TYR Tactical

Don Purdy Rules to LIVE By (Don’t Forget Nothin!)

This list of rules by Retired Army CSM Don Purdy (Ranger Hall of Fame) has been passed around for years.

1. Shoot from the shoulder. Pistols are back up weapons. Learn to shoot well. Marksmanship is critical.

2. Carry all the ammo and water you can on your person.

3. Don’t lean weapons agains trees and walls.

4. Weapons on safe until its time to kill.

5. Machine gunners should be corporals.

6. Guns must be trained to maneuver on there (sic) own. Crew drills are critical.

7. Reload drills are critical.

8. Firing in the blind and dead gunner drills must be executed.

9. Soldiers must know how to use the weapons properly and everyone elses.

10. Train on foreign weapons when possible.

11. Camouflage! It works.

12. A bayonet is a weapon. Train your soldiers to use it to kill the enemy.

13. Do Combatives. Also rifle P.T.

14. When in the defense or preparing one never get more than arms reach from your weapon.

15. Keep shirts and K-Pots on when digging.

16. Don’t lay ammo in the dirt. Carry sand bags so you can lay magazines and other ammo on the bags when in defense.

17. Soldiers need to know basic demo.

18. Use VS–17 panel for daytime signal that you have no verbal commo.

19. Handling of POWs and medevac must be practiced constantly.

20. Execute withdrawals under pressure. Live fire when possible.

21. Silence is golden. Learn to whisper. Even on radios.

22. When in the heat of battle leaders talk others shut up.

23. Stay off the radio. No unnecessary chatter.

24. Use whistles, star clusters as back up signals.

25. When in a MOUT Defense have a destruction plan in case of a withdrawal under pressure.

26. Wheel barrels (sic) are great in a MOUT environment.

27. Don’t forget! Sanitation Plan.

28. Always think dirty. Think about what you would do if the doo doo hit the fan right now.

29. Move like a cat (rat?) and don’t hesitate.

30. Read the battlefield.

31. Do bang! drills. This teaches soldiers to react to every contact instantly. In less than one second rounds should be going back at the enemy.

32. Hip pocket training is excellent. All leaders need to know how to do this properly and efficiently.

33. NCOs TRAIN Soldiers!

34. Discipline, Discipline, Discipline. Its too late when the fighting begins.

35. Drill & Ceremony is important. Do it right.

36. Uniformity is important.

37. If you think something is wrong it is.

38. Be prepared to take charge.

39. Not everyone can be an Infantry soldier. Get rid of the weak.

40. Nothing out of a ruck sack except what is necessary.

41. Eat one thing at a time and immediately pack it up.

42. Trash goes back in the rucksack (MRE).

43. Be ruthless on those who leave equipment or ammo on the battlefield.

44. Keep the plan simple and violent.

45. Smoke doesn’t stop bullets.

46. Breaching tools are a last resort to breach.

47. Never pass a threat.

48. Don’t daisy chain claymores.

49. Train with live grenades as much as possible.

50. Train soldiers to react to bumping into enemy personnel in close quarters.

51. Talk to your soldiers about the reality of there (sic) mission (Life and Death).

52. NCOs must never back down in front of there (sic) soldiers.

53. Never reduce standards of discipline when in a hostile environment. Be ruthless.

54. Leading from the rear is like pushing spaghetti up hill.

55. NODs on during darkness.

56. Improvise when necessary. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

57. Field hygiene is important.

58. If you want to know what the enemy is doing think about what you are doing.

59. Treat your enemy as if he is the baddest of the bad. Do not underestimate him.

60. Always use boot laces not zippers.

61. Boots stay on. Only remove when necessary one boot at a time.

62. Infantrymen must have the heart of a lion. Leaders (NCOs) must develop that heart. The infantry has no room for the weak or faint of heart.

63. Your mission is to close with and destroy the enemy with any means possible. You must live in the environment on the ground. The mission has priority. The fight comes first then the recovery of dead and wounded.

