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Q: Military History ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Military History
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: juliebaby-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 22 Sep 2003 18:53 PDT
Expires: 22 Oct 2003 18:53 PDT
Question ID: 259247
What is the "infantrymans code" ? I read part of it recently in a
book: "never walk when you can ride, never stand when you can sit,
never run when you can walk..." . What is the whole code? Where does it come from?
Subject: Re: Military History
Answered By: techtor-ga on 23 Sep 2003 02:19 PDT
Greetings Juliebaby,
It appears that the text you quoted isn't really an official army's
code, but rather it is called the:

Code Of Conduct For The Canadian Infantier (from Durty Dan'S Army Life
Written By: Cpl (Ret) "Durty" Dan Leger
- The author (Durty Dan, a pseudonym) seems to be actually a paintball
games enthusiast who had prior military experience in the Canadian
Military. He probably wrote this Code of Conduct for fun and
practicality's sake.

Here is the full text:
"A bad ride is better than a good run
Never run if you can walk . . .
. . . never walk when you can stand . . .
. . . never stand when you can sit . . .
. . . never sit when you can lie down.
Any fool can be uncomfortable in the field,"

There is another code I saw in my search, called the Infantryman's
Creed, which refers to the relationship of a soldier to his or her
rifle. Here is the full text:

"THIS IS MY RIFLE. There are many like it but this one is mine. My
rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master
my life.

My rifle, without me is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I
must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than any enemy who is
trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will....

My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the
rounds we fire, the noise of or burst, nor the smoke we make. We know
that it is the hits that count. We will hit...

My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will
learn it as a brother. I will learn its weakness, its strength, its
parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my
rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become
part of each other. We will...

Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders
of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of
my life.

So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but

MGen. William H. Rupertus
U.S. Marine Corps Retired
(written following the attack on Pearl Harbor) 

Source: - Infantryman's Creed
- It may not be what you are looking for, but it might be helpful to

Google Search terms used:
ride sit walk stand infantryman
infantryman's code

I hope this has been a most helpful answer. If you need anything else,
or have a problem with the answer, do please post a Request for
Clarification and I shall respond as soon as I can. Thank you.

Clarification of Answer by techtor-ga on 24 Sep 2003 08:40 PDT
Hello again Juliebaby,
I may have been wrong about attributing the saying to the Durty Dan
site. My esteemed colleague and master researcher Pinkfreud has
offered some additional information. I was given a link to an article
wherein the quote you were looking for was attributed to Satchel
Paige, a black baseball player. The article is quoted below.

"I’m a firm believer in the Satchel Paige school of exercise. For
those of you who are too young to know, Paige was a Black pitcher who
played in the major leagues into his 50’s. Paige once said 'never run
when you can walk, never walk when you can stand, never stand when you
can sit down and never sit down when you can lie down.' He then added
the most famous portion of his statement, 'never look back, because
somebody might be gaining on you.' I put this in to show that I am not
a runner but those who do run tell me that the "craze" is slowing

Rockaway Short Takes... by Howard Schwach, The Wave, July 8, 2000
- Scroll down to around the middle of the page to see this text.

Here is a biography of Satchel Paige

Here's another page that attributes the saying to Satchel Paige:
Santa Monica Mirror: Dad and Doc and Me by Michael Rosenthal

I looked around the Internet for other instances of your saying, and
there are more. I will list the ones I consider significant.

There's a clue that the saying may have originated from the cowboys of
the old west. Here's one site of horse quotes that has the words of
the saying:
Horse Quotes page
- Scroll to the bottom of the page.

Here's another one that lists it as an old soldier's adage:
Military Life - list of adages and sayings

This one lists "The Sailor's Creed"
Blog Entry - Nov. 30, 2002

This site calls it "The Survival Credo"
Lecture 43/44 notes - Emergencies / Decision Making

Here's a list of rules saved from a usenet group some years ago. Your
adage is item # 23.
Murphy's Laws of Combat

Here's another page that lists it as part of a "rules of combat" list
(not really applied, more of a funny stuff list):
Rules of Combat They Never Taught You

Search terms used:
"never walk when you can ride" (include the quotation marks)
"never stand when you can sit"
"never run when you can walk"

I am unsure though if the adage is a saying from the Old West times
and Satchel Paige merely adapted it. But if not from the Old West, I
bet it's from Satchel Paige, and other people adapted it. Satchel
Paige played baseball around the time of the Vietnam War, so vets from
that war must have heard his saying and used it. I hope this provides
a more factual picture of the history about the adage.

Any more questions, feel free to post an RFC (Request for
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