Murphy’s Laws

Ripped from https://www.itstactical.com:

Murphy’s Laws of Combat Operations

By The ITS Crew

Murphy's Law of Combat Operations

We’ve mentioned the venerable Mr. Murphy here on a few occasions and today we’d like to provide with the bible of Murphy’s Laws of Combat Operations. While the origin of Murphy’s Law is contested to this day, the version we tend to side with is mentioned on the Murphy’s Law Wikipedia entry:

Arthur Bloch, in the first volume (1977) of his Murphy’s Law, and Other Reasons Why Things Go WRONG series, prints a letter that he received from George E. Nichols, a quality assurance manager with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Nichols recalled an event that occurred in 1949 at Edwards Air Force Base, Muroc, California that, according to him, is the origination of Murphy’s law, and first publicly recounted by USAF Col. John Paul Stapp. An excerpt from the letter reads:

The Law’s namesake was Capt. Ed Murphy, a development engineer from Wright Field Aircraft Lab. Frustration with a strap transducer which was malfunctioning due to an error in wiring the strain gage bridges caused him to remark — “If there is any way to do it wrong, he will” — referring to the technician who had wired the bridges at the Lab. I assigned Murphy’s Law to the statement and the associated variations.

Murphy’s always along for the ride no matter if you’re conducting combat operations or living your daily life. If you’re not familiar with him and his antics, you’ve probably just never known he was with you all along. Here’s the list of 113 of Mr. Murphy’s Laws of Combat Operations.

Murphy’s Laws of Combat Operations

  1. Friendly fire – isn’t.
  2. Recoilless rifles – aren’t.
  3. Suppressive fires – won’t.
  4. You are not Superman; Marines and fighter pilots take note.
  5. A sucking chest wound is Nature’s way of telling you to slow down.
  6. If it’s stupid but it works, it isn’t stupid.
  7. Try to look unimportant; the enemy may be low on ammo and not want to waste a bullet on you.
  8. If at first you don’t succeed, call in an airstrike.
  9. If you are forward of your position, your artillery will fall short.
  10. Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than yourself.
  11. Never go to bed with anyone crazier than yourself.
  12. Never forget that your weapon was made by the lowest bidder.
  13. If your attack is going really well, it’s an ambush.
  14. The enemy diversion you’re ignoring is their main attack.
  15. The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions: When they’re ready or when you’re not.
  16. No PLAN ever survives initial contact.
  17. There is no such thing as a perfect plan.
  18. Five second fuzes always burn three seconds.
  19. There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole.
  20. A retreating enemy is probably just falling back and regrouping.
  21. The important things are always simple; the simple are always hard.
  22. The easy way is always mined.
  23. Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at.
  24. 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.)
  25. Never draw fire; it irritates everyone around you.
  26. If you are short of everything but the enemy, you are in the combat zone.
  27. When you have secured the area, make sure the enemy knows it too.
  28. Incoming fire has the right of way.
  29. No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection.
  30. No inspection ready unit has ever passed combat.
  31. If the enemy is within range, so are you.
  32. The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.
  33. Things which must be shipped together as a set, aren’t.
  34. Things that must work together, can’t be carried to the field that way.
  35. Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support. Corollary: Radar tends to fail at night and in bad weather, and especially during both.
  36. Anything you do can get you killed, including nothing.
  37. Make it too tough for the enemy to get in, and you won’t be able to get out.
  38. Tracers work both ways.
  39. If you take more than your fair share of objectives, you will get more than your fair share of objectives to take.
  40. When both sides are convinced they’re about to lose, they’re both right.
  41. Professional soldiers are predictable; the world is full of dangerous amateurs.
  42. Military Intelligence is a contradiction.
  43. Fortify your front; you’ll get your rear shot up.
  44. Weather ain’t neutral.
  45. If you can’t remember, the Claymore is pointed towards you.
  46. Air defense motto: shoot ’em down; sort ’em out on the ground.
  47. ‘Flies high, it dies; low and slow, it’ll go.
  48. The Cavalry doesn’t always come to the rescue.
  49. Napalm is an area support weapon.
  50. Mines are equal opportunity weapons.
  51. B-52s are the ultimate close support weapon.
  52. Sniper’s motto: reach out and touch someone.
  53. Killing for peace is like screwing for virginity.
  54. The one item you need is always in short supply.
  55. Interchangeable parts aren’t.
  56. 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.
  57. When in doubt, empty your magazine.
  58. The side with the simplest uniforms wins.
  59. Combat will occur on the ground between two adjoining maps.
  60. If the Platoon Sergeant can see you, so can the enemy.
  61. Never stand when you can sit, never sit when you can lie down, never stay awake when you can sleep.
  62. The most dangerous thing in the world is a Second Lieutenant with a map and a compass.
  63. Exceptions prove the rule, and destroy the battle plan.
  64. Everything always works in your HQ, everything always fails in the Colonel’s HQ.
  65. The enemy never watches until you make a mistake.
  66. One enemy soldier is never enough, but two is entirely too many.
  67. A clean (and dry) set of BDU’s is a magnet for mud and rain.
  68. The worse the weather, the more you are required to be out in it.
  69. 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.
  70. The more a weapon costs, the farther you will have to send it away to be repaired.
  71. The complexity of a weapon is inversely proportional to the IQ of the weapon’s operator.
  72. Field experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
  73. No matter which way you have to march, it’s always uphill.
  74. If enough data is collected, a board of inquiry can prove anything.
  75. For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism. (in boot camp)
  76. Airstrikes always overshoot the target, artillery always falls short.
  77. When reviewing the radio frequencies that you just wrote down, the most important ones are always illegible.
  78. Those who hesitate under fire usually do not end up KIA or WIA.
  79. 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.
  80. To steal information from a person is called plagiarism. To steal information from the enemy is called gathering intelligence.
  81. The weapon that usually jams when you need it the most is the M60.
  82. The perfect officer for the job will transfer in the day after that billet is filled by someone else.
  83. 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.
  84. The newest and least experienced soldier will usually win the Medal of Honor.
  85. 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.
  86. Murphy was a grunt.
  87. Beer Math –> 2 beers times 37 men equals 49 cases.
  88. Body count Math –> 3 guerrillas plus 1 probable plus 2 pigs equals 37 enemies killed in action.
  89. The bursting radius of a hand grenade is always one foot greater than your jumping range.
  90. All-weather close air support doesn’t work in bad weather.
  91. The combat worth of a unit is inversely proportional to the smartness of its outfit and appearance.
  92. The crucial round is a dud.
  93. Every command which can be misunderstood, will be.
  94. There is no such place as a convenient foxhole.
  95. Don’t ever be the first, don’t ever be the last and don’t ever volunteer to do anything.
  96. If your positions are firmly set and you are prepared to take the enemy assault on, he will bypass you.
  97. If your ambush is properly set, the enemy won’t walk into it.
  98. If your flank march is going well, the enemy expects you to outflank him.
  99. Density of fire increases proportionally to the curiousness of the target.
  100. Odd objects attract fire – never lurk behind one.
  101. The more stupid the leader is, the more important missions he is ordered to carry out.
  102. The self-importance of a superior is inversely proportional to his position in the hierarchy (as is his deviousness and mischievousness).
  103. There is always a way, and it usually doesn’t work.
  104. Success occurs when no one is looking, failure occurs when the General is watching.
  105. The enemy never monitors your radio frequency until you broadcast on an unsecured channel.
  106. 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.
  107. As soon as you are served hot chow in the field, it rains.
  108. Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.
  109. The seriousness of a wound (in a fire-fight) is inversely proportional to the distance to any form of cover.
  110. Walking point = sniper bait.
  111. Your bivouac for the night is the spot where you got tired of marching that day.
  112. If only one solution can be found for a field problem, then it is usually a stupid solution.
  113. All or any of the above combined.

