FirstSpear TV

Gunfighter Moment – John McPhee

Shrek’s Ten Warrior Commandments



Leave no room for doubt. Kill them, then kill them twice to be sure, then check and make sure they are dead. Crush your enemy. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. This is not a James Bond movie where your enemy spills his guts and then gets away. Do not waste one word. Kill them and make sure they are dead. If they aren’t dead, they will seek revenge. Crush them not only in body and spirit, but take their will to fight. This especially includes warriors with no honor.


If it’s time to get your kill on, then start killin’ first. If you need to get through gunfire, get through the fire first. If you lead the way, this tells other warriors that if they want to get a kill in today, “You better beat me!” It tells your soldiers that if they want to prove themselves as warriors, they need to be on their “A Game” just to fight by your side.


As a warrior, remember who got you to the dance. That vehicle didn’t fix itself. That weapon works because of your armorer. Spend time with those around you. Get to know everyone personally. This will ensure that in any situation, everyone that surrounds you will give you personally 110 percent.


You can trust a friend, as long as he remains honorable. But a warrior’s friend today might become his enemy tomorrow. Those who worship you today have envy, and will stain your armor and break your sword if given the chance. When the time comes, you will know who has honor, and honorable warriors will always forgive, for they understand your actions as a warrior.


Defend your subordinates to the bitter end. Defend them against any and all friends, enemies and warriors. Let it be known to anyone under your control or aligned with you, that you will kill for your warriors if anyone else tries to test your territory or boundaries. This tells others to come to you first; because you rule your warriors. Other honorable warriors will understand this and want that same respect in return. Your subordinates will feel protected and go to the ends of the earth for their master.


It’s every warrior’s job to want to be the master. From day one with your pupils, you’re training them to be the master. Withhold no information, no skills, nothing back from them. Give them everything they need personally to become a master. If you have 5 masters, versus 1 master and 4 pupils, this will strengthen your force. Honor will keep the balance of power for you, if you are the true master.


Always let warriors solve their own problems or conflicts. If it’s between warriors, let them go. Watch every move they make to ensure the problem gets fixed and no one gets killed. There will always be problems. As the master, watching this will show you if the problem was fixed, or if your warriors have a problem with honor.


When fighting another master or formidable enemy, always let your pupils have the final killing blow while you watch. This is the biggest form of dishonor to anther master. Being crushed by warriors of lesser stature will haunt him for eternity.


Savages always smell like scum. They will always bring their families to a gun fight. This includes babies and small children. If you don’t wash your clothes, you will smell like a savage, and if handling savage babies they will not cry. Babies use smell to identify who you are, friend or foe, so smell like a savage.


Know where your own kit is and use it! Messing around with another warrior’s gear is against any warrior code. This is viewed as hiding another warrior’s sword, and he won’t know until he is in battle. This is a sure way to get yourself beheaded, and this is not an honorable death between warriors.


SGM (ret) John McPhee served a distinguished career in U.S. Army Special Operations for over 20 years, retiring in 2011.

John has spent his adult life in Special Operations and Special Mission Units. He is a Master Instructor in all aspects of special activities, missions and operations. He has over 6 years of private special activities consulting and is a Subject Matter Expert (SME) in: Special Activities, Operational Preparations, Limited Signature Operations, Reconnaissance, Singleton Operations, High Threat Dignitary Protective Services, Extreme Long Range, Designated Marksman, Advanced Precision Rifle Marksmanship, Combat Marksmanship, Live Fire CQB/CQC, Advanced Pistol Marksmanship, Advanced Carbine Marksmanship, Aeriel Gunnery (Rifles, Shotguns, Ariel Personnel and Vehicle Interdictions, Mechanical, Ballistic and Explosive Breaching, Freefall Instructor Programs, Infiltration/ Exfiltration Techniques, Ground Mobility, Unit Pre-Deployment Training, and Research and Development of; Soldier Systems, Weapons, Ammunition, Thermal and Night Optics.

