Murphy’s Laws of Combat – Part Three

Well, here we’re about to wrap up the three-part series of posts dedicated to Murphy’s Laws of Combat.  I probably didn’t order them well, and I commented at random on all of these.  Again, I need to nod in appreciation to Archon, who did an awesome and very detailed post about non-combat laws, some of them also attributed to Murphy.

Without further delay, the stunning conclusion:

The worse the weather, the more you are required to be out in it. Crawling around in wet mud is as unpleasant as wearing full body armor in 130-degree weather, by the way.

Don’t ever be the first, don’t ever be the last and don’t ever volunteer to do anything.  My father, also a veteran, told me this when I was 18 and beginning my Big Army Adventure.  It remains as true today as it did for him way back when.

Walking point = sniper bait.  Actually it’s more like ‘thing that goes boom bait.’  Snipers usually look for big guys, people in charge, or someone who talks on the radio a lot… aw shit.

Odd objects attract fire. You are odd. Walking point makes you odd.  So does being in charge, having an antenna, or being the big, too-heavy-to-carry guy.  The key related law:

Odd objects attract fire – never lurk behind one.  Get out from behind me.

If orders can be misunderstood they will be. Never underestimate the ability of the mind to creatively interpret things and derive that which they truly want as opposed to what was directed.

Things that must be together to work can never be shipped together.  Or so it seems.  This fact has been the bane of my existence more times than I can recall, and always involves a pissed-off boss who’s waiting for his shit to work correctly.

The effective killing radius is greater than the average soldier can throw it. Fact: they once invented nuclear hand grenades.

No matter which way you have to march, its always uphill. True statement, and for those of you out there ‘in the know,’ the PT test 2-mile course will always go by the water treatment plant.

The quartermaster has only two sizes, too large and too small. Especially true of those of us who fit into the “most common size” category.  I’ve learned to love boots that are too big.

Any ship can be a minesweeper . . .  once.  Every boat in the Navy has a use.

Whenever you lose contact with the enemy, look behind you. I’d add ‘and to your sides’ as well.  He has a funny way of showing up when unwanted, like that irritating guy from your office.

When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not your friend. So very true, and you have between three and five seconds to break off your alleged friendship with him.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this odd series of peeks into the mind of the combat Soldier.

30 Responses to “Murphy’s Laws of Combat – Part Three”

  1. My husband was in the army and one of the first things he taught me was “never volunteer” ever for anything. I hate to say it, but I think that holds true in the civilian world.

    Great post!

  2. rchilia79 Says:

    Reblogged this on Rchilia79's Blog.

  3. How about “multi-fuel engines never are”? And I’m not sure about the nuke hand grenades, but I DO know about the Jeep-mounted Davy Crocket nuclear recoil-less rifle round. At least Atomic Annie got you out of the immediate blast zone – even if it DID only move at a speed of about 2 miles an hour. (We spent WAY too much time with the Germans after World War 2. Those goofs created an 800mm – yes, a 31.5 inch diameter – “railroad” gun. Took a whole division just to work the dang thing, much less all the manpower and material it took to build. One of the greatest contributors to our victory over the Germans in WW2! 😀 )

  4. Salute anything that moves. Paint anything that doesn’t. Dad told me of erecting new barracks. His squad was ordered to paint the new ones. The other squad somehow got orders to tear down – not the old ones, but the new ones. He said, it was all they could do to stay ahead of them.

  5. So, it sounds like what you are saying is that no matter what you do, other than lie under your woobie in the safety of your bunk- you are a walking target. Sounds pretty stress free!

  6. Early on I learned, NAVY = Never Again Volunteer Yourself. Love the one about minesweepers, and “Mr. Grenade is no longer your friend” is a classic. Great list.

  7. Isn’t there something about only sending net tents to a place in the rainy season?

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