan, stupid enough to try it, and lucky enough to survive.
Murphy was a grunt.
Beer Math: 2 beers times 37 men equals 49 cases.
Body count Math: 3 guerrillas plus 1 probable plus 2 pigs equals 37 enemies killed in action.
The bursting radius of a hand grenade is always one foot greater than your jumping range.
All-weather close air support doesn’t work in bad weather.
The combat worth of a unit is inversely proportional to the smartness of its outfit and appearance.
The crucial round is a dud.
Every command which can be misunderstood, will be.
There is no such place as a convenient foxhole.
Don’t ever be the first, don’t ever be the last and don’t ever volunteer to do anything.
If your positions are firmly set and you are prepared to take the enemy assault on, he will bypass you.
If your ambush is properly set, the enemy won’t walk into it.
If your flank march is going well, the enemy expects you to outflank him.
Density of fire increases proportionally to the curiousness of the target.
Odd objects attract fire - never lurk behind one.
The more stupid the leader is, the more important missions he is ordered to carry out.
The self-importance of a superior is inversely proportional to his position in the hierarchy (as is his deviousness and mischievousness).
There is always a way, and it usually doesn’t work.
Success occurs when no one is looking, failure occurs when the General is watching.
The enemy never monitors your radio frequency until you broadcast on an unsecured channel.
Whenever you drop your equipment in a fire-fight, your ammo and grenades always fall the farthest away, and your canteen always lands at your feet.
As soon as you are served hot chow in the field, it rains.
Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.
The seriousness of a wound (in a fire-fight) is inversely proportional to the distance to any form of cover.
Walking point = sniper bait.
Your bivouac for the night is the spot where you got tired of marching that day.
If only one solution can be found for a field problem, then it is usually a stupid solution.
No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.
The most dangerous thing in the combat zone is an officer with a map.
The problem with taking the easy way out is that the enemy has already mined it.
The buddy system is essential to your survival; it gives the enemy somebody else to shoot at.
If your advance is going well, you are walking into an ambush.
The quartermaster has only two sizes, too large and too small.
If you really need an officer in a hurry, take a nap.
The only time suppressive fire works is when it is used on abandoned positions.
There is nothing more satisfying that having someone take a shot at you, and miss.
Don’t be conspicuous. In the combat zone, it draws fire. Out of the combat zone, it draws sergeants.
If see you, so can the enemy.
All or any of the above combined.
Avoid loud noises, there are few silent killers in a combat zone.
Never screw over a buddy; you’ll never know when he could save your life.
Never expect any rations; the only rations that will be on time and won’t be short is the ration ofshit.
Respect all religions in a combat zone, take no chances on where you may go if killed.
A half filled canteens a beacon for a full loaded enemy weapon.
When in a fire fight, kill as many as you can, the one you miss may not miss tomorrow.
The last six laws were sent by Hank Samples. A Viet Nam combat veteran (70-72) 11th ACR-101st Abn.
It is a physical impossibility to carry too much ammo.
Sent by - Baseka@aol.com
If you survive an ambush, something’s wrong.
Sent by - CPL Nagel
Some General last words (as his aides tried to get him to get his head down):
“What! what! men, dodging this way for single bullets! What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? I am ashamed of you. They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist…”
Sent by Yael Dragwyla
The General was General John Sedgwick, said on May 9, 1864 at the Battle of Spotsylvania.
Sent by Mike Gottert
If you can see the flashes from the enemies’ guns in battle, he can see yours too.
Flashlights, lighters and matches don’t just illuminate the surrounding area; they illuminate you too.
Just because you have nearly impenetrable body armor and a hard-ass Kevlar helmet, doesn’t mean you don’t have exposed areas.
There are few times when the enemy can’t hear you: When he’s dead, you’re dead, or both.
Addendum: When he’s not there, when you’re not there, or both.
Never cover a dead body with your own in hopes of looking like you’re one of the casualties. Even using his cadaver is a stretch to avoid being shot “just in case.”
You’re only better than your enemy if you kill him first.
The last seven laws were sent by Charlie.
Complain about the rations all you want, but just remember; they could very well be your last meal.
Never underestimate the ability of the brass to foul things up.
You have two mortal enemies in combat; the opposing side and your own rear services.
You think the enemy has better artillery support and the enemy thinks yours is better; you’re both right.
Three things you will never see in combat; hot chow, hot showers, and an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
“Live” and “Hero” are mutually exclusive terms.
The last six laws were sent by Donald J. Cheek, CPT, US Army (Ret) - Gulf War vet.
Don’t be a hero
Sent by Bo Zhang
Once you are in the fight it is way too late to wonder if this is a good idea.
NEVER get into a fight without more ammunition that the other guy.
Cover your Buddy, so he can be around to cover for you.
Decisions made by someone over your head will seldom be in your best interest.
Sometimes, being good and lucky still is not enough.
If the rear echelon troops are really happy, the front line troops probably do not have what they need.
If you are wearing body armor they will probably miss that part.
Happiness is a belt fed weapon.
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!”
The last 25 laws were sent by Jim
When the going gets tough, the tough go cyclic.
Sent by SPC Chris
Military Intelligence is not a contradiction in terms, “Light Infantry” is!
Sent by CPT Sean M. Murphy, FA, USA
Proximity factor: The need for relief is directly related to the distance of the relief station.
Sent by Joe Garcia
Always keep one bullet in the chamber when changing your magazine.
Sent by J.E.S.
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!!!”.
f 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.
The last six laws were sent by Michael Desai
Failure of plan A will directly affect your ability to carry out plan B.
Sent by Lenny Quites
If you drop a soldier in the middle of a desert with a rock, a hammer, and an anvil, tell him not to touch any of it, and come back two hours later, the anvil will be broken. “Because soldiers gotta fuck with shit”. (quoted from an Officer during an interview in which the Officer was asked why barrels were thickened on the M-16A2).
Sent by Darrell A. Pierce
War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left.
Sent by Quenya. Aus. (didn’t know there were Elves in Australia, didn’t know that elves were interested in war).
Never be first.
Never be last.
Never volunteer for anythin
An escaping soldier can be used again.
Sent by Asier Zabarte
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.
Sent by Rob
If it’s worth fighting for…it’s worth fighting dirty for.
Sent by former Lt. C. Harper (Vietnam '65)
if god wanted boots to be comfortable he would have designed them like running shoes.
Sent by Pv1 Goetze
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.
Sent by Samuel
You never have fire support in heavy firefight but you always have it on a silent recon mission
Sent by Roswell
Revision to Marine Corp. Motto “If it makes sense, we won’t do it”.
Sent by Larry Wotring
The only thing more dangerous to you than the enemy, is your allies
Sent by Marc Underwood
Night vision - isn’t
Sent by truga
When you need CAS, they’ll be on last weeks radio fill and you won’t be able to reach them
When you need Apache’s, they’ll be busy escorting the generals bird around
Last two laws were sent by Warpig, saying they are “A couple of additions to the law I picked up in Afghanistan”.
Supply & Demand law
Whatever you have, you won’t need; whatever you need, you won’t have.
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)
Last two laws were sent by Sylvia Steward
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
Evening Herr KaLeun. I too have always been surprised that this charge was the last large scale one, but it is how I remember it.
Just to be sure, I did google last British cavalry charge and found and read of the one you mention about an hour ago!