Special Forces Target Interdiction Course
US Army Sniper School
NRA Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun, Instructor
NRA Range Safety Officer
Advanced Mountain Sniper Course, Instructor
Advanced Freefall, Instructor (Ratings Current)
Freefall Coach (Ratings Current)
California Personal/ Executive Body Guard Certification (Rating Current)
2005 Budweiser World Cup Super Heavyweight Jiu-Jitsu Champion
2004 Presidential Security Detail (Ariel Heavy) Cartagena, Colombia

He has trained countless U.S. Special Operations forces, thousands of International Tier 1 Operators and Special Forces around the world. He is one of the handful of operators with over a decade of combat having served in multiple theaters from Bosnia and South America to recent war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

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19 Responses to “Gunfighter Moment – John McPhee

  1. Gonzo says:

    You have to have steel nuts to walk this walk.

  2. Zig Zag says:

    One of the most moronic ‘commandments’ I’ve ever read, sad that some fools will actually take this as words of wisdom…

  3. m says:

    Yeah…..terrible. This is nonsense.

  4. Shrek says:

    Dear Mr Zig Zag, Every commandment is something that happened to me or others around me serval time is combat. These are what I’ve lived by and have had those under my command live by. Every warrior that has ever fought next to me has come home under the blanket of these commandments.
    If you’ve read any of my other gun fighter moments I write advise I wish I had before my first day of combat. I appreciate your comments as I believe everyone has the right to free speech.

    • Anthony says:

      Well said on all accounts brother. Some people just don’t know what they don’t know.

  5. RJ says:

    Shek, That shit moved me dude…..well said “WARRIOR”

    RJ out

  6. RJ says:

    Shrek, That shit moved me dude…..well said “WARRIOR”

    RJ out

  7. Nick says:

    These are commandments I would have loved to have seen when I was fullfilling a warriors life. Now in my current position it is fairly far removed from some of these ideals but I can take 2-6 even in my more mundane position now. Thank you for sharing brother and keep fighting the good fight!

  8. m says:


    Are you for real with this? This must be a joke. Why does it sound like Conan the Barbarian wrote it? #1 is crush your enemy totally- wow- never thought of that.Then you go on to talk about leading by example by running headlong into any firefight because it is a “race”- forget any tactics, techniques and procedures we have trained. It’s a free for all! Don’t worry pupils, the Master will only shoot them within an inch of there life so you can finish them off with the final blow; you can have the credit! Commandments 3,4,5 and 7 mesh nicely to state: Treat everyone equally while trusting none of them. Don’t forget to take care of those under you while letting them solve their own problems.

    9 is classic. Don’t wash your clothes so the savage babies won’t cry. WTF are you talking about?

    Dude, a word of advice. You are trying to run a business now. You’re not in the team room with the boys. The tough guy talk will fly with the civilians on the net, they don’t know any better. Any seasoned vet will look at this blowhard list and laugh. Stop embarrassing yourself and speak and train like a professional.

    • SSD says:

      I’d say that anyone who knows Shrek will get it. Relax…John can take care of himself.

