Having a personal code

I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.

— John Bernard Books in The Shootist

Mine is somewhat more complex than that, but the principles remain fairly simple. They guide me every day.

“Son, try to get along with everyone; but don’t let anyone hurt you.” – my Father, Jerry Werner

“An officer is responsible for his own morale.” – General of the Armies John J. Pershing

“When they get the duct tape out, it’s time to make your move, ready or not.” – The Most Dangerous Man in the World

“Stupid people, stupid places, stupid things. Avoid them and you’ll probably be all right.” –John Farnam

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” ― Shunryu Suzuki

“Thinking ‘I’ll solve it when I get there’ has gotten a lot of people killed.” –Bill Rogers

“Look good, be right, control and dominate, avoid being controlled and dominated. Those are the things that run most people’s lives.” – Lifespring

“There are two kinds of people in the world, those who eat to live and those who live to eat.” – my ex-wife

“When you leave your car, don’t forget your Mace. That is unless you want to get stabbed in the face.” – Attractive Eighties Women

“Son, when you park the car, face the rear end into the Sun so you won’t have to sit on a hot seat when you get in.” – my Father, Jerry Werner

“You can do a lot of aiming and squeezing in a second and a half.” – Mike Benedict

“Don’t ever march home the same way. Take a different route so you won’t be ambushed.” – Major Robert Rogers

“Begin to attrit the enemy at the maximum effective range of your weapons.” – The Infantry School

“Auditing is intellectually rigorous and is not for everyone.” – Nick Crooks, Senior Manager, Deloitte & Touche

“Guns and knives, sir, you can never have enough of them.” – CSM Autrail Cobb

“Little things I should’ve said and done, I never took the time. You were always on my mind.” – Pet Shop Boys

“Surrender is not a Ranger word.” – the Ranger Creed

10 responses

  1. Reblogged this on Growing Up Guns and commented:
    This concept of having a personal code is something that I think a large number of people would do well to think about. It’s easy to just say, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. But you’re short changing yourself if you don’t give it some extra thought. It helps you see who you are, what is important, and what you are willing to do with your limited time on this planet. Your code helps define you, in your own brain. Mine is “memento mori” (remember your mortality).

  2. Fine maxims. A few more:
    “Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.” Buddha
    “You knew the job was dangerous when you took it.” Super-Chicken
    “When you’re going to shoot, shoot, don’t talk.”
    –Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez, AKA “The Rat”

  3. Very good set of codes, Hoo Rahh
    Ranger Jim

  4. Thanks for these, Claude. I plan on sharing them with my daughter.

    I only wish some captains of industry and politicians would even adhere to the one you may remember, also from the Infantry School: “you are responsible for everything your men do or fail to do.” Seems like we have an awful lot of people who like to shift blame and not take responsibility for their actions.

    I appreciate reading your material. Keep it up.

  5. Your Pet Shop Boys quote is from the song “Always on my Mind”, originally written and recorded by Willie Nelson.

    1. I don’t listen to country music so I will take your word for it. The version I reference is time contemporaneous to the woman it signifies for me.

  6. Hey sir,

    This one stumped me. Can you give me the “rest of the story?”

    Thanks for the great commentaries.


    When they get the duct tape out, it’s time to make your move, ready or not.” – The Most Dangerous Man in the World

    Rob Garrett Sent from my iPhone


    1. Don’t let someone tie you up or take you to a ‘second crime scene.’ You’re better off getting shot in a public place trying to escape or fighting them than being rendered helpless so you can be murdered at their convenience. At least in a public place you have some chance of survival. Once you’re helpless, it’s all too easy to end up like Julie Love.

  7. Ernest Hemingway 7/21/1899 to 7/2/1961

    There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.

    Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.

    But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.

    Courage is grace under pressure.

    “By “guts” I mean, grace under pressure”

    Cowardice… is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend functioning of the imagination.

    Decadence is a difficult word to use since it has become little more than a term of abuse applied by critics to anything they do not yet understand or which seems to differ from their moral concepts.

    Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt use it—don’t cheat with it. Be as faithful to it as a scientist—but don’t think anything is of any importance because it happens to you or anyone belonging to you.

    I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.

    I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes.

    I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.

    Never confuse movement with action.

    Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.

    Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war.

    Personal columnists are jackals and no jackal has been known to live on grass once he had learned about meat – no matter who killed the meat for him.

    The man who has begun to live more seriously within begins to live more simply without.

    The shortest answer is doing the thing.

    The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places

    You can wipe out your opponents. But if you do it unjustly you become eligible for being wiped out yourself.

  8. Always On My Mind was originally written by Johnny Christopher Wayne Carson and Mark James, it has been performed by Elvis, and Brenda Lee among others but is best known for being sung by Willie Nelson, it dates back to 1972, Willie’s version is from 1982 when he won a Grammy and The Pet Shop Boys 1987

%d bloggers like this: