Wisdom from military training manuals


Verified Military
Sep 12, 2012
"If the enemy is in range, so are you."
-Infantry Journal

"It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed."
-US. Air Force Manual

"Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword, obviously never encountered automatic weapons."
-General Mac Arthur

"You, you, and you... panic. The rest of you, come with me."
-Infantry Sgt.

"Tracers work both ways."
-Army Ordnance Manual

"Five second fuses last about three seconds."
-Infantry Journal

The three most useless things in aviation are: fuel in the bowser, runway behind you, and air above you.
-Basic Flight Training Manual

"Any ship can be a minesweeper. Once."
-Naval Ops Manual

"Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do."
-Unknown Infantry Recruit

"If you see a bomb technician running, try to keep up to him."
-Infantry Journal

"Yeah, though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 feet and climbing."
-Sign over SR71 Wing Ops

"You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3."
-Paul F. Crickmore (test pilot)

"The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire."
-Unknown Author

"If the wings are travelling faster than the fuselage it has to be a helicopter - and therefore, unsafe."
-Fixed Wing Pilot

"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane, you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash."
-Multi-Engine Training Manual

"Without ammunition, the Air Force is just an expensive flying club."
-Unknown Author

"If you hear me yell "Eject, Eject, Eject!" the last two will be echoes." If you stop to ask "Why?" you'll be talking to yourself, because by then you'll be the pilot."
-Pre-flight Briefing from a Canadian F104 Pilot

"What is the similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots? If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies... but If ATC screws up... the pilot dies."
-Sign over Control Tower Door-

"Never trade luck for skill."
-Author Unknown

The three most common expressions (or famous last words) in military aviation are: "Did you feel that?" "What's that noise?" and "Oh shit!"
-Authors Unknown

"Airspeed, altitude and brains. Two are always needed to successfully complete the flight."
-Basic Flight Training Manual

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
-Emergency Checklist

"The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you."
-Attributed to Max Stanley (Northrop test pilot)

"There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime."
-Sign over Squadron Ops Desk at Davis-Montham AFB, AZ

"You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal."
-Lead-in Fighter Training Manual

Red Flag 1

Verified Military
Sep 28, 2010
When considering the flying conditions inside the cloud you are about to enter, they are never as bad as they may look. They, in fact, are always worse. One of the UPT weather books I had to read.


SOF Support
Feb 5, 2011
Dallas Metro Area
"You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal."
-Lead-in Fighter Training Manual

This is good :D


Verified Military
Sep 10, 2015
"A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what's left of your unit."
-PM Magazine

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

Not from a manual but my leadership technique in a nutshell:
“A leader has to appear consistent. That doesn’t mean he has to be consistent.” — James Callahan, English Prime Minister, Harvard Business Review, November/December 1986


Verified Military
Nov 3, 2015
Durham, NC
Not from a manual but from a briefing when we got issued Gore-Tex gear: "You officers....the badge tab on the front of the jackets is a bullseye for snipers. I would suggest you not use it. Your men know what rank you are."

x SF med

the Troll
Verified SOF
Jan 1, 2007
Not far from the south of Canada, 'Murica!
SOF Mentor
When learning to telemark with Ramer skis...."Remember to release the heel for cross country and uphill. Lock the heel for downhill, unless you're an experienced telemark skier. If you are telemarking, use your Hanwegs or Chippewa boots, if you try to use VB's, you will be in the hospital, they're just warm condoms for your feet and offer no support."

eta - you need to know the differences in these boots for it to be funny and true.
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