PSA – Holidays, 22 a day, and you

Not eloquent but heartfelt and important:

It appears to be that time again. Close to completeing another orbit around the sun on this blue rock called Earth.

This time of year is called the holidays. For some, a time to spend with family and friends. To enjoy fine food and drink. Ah, the merriment and celebration.

For some it is a time of deep saddness. Whether that comes from the hardships of daily life, family or friends gone or dead, or because of the angst of being looked down upon because they don’t have financial surplus to buy that new toy for their kids all the other children are so excited about. Really, it doesn’t matter. The saddness, the depression lurks beneath the surface.

Somewhere along the course of life image and status and possesions became more important than a memory of sitting around the dinner table with our family and listening to stories from our grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts. It became more important than making memories of what is most fleeting in our lives – each other.

If you are in the former category good for you. Share the joy if you can.
If you are in the later category remember a simple fact: you are not the only one; you’re not alone.

For either: try to build memories that will outlast some piece of plastic, some fad of the hour. This is especially true if you have children.

Reach out fellow Browncoats, there are many that this applies to and they need to know that we care.

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On Raising Boys to be Men

or The Sheep, The Wolf, and The Sheepdog

by @Flyover_Country

Reposted from Twitter with Permission

     A society that shackles its boys’ natural tendencies towards understanding righteous violence will find that they grow into insecure young men who are obsessed with it as a means to validation. Boys who are taught to defend themselves, and others, do not grow into monsters.


     From their earliest ages, boys scrap with one another to:

  • Establish hierarchy
  • Give an outlet to energy
  • Experience receiving, and giving, pain
  • Build confidence in themselves

It is the last two that matter most.

