Rule One: Leave No One Behind.
[Every life has value, even after it has ended.]
Rule Two: If you have to kill, kill. Don't talk.
[Taking time during combat to taunt or harrangue the enemy only gives them the opportunity to kill you while you're distracted. Also, combat is not the time for negotiation.]
Rule Three: It is always better to have a backup and not need it than to need a backup and not have it.
Rule Four: If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking.
[Diversity of thought is critical to coming up with the right answers to any problem.]
Rule Five: Once is accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.
[Sometimes the best and only indicator of enemy planning is their actions - and recognizing enemy action is often a matter of recognizing when coincidence ends and enemy planning begins. Truly random conicidence in the universe rarely repeats more than once.]
Rule Six: If you did it and the enemy is dead and you aren't, you did it right.
[Results are more important than formal style or strict adherence to plans.]
Rule Seven: Never Depend on Luck.
['Luck' is not a force that protects you. It is what happens when Murphy turns his blind eye to you.]
Rule Eight: Care for your equipment like your life depends on it. Because it does.
Rule Nine: A fair fight implies you want the enemy to have a chance to kill you.
[No such thing as 'dirty fighting'. Never give the enemy a break. Never fight fair. Always nudge the odds in your favor whenever possible.]
Rule Ten: Negotiation implies that you are willing to settle for something less than the enemy's death.
[Only negotiate when you are willing to take prisoners. Never negotiate when you are not.]
Rule Eleven: Surrender implies you expect the enemy to let you live.
[If given a choice between fighting to the death or surrender, fight to the death. You might win if you fight, despite the odds. You can't win if you surrender.]
Rule Twelve: Truce implies that you think it would be a good idea to give the enemy a chance to re-supply.
Rule Thirteen: Never hesitate to exploit the enemy's superstitions.
[Exploiting the enemy's instincts, culture and other elements of their psychology can be highly productive.]
Rule Fourteen: Remember the Noncombatant Paradox.
[If you spare the women and children, they will never be grateful, the women always raise the children to kill you in revenge. If you shoot the women and children, it only makes the enemy fight even harder in revenge. There are no good answers when noncombatants are involved.]
Rule Fifteen: Meat is not a shield.
[Never allow the enemy to successfully use a non-combatant as a meat-shield. It allows the enemy to shoot at you with impunity, and teaches them a tactic that works against you. Try to shoot around non-combatants, if you can. If you must, shoot both of them.]
Rule Sixteen: Dead men tell no tales. Live ones, however, can be quite talkative at times.
[Note, however, that even a corpse can frequently reveal more information than the enemy may wish revealed.]
Rule Seventeen: You don't kick the commander off the bridge in the middle of the fight just because the band chief steps on deck.
[Rank is not a substitute for experience, particularly in an active engagement.]
Rule Eighteen: Honor is a precious flower growing atop a landmine.
[Never shame or dishonor anyone. Wound the enemy, kill the enemy, but never dishonor the enemy. Pain fades, dead are forgotten. Shame is eternal, and only makes the enemy fight harder. Never shame an ally, it can make them want to be your enemy. Accept apologies with grace and honor. Defend the honor of your allies.]
Rule Nineteen: Never slap the cook.
[Always extend the greatest respect to your support elements, because without them you cannot fight. Never be rude to a host.]
Rule Twenty: Only the dead are perfectly neat.
[No combat ready unit has ever passed inspection. No Inspection-ready unit has ever passed combat. We aren't here to look pretty. We're here to kill the enemy.]
Rule Twenty-One: Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean nobody's trying to kill you.
[It is better to assume danger and discover there is none than assume safety and discover there is none.]
Rule Twenty-Two: Protect your allies well, and they will learn to do the same. Protect your allies poorly, and they will learn to do the same.
Rule Twenty-Three: Self-Defense is a Human Right.
[Those who are not willing to use violence to defend themselves will always live in fear of those who are willing to use violence against them.]
Rule Twenty-Four: The best defense is a good offense.
[Wars are always won by attacking. No one ever won a war on the defensive side of a battlement.]
Rule Twenty-Five: Weakness is not a sin. Cowardice is.
[When the going gets tough, the tough call for close air support.]
Rule Twenty-Six: God's first name is Murphy.
