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CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION
This manual is based entirely on the keyword
SURVIVAL. The letters in this word can help guide you in your actions in any
survival situation. Whenever faced with a survival situation, remember the
The following paragraphs
expand on the meaning of each letter of the word survival. Study and remember
what each letter signifies because you may some day have to make it work for
S -Size Up the Situation
If you are in a combat situation, find a place
where you can conceal yourself from the enemy. Remember, security takes
priority. Use your senses of hearing, smell, and sight to get a feel for the
battlefield. What is the enemy doing? Advancing? Holding in place? Retreating?
You will have to consider what is developing on the battlefield when you make
your survival plan.
Size Up Your Surroundings
Determine the pattern of the area. Get a feel for
what is going on around you. Every environment, whether forest, jungle, or
desert, has a rhythm or pattern. This rhythm or pattern includes animal and bird
noises and movements and insect sounds. It may also include enemy traffic and
Size Up Your Physical Condition
The pressure of the battle you were in or the
trauma of being in a survival situation may have caused you to overlook wounds
you received. Check your wounds and give yourself first aid. Take care to
prevent further bodily harm. For instance, in any climate, drink plenty of water
to prevent dehydration. If you are in a cold or wet climate, put on additional
clothing to prevent hypothermia.
Size Up Your Equipment
Perhaps in the heat of battle, you lost or
damaged some of your equipment. Check to see what equipment you have and what
condition it is in.
Now that you have sized up your situation,
surroundings, physical condition, and equipment, you are ready to make your
survival plan. In doing so, keep in mind your basic physical needs--water, food,
U -Use All Your Senses, Undue Haste Makes Waste
You may make a wrong move when you react quickly
without thinking or planning. That move may result in your capture or death.
Don't move just for the sake of taking action. Consider all aspects of your
situation (size up your situation) before you make a decision and a move. If you
act in haste, you may forget or lose some of your equipment. In your haste you
may also become disoriented so that you don't know which way to go. Plan your
moves. Be ready to move out quickly without endangering yourself if the enemy is
near you. Use all your senses to evaluate the situation. Note sounds and smells.
Be sensitive to temperature changes. Be observant.
R -Remember Where You Are
Spot your location on your map and relate it to
the surrounding terrain. This is a basic principle that you must always follow.
If there are other persons with you, make sure they also know their location.
Always know who in your group, vehicle, or aircraft has a map and compass. If
that person is killed, you will have to get the map and compass from him. Pay
close attention to where you are and to where you are going. Do not rely on
others in the group to keep track of the route. Constantly orient yourself.
Always try to determine, as a minimum, how your location relates to--
- The location of enemy units and controlled
- The location of friendly units and controlled
- The location of local water sources
(especially important in the desert).
- Areas that will provide good cover and
This information will allow you to make
intelligent decisions when you are in a survival and evasion situation.
V -Vanquish Fear and Panic
The greatest enemies in a combat survival and
evasion situation are fear and panic. If uncontrolled, they can destroy your
ability to make an intelligent decision. They may cause you to react to your
feelings and imagination rather than to your situation. They can drain your
energy and thereby cause other negative emotions. Previous survival and evasion
training and self-confidence will enable you to vanquish fear and panic.
In the United States, we have items available for
all our needs. Many of these items are cheap to replace when damaged. Our easy
come, easy go, easy-to-replace culture makes it unnecessary for us to improvise.
This inexperience in improvisation can be an enemy in a survival situation.
Learn to improvise. Take a tool designed for a specific purpose and see how many
other uses you can make of it.
Learn to use natural objects around you for
different needs. An example is using a rock for a hammer. No matter how complete
a survival kit you have with you, it will run out or wear out after a while.
Your imagination must take over when your kit wears out.
V -Value Living
All of us were born kicking and fighting to live,
but we have become used to the soft life. We have become creatures of comfort.
We dislike inconveniences and discomforts. What happens when we are faced with a
survival situation with its stresses, inconveniences, and discomforts? This is
when the will to live- placing a high value on living-is vital. The experience
and knowledge you have gained through life and your Army training will have a
bearing on your will to live. Stubbornness, a refusal to give in to problems and
obstacles that face you, will give you the mental and physical strength to
A -Act Like the Natives
The natives and animals of a region have adapted
to their environment. To get a feel of the area, watch how the people go about
their daily routine. When and what do they eat? When, where, and how do they get
their food? When and where do they go for water? What time do they usually go to
bed and get up? These actions are important to you when you are trying to avoid
Animal life in the area can also give you clues
on how to survive. Animals also require food, water, and shelter. By watching
them, you can find sources of water and food.
Animals cannot serve as an absolute guide
to what you can eat and drink. Many animals eat plants that are toxic to
Keep in mind that the reaction of animals can
reveal your presence to the enemy.
If in a friendly area, one way you can gain
rapport with the natives is to show interest in their tools and how they get
food and water. By studying the people, you learn to respect them, you often
make valuable friends, and, most important, you learn how to adapt to their
environment and increase your chances of survival.
L -Live by Your Wits, But for Now, Learn
Without training in basic skills for surviving
and evading on the battlefield, your chances of living through a combat survival
and evasion situation are slight.
Learn these basic skills now--not when you
are headed for or are in the battle. How you decide to equip yourself before
deployment will impact on whether or not you survive. You need to know about the
environment to which you are going, and you must practice basic skills geared to
that environment. For instance, if you are going to a desert, you need to know
how to get water in the desert.
Practice basic survival skills during all
training programs and exercises. Survival training reduces fear of the unknown
and gives you self-confidence. It teaches you to live by your wits.
Develop a survival pattern that lets you beat the
enemies of survival. This survival pattern must include food, water, shelter,
fire, first aid, and signals placed in order of importance. For example, in a
cold environment, you would need a fire to get warm; a shelter to
protect you from the cold, wind, and rain or snow; traps or snares to get food;
a means to signal friendly aircraft; and first aid to maintain
health. If injured, first aid has top priority no matter what climate you
Change your survival pattern to meet your
immediate physical needs as the environment changes.
As you read the rest of this manual, keep in mind
the keyword SURVIVAL and the need for a survival pattern.