Murphy’s Laws of Combat
…. Murphy’s Laws of Combat ….
1. You are not superman.
2. Recoilless rifles aren’t.
3. Suppressive fire won’t.*
4. If it’s stupid, but works, it ain’t stupid. (Applies to computer hardware and software also).
5. Don’t look conspicuous. It draws fire.
6. Never draw fire. It irritates everyone around you.
7. When in doubt, empty the magazine.
8. Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you are.
9. Your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.*
10. If your attack is really going well, it’s an ambush.
11. If you can’t remember, the Claymore is pointed towards you.*
12. All five second grenade fuses are three seconds.
13. Try to look unimportant. They may be low on ammo.
14. If you are forward of your position, the artillery will be short.
15. The enemy diversion you are ignoring is the main attack.
16. The easy way is always mined.
17. The important things are very simple.
18. The simple things are very hard.
19. If you are short of everything except enemy, you are in combat.
20. No OPLAN survives first contact intact.*
21. When you have secured an area, don’t forget to tell the enemy, and CNN.
22. Incoming fire has right-of-way.
23. No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection.
24. No inspection-ready unit has ever passed combat.
25. Teamwork is essential. It gives the enemy more people to shoot at.
26. If the enemy is within range, so are you.
27. Beer math is 2 beers x 37 men – 49 cases.
28. Body count is 2 enemy soldiers + 1 palm tree + 1 water buffalo = 37 KIA.
29. Friendly fire isn’t.*
30. Anything you do can get you shot, including doing nothing.
31. Make it tough for the enemy to get in, and you can’t get out.
32. Tracers work both ways.*
33. The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
34. Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support desperately.
35. If you take more than your fair share of objectives, you will have more than your fair share to take.*
36. Both sides are convinced they are about to loose. Both sides are right.
37. Professionals are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs.
38. Murphy was a grunt.*
Terms defined by item, in military form:
(More detailed explanation of Murphy’s Laws of Combat items which are marked with an ‘*‘)
R760A3. Suppressive fire is designed to keep the “bad guys” from moving about or advancing while the “good guys” are trying to do the same thing.. Something like one cop providing cover fire for another cop who is trying to get close to a “bad guy”. NRDG575-X7. A magazine contains x-number of bullets. If you hear ome thing that comes from where nothing should be, empty the magazine at the sound…if you don’t hit someone or something, you will scare the @#$ out of him. The basic mentality for this is that if someone is out there where they don’t belong, they deserve to get hit. (item 3)
9. Applies to almost all military equipment (planes, ships, submarines, tanks, bombs, bullets, etc). (item 9)
NOPER-CX11. A claymore is an anti-personnel mine filled with things like shotgun shot, small sharp pieces of metal, etc. It is connected to the detonator by wires, and fired by a small switch. Usually placed on or near perimeters and fired at large groups of people. The load will “shred” those that are hit. The claymore has a distinct front and back, which will hopefully help the person aim it in the correct direction. (item 11)
?PLANHXV-20. An OPLAN is a document that outlines the best case scenario that should happen during the course of an operation, or in the event of hostilities. It is basically a crystal ball for the outcome of a battle. Very rarely are they even close to correct, but senior officers like them because they are usually written according to the way the seniors want the action to go vice the way it will probably turn out. (item 20)
29. Friendly fire is fire originating from the “good guys”. It is commonly referred to as “outgoing fire”. Friendly fire has a bad habit of getting friendlies, especially when being conducted by new or inexperienced troops (or led by 2nd Lt’s.) (item 29)
RDX9LDF-32. Tracer rounds are placed about every 5-10 round. Designed to burn when fired, providing a light that can be seen. Used at night to make sure of accuracy of aim. In the videos of anti-air fire in Iraq, you could see a lot of tracer rounds. (item 32)
35. The better job you do will usually mean that you will be assigned more to do. (item 35)
MURP-38P. A grunt is the basic infantryman, or front-line foxhole troop. Murphy was a grunt. (item 38)