64. Always plan resupply and medevac procedures thoroughly.

65. Keep the bi-pods down on MGs and SAWs when moving.

66. Place two tracer rounds in magazines first so you will know when your (sic) about to have to change mags.

67. Teach your squad leaders how to direct guns with tracers.

Never smile for photographs.Always keep things simple. Complicated plans don’t work out well.

Lastly I wish to point out that the role of the NCO is awesome. You own the soldier. Train them for war not for peace. Be hard but fair. Never forget where you came from. Learn from failure and confess when your (sic) wrong.

There is no room for boot licking, gut eating, ticket punching NCOs in the infantry. Police your ranks of self servers. There (sic) scum of the earth.

Don Purdy
P.S. Root Hog or Die
March or Die
Get tough or Die

More rules to Live By

1. When preparing to move don’t let everyone get up at the same time.

2. When searching enemy bodies strip them and put the clothing in a trash bag.

3. Before assaulting across a kill zone throw hand grenades.

4. When moving across the kill zone remove weapons from enemy bodies.

5. Gun crews do not fire claymores.

6. Sqd leaders fire on semi during an ambush so they can pick up the fire if there is a lull. Team leaders also if it is a platoon size ambush.

7. Weapons will cook off when hot. Be careful.

8. Rear Security!

9. Use snipers whenever possible. Good for your moral (sic), bad for the enemies.Fix Bayonets!If possible carry concealed back up radio.Make the enemy die for his country.

Lastly always quit (sic) yourselves like Soldiers.

Don Purdy

Transcribed by Brady Moore from CSM Purdy’s handwritten notes and shared on arsductus.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/purdys-rules-to-live-by/

7 Responses to “Don Purdy Rules to LIVE By (Don’t Forget Nothin!)”

  1. Jimbo says:

    He was my CSM in 3/187. There was no finer Infantry unit in the world. Under CSM Purdy we trained constantly and realistically. Bayonets were always fixed. Everything you did was in preparation for combat. CSM Purdy was always right there with you. As a young SAW gunner I had CSM Purdy IMTing beside me as a rifleman on many occasions. Over the last 17 years since 9/11 I’ve thought of him and the fact that the things he taught us kept us alive in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  2. miclo18d says:

    Stories about The Purd,

    At a Ranger Rendezvous in the early 90s, I bumped into a few Charlie Rangers and were talking about the Purd, when one of them pulled a photo album and showed me a picture of Pvt Purdy in Vietnam. Blonde and skinny as ever. It didn’t look ANYTHING like the CSM Purdy we all knew.

    When I was in Ranger School, he was the CSM of RTB, I remember him eating chow, taking to himself. It was just glimpses of him, because you would be “asked” to leave the chow hall if you were doing anything but eating.

    Lastly, when I was in 101st LRSD, we invited him to speak at our Dining In and he gave a speech directed towards the wives/gfs about how their husbands would be fighting the next war in trenches hand to hand with the enemy. All of the wives/gfs jaws were on the ground. It was awesome!

  3. Patrulje68 says:

    I remember CSM Purdy when he was @ RTI and I was going thru LRSLC. I can not imagine a harder soldier.

  4. Will Rodriguez says:

    These were SOP in my day.

    I wonder if they still are. Which ones aren’t and why?

  5. Darkhorse says:

    I’m torn by CSM Purdy. I sat in a field in 1992 in Darby Phase of Ranger School and listened to him ramble for the better part of 2 hours about Vietnam. He seemed to be very antiquated and one of those guys who couldn’t see the new threat emerging. A little more than a year later, our forces would be engaging AQ in Mogadishu.

    I appreciate the post from a sentimental perspective and respect his service. During my time in the service I perceived him as a dinosaur unable to see that harder isn’t necessarily smarter- and that there is a time and a place for everything. Sure carrying all the water and ammo you can might have made sense pre body armor. But know your enemy and your situation or you can get your troops hurt.

  6. Attack7 says:

    2-92 Ranger School, CSM Purdy was rambling, limping, slurring his words, etc. We pretty much took his words as a guide.