A boy who has felt his fist crunch against the face of another boy never forgets that complex, primal rush of sensory experiences. Nor does he forget what it’s like to be knocked down, or the exquisite and terrifying pain of having his nose broken.

As hard as it is for a parent, or the zero-tolerance schoolteachers, to see…fighting is a NECESSARY thing for a boy. Pain is the ultimate teacher, and violence is the final answer. Part of being a man is having the real, no-shit memory of conflict in his toolbox.

The confidence gained from surviving a fight, however small, changes a boy. That black eye (properly framed by a male role model, at least) is a badge of honor. The pain of healing is a reminder that he defended himself adequately, and lived to fight another day.

The Sheep

Boys who do not learn to reconcile the reality of violence – to harness it – are behind the masculinity curve for the rest of their lives. Stronger men will take advantage of this. So, too, will women. The conflict-averse male is stepped on everywhere he turns.

The average boy is not a monster-in-waiting. He’ll get in shoving matches, one or two of which will escalate to punches or wrestling. Some boys will become bullies, pushing their pain onto others, usually because of a bad home life. But neither of these types “just snaps”.

Bullies, Sociopaths, and the Victim turn into the The Wolf

It is the quiet, submissive-seeming kid who snaps. He’s usually picked on because he is less physically capable, not quite as handsome, certainly not popular. He grows insecure, adding layers of depression and unreconciled emotional pain as the years carry forward.

In that darkness of insecurity, he nurses his grudges. He fixates on the sources of his pain, and plays his killing-simulator video games (you think Call of Duty isn’t desensitizing kids to the wrong type of violence?!). He becomes obsessed with weapons and makes plans.

The thing about firearms is that they are, by design, a neutral tool of “force multiplication”. A frail, elderly woman can more readily protect herself against a high-testosterone violent felon. So too, can a picked-on, downtrodden social misfit lash out at scale.

Social engineers want to make it about the gun, because that is viewed as an easy solution. “JUST TAKE THE GUNS!” But we also need to get rid of cars, knives, anything that can be used to harm or maim someone. The will to commit mayhem will find a tool.

Rather, shouldn’t we find the courage as a society to let boys be boys? To give them a little space to understand violence in a low-stakes way? To quit loading them up with anti-depressants, when they mostly need a better diet, exercise, sunshine, and friends?

There’s a reason that the vast majority of these shooters fit a stereotype – frail, “nerdy”, loner, imbalanced emotionally, on meds, plays video games, etc. Individually, none of these are predictive indicators. But in concentration with one another, they paint a picture.

Collectively, they are the hallmarks of a kid who has received nothing but the wrong kind of pain. Dumped on, forgotten, and hollowed out by rejection. So they find an ideology or justification to hurt others. And one day, the world will know their name…

This is an incredibly complex issue, and is nearly-unique to the United States. Everyone has picked their reason based on their own projections – availability of firearms, bullies, culture of violence, “toxic masculinity” – and reverse engineered their conclusion.

The reality is, we’re into our second generation of boys being raised almost-exclusively by women. In the home, in schools, in church. Positive male role models are harder to come by. This isn’t an attack on feminism, either. That, too, is an easy, inadequate target.

A boy who is coddled into adulthood by the best intentions of women does not know how to process – to cope – with the inevitable reality of emotional, mental, and physical pain. An exclusively-male influence produces a higher propensity for predatory violence.

A boy (or girl, but when was the last mass shooting event by a female in the US?), needs a primary masculine influence, blunted a little by the feminine. He needs to fight, even just once. He needs to be reinforced, not coddled.

Making a Sheepdog

Boys are not showing their weakness or lack of discipline when they fight. They are learning how to forge their own chemistry, urges, and emotions into a tool of self-control and confidence.

Mothers, let your sons bleed a little.

Fathers, teach them to heal.

Gelding our boys does not ensure a safe society. It increases the risk of mass violence by putting a cork in the bottle, increasing the pressure inside until the young man explodes. His pain demands a response (credit to @mcclay_roman for that phrase).

We must build better men, or resolve to ourselves that mass violence will continue to increase in frequency and severity. Or we can keep building soapboxes on the bodies of the innocent victims.

Our choice.

Our future.




Editors note: Teaching our children the difference between pointless violence and proper application of violence to stop a threat to themselves or others, to stand up for the ‘underdog’, to extend their hand in friendship to another, and preparing them for the falls and pains of life is our job as parents. Not just our sons, our daughters as well.

Somewhere in the last few decades we missed telling our children two important things:

  1. Sticks and stones can break our bones, but words will not hurt us.
  2. The is no such thing as a free lunch.

There are nuances to these sayings to be sure. Our job, as parents, is to instill the strength of character and drive to succeed in our children. Our lives are busy, we have stresses, but taking an hour out of our day to interact with our children makes them and us better.

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