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Military Humour Often Has A Sardonic Quality All Its own

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

Q: What's the difference between a copilot and a jet engine? A: The jet engine stops whining when the plane shuts down.

'Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.'- Unknown Marine Recruit

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

‘If your attack is going well, you have walked into an ambush.’ - Vietnam era Army Training Guide

'If the enemy is in range, so are you.' - Infantry Journal

'Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo.' - Infantry Journal

'Tracers work both ways. -' Army Ordnance Manual

'Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid.'- Col. David Hackworth US Special Forces

'A good landing is when you can walk away from the plane. A great landing is when you can reuse the plane.'

'There is no reason to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.' -Sign at Pope AFB C-130 Squadron that supports Fort Bragg Airborne forces

'If something hasn't broken on your helicopter, it's about to.'- Sign over Carrier Group Operations Desk

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

'Flashlights are tubular metal containers kept in a flight bag for the purpose of storing dead batteries.'

'When a flight is proceeding incredibly well, something was forgotten.' - Air Force Journal

'Five second grenade fuses last about three seconds.' - Infantry Journal -

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, and trees. It is much more difficult to fly there.' - WWII Undergraduate Pilot Training Sign

'Nothing is so good for the morale of the troops as to occasionally see a dead general.' - Field Marshal Slim

'If you're faced with a forced landing, fly the thing as far into the crash as possible.' -Bob Hoover, renowned aerobatic & test pilot

'Friendly fire - isn't.'

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

'Aim towards the Enemy.' - Instruction printed on US Rocket Launcher

' Airspeed, altitude, and brains. Two of these are always necessary to successfully complete the mission.'

The three most useless things in aviation are: Fuel in the refueling truck ; Runway behind you; and Air above you.' - Basic Flight Training Manual

'If it's stupid but it works, it isn't stupid.' - Naval Ops Manual

'Things that must be together to work, usually can't be shipped together.'- Supply Training Manual

'No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection.' - Joe Gay

'No inspection-ready unit has done well in combat.'- Anon

'Having lost sight of our objectives we need to redouble our efforts.'

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

'The easy way is always mined.' - Army Special Ops Manual

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

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

'Anything you do can get you shot, including doing nothing" – US Ranger Manual

'Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to shoot at.' - Squadron Officers School Class Theme

'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

'Pilots, please taxi up close when sumping your fuel cell. You may have lower manifold pressure and shorter exhaust stacks than you realized.' - Sign over men's urinal, Casey Jones Flying Service, Ontario OR 1968

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

'Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword, obviously never encountered automatic weapons.' - General MacArthur

'Just remember, if you crash because of weather, your funeral will be held on a sunny day.'

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

'An airplane is built to inherently want to fly. A helicopter is a compromised design that inherently wants to thrash itself apart.' - 939 Rescue Wing Squadron lounge sign for HC-130 and HH-60 pilots

The three most common military aviation expressions (or famous last words) are: 'Did you feel that? What's that noise?' and 'Oh Sh*t!'

''The three best things in life are: A good landing, a good orgasm, and a good bowel movement. The night carrier landing is one of the few opportunities in life where you get to experience all three at the same time'. - Ready room sign, USS Enterprise, 1969, Gulf of Tonkin

Police versus supersonic Tornado fighter-bomber
Almost certainly apocryphal since the Sidewinder is an air-to-air missile, still.. nice story

'When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend.' - US Marine Corps manual

'Never trade luck for skill.'

'Without ammunition, the Air Force is just an expensive flying club.'

'You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3.' - Paul F. Crickmore (SR-71 test pilot)-

'Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil, for I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing.' - Sign over SR-71 Wing Ops (SR-71 Blackbird: Mach 3+ reconnaissance plane)

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

'We are not retreating, we are advancing in another direction.'

'You don't win a war by dying for your country. You win a war by making the other son-of-a-bitch die for his.' - Gen George S. Patton

'Make it tough enough for the enemy to get in and you won't be able to get out.' - WWII Infantry Manual

'When in doubt, empty the magazine.' - Korean War Advice

As a test pilot climbs out of an experimental plane having crashed tearing off the wings and tail, crash trucks arrive. A rescuer asks bloodied pilot, 'What happened?' The pilot replies, 'I don't know, I just got here myself!'

'If an airplane is still in one piece, don't cheat on it; ride the bastard down.' - Ernest K. Gann, author & aviator

'Now I know what a dog feels like watching TV.' - AF C-9 (DC-9) copilot attempting to check out in a 'glass cockpit'

'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

'Mankind has a perfect record in aviation - we have never left one up there!' - Unknown Author

'Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography.' - Paul Rodriguez

'There are more planes in the ocean than submarines in the sky.' - Blue water Navy truism

'Incoming fire has the right of way.' -Marine adage

'No man is a leader until his appointment is ratified in the minds and hearts of his men' -Anonymous, "The Infantry Journal"

The Instructor's Prayer

He is my pupil, I do not want.
He maketh me to force land in green pastures,
He leadeth me beside high tension wires.
He destroyeth my soul, he leadeth me into low altitudes, for %&!£ sake!
Yea, though I have many sleepless nights,
I fear much evil, for he art with me.
His stick and rudder, they rattle me.
I will dwell under the shadow of death forever. Amen.

There was the inevitable light-hearted banter between the various Allies:

An American airman, was told at Briefing to ‘Go in at 30,000 feet and keep out of the flak.'

'If I go in a 20,000 feet, what will happen?’ asked the airman.

'You’ll probably be mentioned in despatches', answered the officer.

'If I go in at 10,000 feet?' he asked.

'In that case you will probably get the Congressional Medal', he was told.

'And if I go in at 5,000 feet?’ he inquired excitedly.

'Don’t be a fool, man, replied his superior, 'you’ll go and bump into the RAF at that height.'

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SY 13 Dec 2016

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