[Anticipate and plan for the perversity of the universe tending towards maximum. The easy way is always mined. If you are forward of your position, the artillery will fall short. If your attack is going really well, it's an ambush. That which can go wrong with a plan will, and always at the worst possible moment. Those who do not respect Murphy's law will fall victim to it.]
Rule Twenty-Seven: Starting a fight you know you can't win only teaches the enemy not to fear you.
[Pick and choose your battles carefully when you can to maximize your victories and minimize your defeats. Don't start a battle that you already know you can't win, it wastes lives and encourages the enemy. Retreating from a losing battle is not cowardice, it's common sense.]
Rule Twenty-Eight: The enemy is never stupid. They can make mistakes, however.
[Never assume the enemy is stupid, or make plans that require the enemy to be stupid. They will always fail. Always create your plans with the assumption the enemy is equally as smart as you and has excellent intelligence - that way they will only fail if the enemy is smarter than you, has better intelligence than you, or Murphy turns his blind eye to them.]
Rule Twenty-nine: Write your battle plans on Fire, not Stone.
[Initiative is all - a good battle plan that you act on today is always better than waiting for a perfect one tomorrow. There is no such thing as a perfect battle plan, and no battle plan survives first contact intact. Never be afraid to abandon a battle plan that isn't working. The longer everything is going according to plan, bigger the impending disaster. The longer everything is going according to plan, the more likely the enemy has correctly guessed your plan and is setting up an ambush.]
Rule Thirty: Only the dead are never wrong, only the dead are always strong.
[There is no shame in asking for help or in admitting wrong. Those who refuse to ask for help or refuse to admit wrong bring deep shame upon themselves - and often death for themselves and everyone around them.]
Rule Thirty-One: Good foresight is better than perfect hindsight.
[The wisest question one can ask of oneself is "What if I'm wrong?" - and then answer it honestly. When drawing up a plan of action, always have someone scout for the enemy, looking for weaknesses in your plan.]
Rule Thirty-Two: If Your name is in the mouth of others, make sure it has teeth.
[Make evil fear you. Always act in ways that will bring honor and respect to yourself, and avoiding actions that make you look weak or honorless.]
Rule Thirty-Three: Always mind the enemy's information flow.
[When sniping the enemy, Shoot from back to front, point man last. Doing it the other way around only warns them to take cover. Killing an officer is more useful than killing a grunt. Killing a grunt with a radio is better than killing a grunt with a gun. The higher-up in the command chain you go, the more effective each bullet will be.]
Rule Thirty-Four: Always remember the Paradox of Escape.
[If you allow the enemy to escape, you let them learn from the battle. If you cut off all routes of escape and refuse to accept their surrender, you force them to fight in desperation twice as hard as before. Fleeing enemies will always try to head towards where they think friendly troops are located, so if you chase them while they're fleeing, they'll only lead you into an ambush.]
Rule Thirty-Five: Always remember the Paradox of the Prisoner.
[If you take prisoners, you can get useful information from them and teach the enemy that surrender is an option, but holding prisoners limits your forces' movement and occupies fighting units in guarding them. If you never take prisoners and shoot them instead, it allows your forces to maneuver faster and frees up fighting units, but it makes the enemy fight harder because they learn surrender is not an option.]
Rule Thirty-Six: Whenever possible, return captured troops to the enemy.
[Captured troops returned to the enemy, just by the fact they are alive, teaches the enemy that surrender is an option. Even if they return to battle you again another day, the lesson is taught. Captured troops you slaughter only teaches them that surrender is not an option, and makes them fight all the harder.]
Rule Thirty-Seven: Overkill is underrated.
[Respond with the minimum force necessary and you may save resources, but if you underestimated the enemy you will lose. Respond with the maximum force possible, and the enemy will learn to fear fighting you at all. Using a sniper to take out a sniper teaches the enemy they need to be better at sniping. Using orbital bombardment to take out a sniper teaches the enemy they need to not use snipers.]
Rule Thirty-Eight: Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
[War is not won by hesitation or indecision, and those who hesitate only make themselves better targets for snipers. You can't win a battle arguing over proper procedure and who outranks whom.]
Rule Thirty nine: Never fear death.
[Throughout human history, countless battles have been won by desperate warriors who only wished to make sure they took as many of the enemy into death with them as they could - but not a single battle has ever been won by cautious or fearful warriors who only wished to insure they survived.]
Rule Forty: There are no rules in war.
[Once combat begins, you do whatever it takes to win - even breaking the above rules.]