Wit and wisdom from the military

‘If the Enemy is in range, so are you.’
– Infantry Journal

‘It is generally inadvisable to eject over the area you just bombed’
– U.S. Air Force Manual

‘Aim towards the Enemy’
– Instructions printed on U.S. Rocket Launcher

‘Cluster bombing from B-52s is very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed always to hit the ground.’
– USAF Ammo Troop

‘Try to look unimportant;  they may be low on ammo.’
– Infantry Journal

‘You, you, and you. Panic. The rest of you come with me.’
– U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. (Mgysgt5)

‘Don’t ever be the first, don’t ever be the last, and don’t ever volunteer to do anything.’
– U.S. Navy Swabbie

‘If your attack is going too well, you’re walking into an ambush.’
– Infantry Journal

‘Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.’
– Unknown Marine Recruit

‘Don’t draw fire;  it irritates the people around you.’

‘If you see a bomb technician running, follow him.’
– USAF Ammo Troop

‘The only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.’

‘Blue water Navy truism: There are more planes in the ocean than submarines in the sky.’
– From an old carrier sailor

‘If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it’s probably a helicopter – and therefore, unsafe.’

‘When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane, you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash.’

‘Without ammunition, the USAF would be just another expensive flying club.’

‘Never trade luck for skill.’

The two most common expressions (or famous last words) in aviation are: ‘Why is it doing that?’ ‘Where are we?’

‘Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers.’

‘Airspeed, altitude and brains – Two are always needed to complete the flight successfully.’

‘Mankind has a perfect record in aviation;  we never left one up there!’

‘Flashlights are tubular metal containers kept in a flight bag to store dead batteries.’ 

‘Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground who is incapable of understanding or doing anything about it.’

‘A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular with what’s left of your unit.’
– Army’s magazine of preventive maintenance.

‘Never fly in the same cockpit with someone braver than you.’

‘There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime.’
– Sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, 1970

‘If something hasn’t broken on your helicopter, it’s about to.’

Basic Flying Rules:  
‘Try to stay in the middle of the air.
Do not go near the edges of it.
The edges of the air can be recognized
by the appearance of ground, buildings,
sea, trees and interstellar space.
It is much more difficult to fly there

As the test pilot climbs out of the experimental aircraft, having torn off the wings and tail in the crash landing, the crash truck arrives. The rescuer sees a bloodied pilot and asks, ‘What happened?’ The pilot’s reply, ‘I don’t know, I just got here myself!’
– Attributed to Ray Crandell (Lockheed test pilot)

5 Responses to Wit and wisdom from the military

  1. Patrick Flannigan December 16, 2009 at 04:16 #

    OK. I'll try my best to stay in the middle of the air :p

  2. Buk January 20, 2010 at 01:55 #

    Here's a little wit and wisdom you forgot:

    If it doesn't move, paint it!

  3. DAVID FITCH January 29, 2010 at 21:04 #

    USMC if it does move paint it camo.

  4. medical assistant November 18, 2010 at 21:33 #

    great post, love the stay in the middle of the air…

  5. Penelope Agnese August 17, 2011 at 06:00 #

    I sent this to my dad who used to fly F/A-18's about 20 years ago…he loved it! Thanks for all these aeronautical words of wisdom.

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