Miscellaneous Sea Service Humor

Assorted Laws
Shipboard Newbie Go'fer Lines
Engineers' Dictum
Basic Laws of Combat
Six Phases of a Military Operation
USMC and USN Rules of Engagement
Evaluations and Fitness Reports

Assorted Laws

1.  In any group of eagles you'll find some turkeys.

2. The further down the table of organization you are, the more you'll be missed if you're late to work.

3.  When someone is kicking your ass, at least you know you're out in front.

4. Facts without theory is trivia.  Theory without facts is b.s.

5. Mice get stepped on when elephants dance.

6. Communications is equal to the square root of the mistakes times confusion times contradictions.

7. If everything seems to be coming your way, you're probably in the wrong lane.

8. It is impossible to tell from a distance whether a headquarters staff working on a project is simply sitting on their hands or frantically trying to cover their asses.

9. The best way to get credit is to try to give it away.

10. Whom you badmouth today will be your boss tomorrow.

11. A squeaking wheel may get the grease, but it's also the first to be replaced.

12. First law of survival.  Keep the boss's boss off the boss's back.

13. Real seasickness is not when you're afraid you'll die, but when you're afraid you'll live.

14. Problems that go away by themselves will come back by themselves.

15. Education is not a substitute for intelligence.

16. It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission.

17. Commanders must be kept busy or else everyone else will be.

18. Never wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty and the pig likes it.

19. If you can't live with the answer, don't ask the question.

20. When you're up to your arse in alligators its hard to remember that your original plan was to drain the swamp.  (Tnx Dan Tanzey of the UK for #20-29)

21. The most dangerous thing known to man - an officer with a map. 

22. Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
Corollary: Anything that can't go wrong will go wrong.

23. O'Toole's comment on Murphy's Law: Murphy was an optimist.

24. The Non-reciprocal Law of Expectations: Negative expectations yield negative results; Positive expectations yield negative results.

25. The other queue moves faster. Proof: Change lines and the one you left will move faster.

26. Triangular sandwiches taste nicer.

27. One of the most embarrassing things that can happen is when you get your pint-to-toilet in synchronization with a complete stranger.

28. There is no way to describe the smell of a wet cat.

29. No-one makes Sergeants, they are produced in Petrie dishes - like all bacteria.

30.  No matter how well you perform your job, a superior will modify the results.

31. Where there is a will there is a won't.

32. You can make it foolproof, but you cannot make it damn fool proof.

33. Nothing is impossible for a man who doesn't have to do it himself.

34.  When the plane you are on is late, the plane you want to transfer to is on time.

35. Arguing with a CPO is a lot like wrestling in the mud with a pig - after a while you begin to realize the pig is enjoying it! [Tnx Marty Welch #35-56]

36. Never argue with an idiot - people watching may not be able to tell the difference!


Shipboard Newbie Go'fer Lines

1. Bucket of prop wash from the aviators

2. Gallon of jet blast

3. Left handed wrench from the tool room

4. Adjustable metric wrench from the tool room

5. Fathom of water line from the Boatswain's locker

6. Fathom of shore line from the Boatswain's locker

7. Fathom of flight line

8. Red and green oil for the running lights

9. Piston return spring from the engine room

10. Dehydrated water from the boiler room

11. A sine waver from the electronics shop (Revives flattened sine waves)

12. High frequency cleaner from the electronics shop

13. Board stretcher from the carpenter shop

14. A grid square from the chartroom

15. Bucket of steam from the boiler room

16. A look at the Golden rivet in the keel

17. Striped paint in the paint locker

18. Relative bearing grease

19. Fifty feet of chow line  [Tnx Steve Graham #19-25]

20. A box of radar contacts

21. A box of radio contacts

22. Captain's Mast grease

23. Rudder grease

24. Twenty feet of Plimsoll line

25. A sea bat

26. Sound powered phone batteries [Tnx Stacey C. Smith Sr. #25-26]

27. Gas credit card before UnRep commences

28. DC punch


Engineers' Dictum

1.  Measure it with a micrometer.  Mark it with a grease pencil.  Cut it with an ax.

2.  If it doesn't fit, get a bigger hammer.  Pound it to fit.  Paint it to match.

3.  If it doesn't fit, force it.  If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway. [Tnx PO2 Duke]

4. The seriousness of a mechanical failure is directly proportionate to the number of khakis required to observe it!  [Tnx Moe Goodell]