  9. Viktor661 says:

    M, you are likely a fully-qual’d Fobbit or a manic Kool-aid drinker destined for admin and staff greatness at the Pentagon and Base HQ’s worldwide. But i do appreciate your service Soldier/Devildog/Sailor-can-I-get-a-motivated hooah/oorah/hooyah. I also can appreciate Shrek’s method of expression though it seems barbaric to your kind M…but maybe you can talk him into handcrafting a multimedia PPT for you so you get it. His bio isn’t full of Officer/SNCO-admin academies full of 3-4 mile runs on the hardball in short-shorts w/ reflector belts and fresh haircuts passing by at a twelve-minute pace in a cloud of aqua velva. It’s also thankfully absent the West Point/USNA attendance, Command and Staff College Distinguished grad, or a Harvard degree in English that with few exceptions tends to dilute the killer instinct and move the eyes, sheep-style, to the side of the head. So he’s not a ring-knocker writing 200-slide PPTs or checklist-training pubs about Joint Staff integration or a new set of shitty TTP’s for peace-support ops/COIN or the latest piss-poor conops drawn up by the REMF-Good Idea Factory to get a lot of good men killed. I may be stone-aged in my approach but the best Counter-IED/COIN/etc. is called total unrestricted warfare (hint, this is the way our walmart-homedepot-lowes-and toys r us-supplying chinese do things) not some lame pub by two GO’s raised on a three decade diet of political correctness and staff greatness. Once you insert and hit the X it’s all or nothing and one tribe is left standing. Thankfully, Shrek for damned sure isn’t losing sight of center mass as he ponders the culture of his enemy. But you know what M?….take an honest look at the required capabilities of the majority of folks in our Army and Marine Corps (and some Navy and Air Force too) combat arms and ask yourself: when we’re through with the jihad sideshow and the PLA comes knocking if you’d rather have a few Divisions of Shrek-trained killers or the currently accepted “warriors” trained half-heartedly, shoot and train combatives monthly/quarterly (rather than daily/weekly) according to the latest gender-neutral task-condition-standard checklist emailed from HHQ. Fix that bayonet M, it has collected far too much rust and dust in your static display/shadow box. Keep training folks, John. Never quit.

  10. Michael says:

    I’m not really seeing the problem here.

    These commandments resemble other nuggets of knowledge by people such as Macchiavelli, Sun Tzu, Peter Drucker and the like…….although with Shrek specific tongue in cheek, humorous lingo.

    Again, not seeing the problem. Haters gonna hate I guess.

  11. AlexC says:

    This is awesome. It’s nice to see some humor on SSD, with sequestration coming down the pipe.

    Good read. Loved the baby part.


  12. Adam says:

    While I have much respect for John as a warrior and usually eat up everything he has to say, a couple of these commandments are good, the rest of them are kind of… lost on me I guess.

  13. greenbeanie says:

    Right on, brother. These naysayers have never been where we have.

  14. Phil Hagoes says:

    I read your rules with great interest given your background. Although some made sense at face value, some do not. Would you mind giving a back story or context to these?
    I do believe much can be learned from the life lessons of others, especially in matters of leadership and combat.
    I look forward to hearing from you, and reading furthers writings as always.
    Thank you for your time.


  15. Woody says:

    Billiant and simple rules to live by. Shouldn’t need much clarification, unless you’re a highly educated manager type, then it may take some time to explain. Thanks for sharing Shrek!

  16. Tim says:

    Dude bro man,
    Didn’t you leave out the part where you eat the babies, and after crushing your enemy the best part is seeing his women and children wail before you? This is blo-hard shit. What are you selling again? Trust me bitches, before you reply – I ain’t no fobbit, and I got my credentials legit.

  17. Tom Kier says:

    I’ve read the comments and it seems some have problems because they don’t understand the full meaning John was putting out, maybe they were not detailed enough in their personal life experience to make sense of what they were reading. Others may have had their delicate sensitivities, roughed a bit, by John’s bluntness. Still others with their lawyer like thought patterns are seeing contradictions in what is being put out.

    Everything is balance, the world is full of contradictions, understand that when thinking on any topic, Kipling’s “IF” is a good read to see this.

    I know John, he is a serious Warrior. He is blunt in speech, and direct in action, and very intelligent. He has been there and done it, I respect him for his skills which are considerable and what he has done for the country with his service. I’m proud to call him a friend. And all you throwing out these snide, personally insulting comments are certainly tough typist, but are you adding to what is being put out there.

    My guess is you would not be saying the same things face to face. Some of you would say you would not be, in order to be polite. If that is the case, be polite now. Most would not speak the way you are typing because you are cowards but brave at your keyboard.

    Don’t get me wrong disagreement is good, it fosters growth. Disrespect does not. If you are going to talk shit at least put your real name up there, mine is. I may have worded things differently, but understand John’s intent with what he is putting out, and agree.

    Thanks John