Faster than a speeding bullet.
More powerful than a locomotive.
Leaps tall buildings in a single bound.
Walks on water.
Lunches with God, but must pick up tab.
Almost as fast as a speeding bullet.
More powerful than a shunting engine on a steep incline.
Leaps short buildings with a single bound.
Walks on water if sea is calm.
Talks to God.
Faster than an energetically thrown rock.
Almost as powerful as a speeding bullet.
Leaps short buildings with a running start in favorable winds.
Walks on water of indoor swimming pools if lifeguard is present.
May be granted audience with God if special request is approved at least
three working days in advance.
Can fire a speeding bullet with tolerable accuracy.
Loses tug-of-war against anything mechanical.
Makes impressively high marks when trying to leap tall buildings.
Is occasionally addressed by God, in passing.
Can sometimes handle firearm without shooting self.
Is run over by trains.
Barely clears outhouse.
Mumbles to self.
Is dangerous to self and comrades if armed and unsupervised.
Recognizes trains two out of three times.
Runs into tall buildings.
Can stay afloat if properly instructed in the use of life jacket and water
Talks to walls.
Can be trusted with either gun or ammunition but never both.
Must have train ticket pinned to jacket and mittens tied to sleeves.
Falls over doorsteps while trying to enter tall buildings.
Plays in Mud puddles.
Under no circumstances to be issued with gun or ammunition, and must even
be closely supervised when handling sharp pieces of paper - staples are
Says: "Look at choo choo!"
Not allowed inside buildings of any size.
Makes good boat anchor.
Mere existence makes God shudder.
Catches hyper sonic armor piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot
depleted uranium long rod penetrators in his teeth and eats them.
Kicks bullet trains off their tracks.
Uproots tall buildings and walk under them.
Freezes water with a single glance; parts it with trifling gesture.
(From Jim Deister)
In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth and the
And God looked upon the Infantry, saw that it was good, and said
unto them "Thou art my chosen children. Take thou dominion over the
Earth; over the fish of the Sea, the birds of the Air, and all of the
Key Terrain." And as a mark of His favor the Lord placed in the hands
of the Infantry the sacred relics: the Apostolic Anti-Armor Weapon,
the Catholic Claymore, and the Marian Machine Gun. Likewise gaveth the
Lord unto the Infantry the Rucksack of Repentance, the Radio of
Redemption, the Rifle of Rectitude. Lastly, unto the Infantry, and
most divine of
all, the Lord gaveth the Holy Hand Grenade.
For the Infantry's sustenance the Lord declared "Four shall be thy
food groups: Coffee, Tobacco, C-Rats, and Alcohol. Shun all other
unclean food and drink."
And the Infantry dwelt in the land therein.
And time passed, and the Infantry cried out unto their God saying
"Lord, help us, for we are weary."
And God smiled upon the Infantry, for they were blessed. Then the
Lord took the fattest and laziest of the Infantry and set them upon
beasts of burden. And these He called Cavalry. And as the Cavalry
became fatter, lazier and heavier still they were known as Armor, or
DAT's for short. And the Lord looked down upon the Armor and saw that
it was mediocre.
The Lord then said "Oh, well. Thou canst not win them all. Let them
lead in case of landmines." To the DAT's the Lord said "Quiche shall
be thy food, and bottled water thy drink. Touch not the sacred chow of
And the Infantry and the Armor dwelt in the land therein.
And time passed and the Infantry cried out again unto their Lord
saying "Lord help us, for we are weary."
And God smiled again upon the Infantry, for they were his chosen.
Then God took those of the Armor with butts like baseplates and breath
like sulfur and tiny, tiny pee-pees and these He made Artillery.
But God saw that the Artillery, too, was mediocre and said unto
Himself "Oh well, garbage in; garbage out."
Unto the Artillery He said "The big guns shall atone in part for thy
diminutive other stature. Tryst thou not to hurt thyself."
To the Infantry the Lord said "When the night is darkest these shall
light the way...more or less. When the approach is most open these
shall, occasionally - with luck, confound the enemy's sight. When thou
callest for fire support these shall - eventually - provide it with
high explosive, cluster munitions and, best of all, nukes." Though the
Lord cautioned the Infantry to never, never, never trust Tacfire or
any other electronic computer in the hands of the Artillery. And the
Armor, and the Artillery dwelt in the land therein. Then the Artillery
created the Air Defense Artillery; but quickly asked forgiveness.
And time passed and the Infantry called out yet again unto their God,
saying "Lord help us, for we are weary."
Again the Lord looked with favor upon the Infantry. He took those of
the Armor, Artillery and Air Defense Artillery who most liked to play
in the mud and these he made Combat Engineers, and those who dwelt in
darkness and spoke in riddles and these he made Military Intelligence,
and those with thieving hearts and these He made Quartermasters, and
of those who neither sowed nor reaped and were most fond of hammering
square pegs into round holes He made Adjutants General. Of those who
liked to tinker with good equipment until it broke He made the
Ordnance Corps. Of those whose penchant was poison He made Cooks. Of
those who ran around in circles He made the Transportation Corps. Of
the least articulate He made Signalers. Of the mindlessly doctrinaire
and arrogant He - reluctantly - created Military Police and Inspectors
General (though the Lord admitted, to Himself, that He was probably
only providing employment opportunities to Satan's minions). Of those
who dealt in controlled substances He made the Medics and of those
whose minds had been destroyed by the same made He the Chemical Corps.
Yea, the Lord of All filled up the MTOE.
And the Infantry, and the others, dwelt in the land therein.
Time passed, but yet, again, the Infantry cried out unto their God,
saying "Lord, help us, for we are weary.
And the Heavens darkened, and the clouds gathered. The lightning's
spake and the Infantry abased themselves before their God, for they
were sore afraid.
And the Lord spoke with anger, asking "How canst thou yet be weary?
Have I not made the Armor and the Artillery to support thee? Have I
not made of the detritus of the earth Quartermasters and Adjutants and
Signalers and Transporters and a host of others to assist thee?
Verily, have I not even made Military Intelligence, although it were a
contradiction in terms?"
Humbly the Infantry abased themselves again before their God, crying
"Lord, it is of these that we are weary."
The average age of the Infantryman is 19 years. He is a short haired,
tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by
society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, but old
enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and
he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's; but he has
never collected unemployment either.
He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average
student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old
jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when
he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world
away. He listens to rock and roll or jazz or swing and 155mm
Howitzers. He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home
because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.
He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he
can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less. He
can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade
launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes
and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march
until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march. He obeys
orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit
or individual dignity.
He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and
wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He
sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He
can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.
If you're thirsty , he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry,
his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of
battle when you run low. He has learned to use his hands like weapons
and his weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life -- or
take it, because that is his job.
He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and
still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and
death then he should have in his short lifetime. He has stood atop
mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them. He has wept in
public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is
unashamed. Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather,
he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a
boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free
for over 200 years. He has asked nothing in return, except our
friendship and understanding.
Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration
with his blood.
He is an INFANTRYMAN!
Vietnam Veterans National Medal- issued 1984 - obverse side
Courtesy Al (Hop) Hopkinson
Vietnam Veterans National Medal- issued 1984 - reverse side
Courtesy Al (Hop) Hopkinson
Murphy's Laws of Combat
Sent in by Paul R Kasper - TDY 15th Eng Flame APC'S - 3/67-3/68 -
Soldiers and Armies
- You are not Superman.
- Professionals' are predictable, but the world is full of
- No combat ready unit has passed inspection.
- No inspection ready unit has ever passed combat.
- The side with the fanciest uniforms loses.
- Murphy was a grunt.
- If you are short everything except enemy, you're in combat.
- When both sides are convinced they are about to lose, they're
- The important things are simple.
- The simple things are very hard.
- No plan survives the first contact intact.
- Prefect plans aren't.
- Don't look conspicuous, it draws fire.
- Never draw fire, it makes everyone around you nervous.
- Try to look unimportant, they may be low on ammo.
- If the enemy is within range, so are you.
- Anything you can do can get you shot, including doing nothing.
- If the enemy is in range, "SO ARE YOU!!!"
- If you can't see the enemy, he still may be able to see you.
- If it's stupid but works, it's not stupid.
- When in doubt, empty the magazine.
- Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you.
- If your attack is going really well, it's an ambush.
- The enemy diversion you are ignoring is the main attack.
- The easy way is always mined.
- When you have secured an area, don't forget to tell the enemy.
- Teamwork is essential. It gives the enemy other' to shoot at.
- Make it too tough for the enemy to get in, and you can't get
- The only terrain that is truly controlled is the terrain upon
which you're standing.
- The easy way generally gets you killed.
- If you take more than your fair share of objectives, you will
have more than your fair share objectives to take.
- You can win without fighting, but it's a lot tougher to do. And
the enemy may not cooperate.
- Ammo is cheap; your life isn't.
- It's easier to expend material in combat than to fill out the
forms for Graves Registration.
- Always keep in mind that your weapon was made by the lowest
- The law of the bayonet says the man with the bullet wins.
- Tracers work both ways.
- The best tank killer is another tank. Therefore tanks are always
fighting each other... and have no time to help the infantry.
- Armored vehicles are bullet magnets, a moving foxhole that
- All five second grenades are three seconds.
- The bursting radius of a grenade is always one foot greater than
your jumping range.
- If you can't remember, the claymore is pointed towards YOU.
- Recoilless rifles, aren't.
Artillery and Bombing
- Suppressive fire, won't.
- Final protective fire doesn't.
- Friendly fire, isn't.
- Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support desperately.
- Incoming fire has the right-of-way.
- The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is
incoming friendly fire.
- If you are forward of your position, artillery will fall short.
- All-weather close support doesn't work in bad weather.
- Precision bombing is normally accurate within plus/minus one
- Cluster bombing from B-25s and C-130s is very, very accurate.
The bombs always hit the ground.
- Murphy was a logistician.
- Things that must be together to work, usually can't be shipped
- Radios will fail as soon as you need something desperately.
- Beer math is "2 beers x 37 men = 49 cases."
- Body count math is: two guerrillas plus one portable plus two
pigs = 37 enemy in action.
- The enemy side always looks stronger, especially when they are
firing at you, to both sides.
- The othersides weapons always seem to look better than you own.
- The noisiest weapons always appear to the most powerful.