Basic Laws of Combat

 1. You are not superman.

 2. Suppressive fires -- won't.

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

 4. Don't look conspicuous -- it draws fire.

 5. When in doubt, empty the magazine.

 6. Never share a fighting hole with anyone braver than you are.

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

 8. If your attack is going really well, it's an ambush.

 9. No plan survives the first contact intact.

10. All five second grenade fuses will burn down in three seconds.

11. Try to look unimportant, because the bad guys may be low on ammo.

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

13. The enemy diversion you are ignoring is the main attack.

14. The important things are always simple.

15. The simple things are always hard.

16. The easy way is always mined.

17. If you are short of everything except enemy, you are in combat.

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

19. Incoming fire has the right-of-way.

20. No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection. 

21. If the enemy is in range, so are you.

22. Beer math: 37 men times 2 beers each equals 49 cases.

23. Body count math: 3 bad guys plus 1 probable plus 2 pigs = 37 enemy killed in action.

24. Friendly fire - isn't.

25. Things that must be together to work usually can't be shipped together.

26. Radios will fail as soon as you need fire support desperately.

27. Anything you do can get you shot -- including doing nothing.

28. If you make it too tough for the enemy to get in you can't get out.

29. Tracers work BOTH ways.

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

31. If you take more than your fair share of objectives, you will have more than your fair share to take.

32. When both sides are convinced they are about to lose, they're both right.

33. Professional soldiers are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs.

34.  Any significant military action will occur at the junction of two or more map sheets.

35. When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend.

36. Don't draw fire; it irritates the people around you.

37. Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.


Six Phases of a Military Operation

1. Enthusiasm.

2. Disillusionment.

3. Panic.

4. Search for the guilty.

5. Punishment of the innocent.

6. Praise and honor for the non participant.

(This dates to post Vietnam and reflects the cynicism of that era when career Marines were wearing T-shirts with "Second Place - SE Asia War Games"  -webmaster) 


USMC and USN Rules of Engagement

USMC Rules

1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough nor using cover correctly.

5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. [Lateral and diagonal movement are preferred.]

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun and a friend with a long gun.

7. Ten years from now, no one will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running.

9. Accuracy is relative. [Most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun.]

10. Use a weapon that works every time.  [All skill is in vain when the devil pisses in the flintlock of your musket.]

11. Someday someone may kill you with your own weapon, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

12. Always cheat; always win. If you walk away, it was a fair fight. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

13. Always have a plan. 
.1 Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work.

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible. The visible target should be in FRONT of your gun.

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

16. Don't drop your guard.

17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees.

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill.  [In God we trust.  Everyone else, keep your hands where I can see them].

19. Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

22. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.

23. Your best option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

USN Rules

1. Adopt an aggressive offshore posture.

2. Drink coffee.

3. Send in the Marines.

(Tnx to Ed Poplin & Jarrad Langley)


Evaluations and Fitness Reports

A collection of one liners that you wouldn't want to see on your report card.  

"His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of curiosity."

"This officer is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definitely won't-be."

"Works well under constant supervision and when cornered like a rat in a trap."

"This young lady has delusions of adequacy."

"She sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."

"This officer should go far--and the sooner he starts, the better."

"This man is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot."

"Since my last report, this officer has reached rock bottom and has started to dig."

"When she opens her mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet."

"Obviously, from the shallow end of the gene pool."

"He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle."

"A gross ignoramus - 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus."

"He certainly takes a long time to make his pointless."

"He doesn't have ulcers, but he's a carrier."

"I would like to go hunting with him sometime."

"He's been working with glue too much."

"Mind like a steel trap - rusted shut."

"She would argue with a signpost."

"He has a knack for making strangers immediately."

"He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room."

"When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell."

"If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the other one."

"A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on."

"A prime candidate for natural de-selection."

"Donated his brain to science before he was done using it."

"Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming."

"Has two brains: one is lost and the other is out looking for it."

"If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week."

"If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you'd get change."

"If you stand close enough to her, you can hear the ocean."

"It's hard to believe that he beat one million other sperm to the egg."

"One neuron short of a synapse."

"Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled."

"Takes him 2 hours to watch '60 Minutes.'"

"The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead."