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Murphy's laws of combat


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Murphy's Laws of Combat


If your sergeant can see you, so can the enemy.

If the enemy is within range, so are you.

Incoming fire always has the right of way.

What can be seen can be hit, what can be hit can be killed.

There is no such thing as an atheist in a firefight.


Friendly fire -- isn't.

Recoilless rifles -- aren't.

Suppressive fires -- don't.

Interchangeable parts -- aren't.


The most dangerous thing in the world is a second lieutenant with a map and a compass.


There is always a way.

The best way is never the easy way.

The easy way is always mined.

The important things are always simple; the simple things are always hard.


No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection.

No inspection ready unit has ever passed combat.


No operations plan ever survives initial contact.

There is no such thing as a perfect plan.


Sniper's motto: "Reach out and touch someone."

Sniper's philosophy: "If you run, you'll only die tired."


You are not Superman (Marines and fighter pilots take note).

Professionals are predictable, it's the amateurs that are dangerous.


The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions:

a. when you're ready for them.

b. when you're not ready for them.


Never draw fire, it irritates everyone around you.

The buddy system is essential to your survival -- it gives the enemy someone else to shoot at.

Never share a fighting position with anyone braver than yourself.

Don't look conspicuous, it draws enemy fire.

Try to look unimportant to the enemy, they may be low on ammo.

Anything you do can get you shot, including doing nothing.


If you can't remember, then the Claymore is pointed at you.

The enemy diversion you have been ignoring is the main attack.

A sucking chest wound is Nature's way of telling you to slow down.


If you're short of everything but the enemy, you're in a combat zone.

If your advance is going really well, you are walking into an ambush.

If your attack is going really well, you are IN an ambush.


Make it tough enough for the enemy to get in and you won't be able to get out.

The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.

If you are forward of your position, your artillery will fall short.

When you have secured an area, don't forget to tell the enemy.

If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid.

If at first you don't succeed, call in an airstrike.

As soon as you are served hot chow in the field, it rains.

When in doubt, empty your magazine.

Field experience is something you never get until just after you need it.

No matter which way you have to march, it's always uphill.


When reviewing the radio frequencies that you just wrote down, the most important ones are always smudged beyond recognition.

Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support.


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.


Tracers work both ways.

Five-second fuses always burn in three seconds.

The bursting radius of a hand grenade is always one foot greater than the distance you can jump.


The cost of a weapon system is in direct proportion to the distance it must be shipped for repairs.

The items you need the most are always in short supply.

Two items which must be together to work can't be shipped that way.

Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.


Murphy was a grunt.

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There are no atheists in a foxhole.

Artillery trumps small arms fire.


We the unwilling, led by the unknowing are doing the impossible, for the ungrateful, we have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.


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