1. You will only need to see one casualty to value a quality medic along with their specialized training. While a soldier is well aware of his mission, remember a medics mission often revolves around saving your life in often highly hostile situations while under fire - respect your medic!
When a medic is unavailable, it's up to each and every individual so make sure every single person practices first aid until they are proficient. It's as important to focus on medical training as it is on any other combat skills.
Every soldier should always carry some basic form of first aid kit in their tactical pack to cover simple injuries (to some extent as this could get out of control) that could be encountered in a given environment or mission. While many military commands have specific kit requirements, consider additional items that may be specific to the particular mission or environment at hand.
2. Keep as fit as you can and pay particular attention to taking good care of your feet so that when on patrol, your eyes are looking for the enemy rather than looking to the ground - eyes up and alert! If your feet are hurting, your mind wont be on the job at hand and could increase the danger to your life.
Sore or tired feet can cause you to stumble or become more susceptible to ankle injuries becoming a burden rather than an asset to your team. Make the effort to wash, clean and dry your feet and socks every day plus always carry a spare set of socks without fail! Report ANY concerns to your closest medic as a simple case of foot fungus is capable of rendering you immobile and may be easily fixed with a simple medication or cream. Confirm your combat boots are in good condition before any missions or patrols.
3. When on foot patrol a long way from home, always use caution and dog-leg back when you stop for a break or at night. This will help conceal your tracks, route or direction and only takes but an additional minute or two. It will enable you to prevent potential attacks as there is always the chance someone is following you. It can also contribute to avoiding ambush an IED traps by throwing the enemy off your expected trail.
4. Keep in the shade with a screen behind you when in a sanger or tower to avoid giving the enemy sniper a clear silhouette. While one of the simplest tactical techniques to teach, it is often one of the most commonly forgotten.
Fail to remember this one, and for the enemy sniper at a distance, it paints your outline as a perfect target. Don't get lazy, in war the threat remains constant so you need to be a soldier 24hrs a day every day.
5. When on guard duty or at a checkpoint you can easily become bored so remember, you are the first line of defense for your mates. Their safety is your responsibility and you would expect the same of them. Don't let the mind wander, get on with the job because while your colleagues are getting some down time, you are their only barrier against the enemy.
6. Your first encounter often teaches you a valuable lesson. Stay calm and don't waste ammunition in a contact - rapidly asses your best plan of attack or defense while conserving valuable supplies. You may not know how long you have till resupply and a bayonet is a poor match for an AK47.
Almost everyone fires more rounds than needed when engaging the enemy, especially in high pressure situations or when pinned down. This is when you need to calculate your active engagement conservatively yet with full effect. While it is an endorsement to use ammunition sparingly, it shouldn't compromise your immediate safety. Be aware of how much ammunition you will require on any given patrol or mission.
7. Although it is tempting to stay still and shoot, smart advice is to move sideways or reposition after every few shots when in a close contact situation or you are likely to be spotted and hit. While this is standard tactical shooting practice, under stress of fire it's promptly overlooked.
For the combat soldier, moving can feel uncomfortable with fear of further exposure but if you don't, you will soon give your position away and possibly draw additional fire. If at greater distance, it might create a situation where the attacker might call in a sniper or fire support to take out a known static position. Consider your training, this is a situation where if reversed, you would use the same tactic to your advantage.
8. When in range of any active fire such as your camp or forward operating base you must always have a hole ready in case of mortar attack. It can be especially hard work in some terrain to dig sufficient depth for protection and isn't much of a moral builder. That is until the mortars start dropping and everyone hits the ditch.
Mortars are an extremely effective and portable battlefield weapon becoming more popular with modern war conflicts. They inflict devastating effects on the body if caught in the shrapnel blast from severe lacerations to instant death.
A simple hole (traditionally known as a "foxhole" in previous wars) will protect you from all but a direct hit as the blast travels horizontally. It can also provide temporary cover in the event of a surprise attack from the enemy. To add to this it may even give environmental protection in arid climates - the simple hole, a bit of physical effort for a reward that can save lives.
9. Although a tempting scenario, never dig in or sleep under trees, thin roofing or by solid walls. This can turn the typical ground burst mortar fire (usually less of a worry with it's predictable blast pattern and spread) into an unpredictable air burst explosion sending shrapnel in ALL directions.
When the mortar contacts anything above you it will detonate causing shrapnel and debris to shower down on you - even while in a hole. If you want to sleep inside any structure, ensure it is adequately strengthened with sandbags both on the roof and surrounds.
10. We like to think we are better trained and smarter than the enemy but they are far from stupid. They use other effective tactics such as targeting you at times when they believe your guard could be down such as when you first arrive in the war zone or just as you are leaving patrol.
The enemy play on an unprepared mindset that is typically predictable in the human psyche where you are already winding down in anticipation of the end of a mission. Stick to your standard operating procedures and don't give them the chance. When in battle or at war, remember - you are a soldier 24/7 - act like one, follow proceedures and you are more likely to return successful from your deployment.