MURPHY'S LAWS OF COMBAT OPERATIONS
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 airstrike.
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 fuzes 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 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
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
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
Professional soldiers are predictable; the world is full of
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 towards 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 lieutenet 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 2nd Lieutenent 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 region Theatre.
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)
Airstrikes always overshoot the target, artillery always falls
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
The perfect person 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
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
Density of fire increases proportionally to the curiousness of the
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
colonel 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 lieutenent 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.
All or any of the above combined.
The Snake Model
Upon encountering a snake in the Area of Operation (AO):
Paratrooper: Kills the snake.
Armor: Runs over snake, giggles, and looks for more snakes.
Infantry: "Look, a putty cat. Come 'ere kitty . . . Ouch! Hey, that's not
a kitty cat.
Infantry (alt): "Ugh! Me see snake. Me like snake. Ouch! Me no like snake.
Army Aviation: Has GPS grid to snake. Couldn't find snake. Back to base for
crew rest and theclub and some sort of drink called "The Snake.
Ranger: Plays with the snake, then eats it.
Ranger (alt): Assaults the snake's home and secures it for use by friendly
SEAL: Expends all ammunition, several grenades and calls for naval gunfire
in a failed attempt to kill the snake. The snake bites the SEAL then
retreats to safety.
Corps Artillery: Kills snake, but in the process kills several hundred
civilians with amassive TOT with three FA BDEs in support. Mission is
considered a success and all participants are awarded Silver Stars.
(Cooks, Mechanics, Legal Clerks etc.).
Marine Recon: Follows the snake and gets lost.
Combat Controller: Guides the snake elsewhere.
Pararescue: Wounds the snake in first encounter, then feverishly works to
save the snake's life.
Special Forces: Makes contact with the snake, builds rapport, wins its
heart and mind, then trains it to kill other snakes.
Comments, Questions, Ideas, Missions
Mail to: Thomas_Michael.Schwarz@GMX.de
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