The Rules Explained

While each rule is easy to udnerstand, digging into the reasons for that rule to exist might provide extra value. Things don't just happen randomly, there are reasons and forces behind every outcome. Learn from them and adapt your plan.

The Rules

Rule 1: Always have an escape plan.

You know all your plans will fail. There is no doubt about it. So, always have a way out. This applies also to everything you do. Always know where the exits are, always know what to do in an emergency and be prepared for that. You have a way in, you get your target... But if you don't have a way out, then what good was it?
This is so important that it's the 1st rule.

Rule 2: Be aware of your surroundings.

OK, you have an escape plan. Knowing where you are, what's happening around you, noticing the things out of place or the people noticing you is what's coming next. Situational awareness. Being aware of your surroundings will give you that extra fraction of a second where you can act and not react, and save your and your buddy's life.

Rule 3: Assumption is the mother of all fuckups.

Assumming that something will happen or is a certain way is asking for trouble. Never assume, always verify, ask, research, investigate, collect intel and inform yourself and your team.
This rule is one of those truths that have to be remembered time and time again. We forget about this when we are very involved with something and think we know all the answers.

Don't do it.

Rule 4: Always have a backup plan.

Right there with Rule 1. You know your plan will go to hell once you are on the field. Always have a plan B and if possible a plan C as well.

When we are at the planning phase, we always designate a team member as the plan B guy. He or she will be in charge of saying that the plan is bad and won't work and a plan B will be drafted. Similar to the 10th Man Strategy, the plan B person will always work on contigencies. He will be Red Teaming the plan.

When in doubt always remember PACE: Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency.

Rule 5: Never get caught.

In the real world this is a golden rule: you never get caught. Bad things happen if you do.
In the Red Teaming world, if you get caught you failed. If they discovered your backdoor you are done. If they caught you trying to walk through the main entrance of your target, you failed.

Great care should be taken not to get caught.

Rule 6: Keep your mouth shut.

OPSEC. It is important not just for national security, but if you talk to much about your TTPs (Tactics, Techniques and Procedures), the way you do things, your tools and your people then you damage your team. The blue team will prepare for this and you are done.

I will leave this here.

Rule 7: KISS: Keep it simple, stupid.

I said it many times before: The simpler the gear, the better it is. Your life depend on this.
This also translates to planning and tactics. One of the rules below states: a simple plan with a flexible blueprint will survive real world contact far better than a complex and rule-bound plan.
Simple things are easy to change when you need to. Simple plans will adapt better to the ever-changing conditions in the field.

So, when you have a plan start simplifying until nothing can be taken away anymore. The same with gear.

If there’s a question about if it’s necessary, remove it. Less is more and more is lazy. (Jason McCarthy)

Rule 8: 7 Ps: Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

Very elf explanatory. Red Team your plans.

Rule 9: Plan, execute and vanish.

Get your facts right, analyze the potential problems and make a plan. Then, go for it. Stop occasionally to see if you missed anything on the initial assessment. Complete your execution and when you are done, leave nothing behind. Simple steps that will keep you focused.

Rule 10: Always invest in good quality.

Having the right gear, the best gear, means you can trust it. This also means less headaches, less maintenance and less mental energy in having to research a new one.
Good quality stuff will perform when you need it.

Rule 11: Trust your gut.

Sometimes you have the nagging feeling that something is not right, that you should be doing the exact opposite of what you and your team are about to do. Listen to this. Your gut will let you know when a plan B is needed.
It also might save your life someday.

Rule 12: Always carry a knife.

A knife can be used as a weapon, as a survival tool, to cut things open... In short, a knife is a must. Always carry one. Chances are, you will need one today.

Rule 13: Do one thing at a time.

Some people can multitask, but the reality is that most people can't. And when you are under stress, when you can't think, when seconds count, even more so. Focus on the task at hand, give it your full attention, your life might depend on that.

Rule 14: Pick your battles…

Some things are not worth the effort. Try to avoid conflict and let it go.

Rule 15: Simple and light equals freedom, agility and mobility.

Rule 16: Target dictates the weapon and the weapon dictates the movement. ("Mack" Machowicz)

Rule 17: Use ACTE: assess the situation; create a simple plan; take action and evaluate your progress. ("Mack" Machowicz)

Rule 18: Don’t believe what you’re told. Double check.

Rule 19: Hide in plain sight. Blend in.

Rule 20: Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.

Rule 21: The more sophisticated the technology the more vulnerable it is to primitive attacks. People often overlook the obvious.

Rule 22: If you’re happy with your security, so are the bad guys.

Rule 23: “Bad guys attack, and good guys react” is not a viable security strategy.

Rule 24: An adversary is most vulnerable to detection and disruption just prior to an attack.

Rule 25: Low-tech attacks work (even against high-tech devices and systems).

Rule 26: Never mess with a man’s coffee.

Rule 27: Don’t spend time trying to move your opponent, just move yourself.

Rule 28: The quality of your friends always matters more than the quantity.

Rule 29: Always provide correction in private and praise in public.

Rule 30: Opening the door for a lady is not optional.

Rule 31: You can do big things with a small team.

Rule 32: Don’t go into debt.

Rule 33: Do not publish your life online, keep your life private.

Rule 34: The GORUCK Rule - Under promise and over deliver.

Rule 35: Progress comes to those who train and train; reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere. (Morihei Ueshiba)

Rule 36: You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain. (Miyamoto Musashi)

Rule 37: To know ten thousand things, know one well. (Musashi)

Rule 38: You are what you do when it counts.

Rule 39: If you think it was too easy, it was a trap. Look for jumping guards coming from the sides.

Rule 40: The bad guys don’t obey our security policies.

Rule 41: If there’s a question about if it’s necessary, remove it. Less is more and more is lazy. (Jason McCarthy, GORUCK founder)

Rule 42: Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.

Rule 43: Never do the same thing twice.

Rule 44: Always take care of your team first, then your gear and finally yourself.

Rule 45: Check the crowd: who is staring at you, who is all the sudden silent when you enter.

Rule 46: Always sit with your back to the wall, even when there are mirrors you can use.

Rule 47: Never take the elevator.

Rule 48: The solution is in the problem.

Rule 49: Fail to Red Team and everything will go according to plan—right up to the point it doesn't. (Red Team Journal)

Rule 50: If it's stupid but works, it isn't stupid.

Rule 51: Don’t play by the rules.

Rule 52: Don’t become predictable.

Rule 53: Our fucks are our fucks alone to give. (Patrick Rhone)

Rule 54: Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. (Dwight D. Eisenhower)

Rule 55: Act, don’t react.

Rule 56: Shitty situations inspire brilliant solutions.

Rule 57: Establish baselines. Look for anomalies. Have a plan.

Rule 58: If you want truly to understand something, try to change it.

Rule 59: Expectations = Disappointment. Don't expect anything.

Rule 60: You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it.

Rule 61: Understand. Anticipate. Adapt. (Red Team Journal)

Rule 62: Real attackers will make you patch your people.

Rule 63: First you check, then you double-check. Finally you commit.

Rule 64: He who angers you conquers you.

Rule 65: Find a way to succeed.