Safety / Survival / Army Field Manuals / AFM 3-05.70
This manual is based entirely on the keyword SURVIVAL. The letters in
this word can help guide your actions in any survival situation. Learn what
each letter represents and practice applying these guidelines when
conducting survival training. Remember the word SURVIVAL.
1-1. The following paragraphs expand on the meaning of each letter of the
word survival. Study and remember what each letter signifies because some day
you may have to make the word work for you.
S—Size Up the Situation
1-2. 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 battlespace. Determine if the
enemy is attacking, defending, or withdrawing. You will have to consider what is
developing on the battlespace when you make your survival plan.
1-3. 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 tempo includes animal and bird noises and movements and insect
sounds. It may also include enemy traffic and civilian movements.
1-4. 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
1-5. 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.
1-6. 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, and shelter.
U—Use All Your Senses, Undue Haste Makes Waste
1-7. 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 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.
Always be observant.
R—Remember Where You Are
1-8. Spot your location on your map and relate it to the surrounding terrain.
This basic principle is one 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 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 areas.
Friendly units and controlled areas.
Local water sources (especially important in the desert).
Areas that will provide good cover and concealment.
1-9. This information will allow you to make intelligent decisions when you
are in a survival and evasion situation.
V—Vanquish Fear and Panic
1-10. 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. These emotions 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.
1-11. In the United States (U.S.), 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 "making do" 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.
1-12. 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.
1-13. 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
1-14. 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 capture.
1-15. 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 humans.
1-16. Keep in mind that the reaction of animals can reveal your presence to
1-17. 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
L—Live by Your Wits, But for Now, Learn Basic Skills
1-18. Without training in basic skills for surviving and evading on the
battlespace, your chances of living through a combat survival and evasion
situation are slight.
1-19. 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
affect 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
1-20. 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.
1-21. 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 you are injured,
first aid has top priority no matter what climate you are in.
1-22. 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, what each letter signifies (Figure 1-1),
and the need for a survival pattern.
Figure 1-1. Guidelines for Survival