Famous Marine Quotes

"I can never again see a UNITED STATES MARINE without experiencing a feeling of reverence."                                                       GEN. JOHNSON, U.S. ARMY

"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and those who have met them in battle. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion." Unknown

"Uncommon valor was a common virtue."
Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz

"Panic sweeps my men when they are facing the AMERICAN MARINES."

"The MARINES have landed and have the situation well in hand!"

“If I had one more division like this First Marine Division I could win this war.”
General of the Armies Douglas McArthur in Korea,
overheard and reported by Marine Staff Sergeant Bill Houghton, Weapons/2/5

“Do not attack the First Marine Division. Leave the yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army.” Orders given to Communist troops in the Korean War; shortly afterward, the Marines were ordered to not wear their khaki leggings.

The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's.
Harry S. Truman

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle!"

"A ship without MARINES is like a garment without buttons." ADM. DAVID PORTER, USN

"The more Marines I have around, the better I like it."
General Clark, U.S. Army

"No one can say that the Marines have failed to do their work in handsome fashion."
Major General Hagood, U.S. Army

"There is no military body in our country of higher efficiency than the Marine Corps.
They take great pride in their profession. They never let things slack a bit."
Rear Admiral C.M. Wilslow, U.S. Navy

"They're on our right, they're on our left, they're in front of us, they're behind us; they can't get away from us this time."
Chesty Puller, USMC, Chosin Reservoir, Korean War

Old breed? New breed? There's not a damn bit of difference so long as it's the Marine breed.     Chesty Puller, USMC

"Marine Corps integrity is doing that thing which is right, when no one is looking"
Col. Colin Lampard, USMC

Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary
General A. M. Gray, USMC

Ensure that no Marine who honorably wore the eagle, globe and anchor is lost to the Marine Corps family.                                      General James L. Jones Jr., Commandant of the Marine Corps

"They (Marines) have given us our only real fight." Commanding Officer of the British, War 0f 1812

"The American Marines are terribly reckless fellows... they would make very good storm troopers." Unidentified German officer at Belleau Wood

The US Air Force Chief-of-Staff would never be called -- Airman
The Chief-of-Naval Operations would never be called -- Sailor
The Commanding General of The US Army would never be called -- Soldier
BUT the Commandant of the Marine Corps would be proud to be called a -- United States Marine

“Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper-weights." Navy Times; November 1994

"The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!" Eleanor Roosevelt

"We are United States Marines, and for two and a quarter centuries we have defined the standards of courage, esprit, and military prowess." Gen. James L. Jones, USMC

"My only answer as to why the Marines get the toughest jobs is because the average Leatherneck is a much better fighter. He has far more guts, courage, and better officers... These boys out here have a pride in the Marine Corps and will fight to the end no matter what the cost." 2nd Lt. Richard C. Kennard, Peleliu, World War II

"It's a funny thing, but, as years go by, I think you appreciate more and more what a great thing it was to be a United States Marine... People will tell me what a shame it was I had to go back into the service a second time, but I'm kinda glad I did. Besides, I am a U.S. Marine and I'll be one till I die." Ted Williams

         “Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have made a difference to the world, but the Marines don’t have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


         "Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking!"

         "We're surrounded. That simplifies the problem!"

         "The more MARINES I have around the better I like it!"

"I want you boys to hurry up and whip these Germans so we can get out to the Pacific to kick the s**t out of the purple-pissing Japanese,        before the Godda**ed MARINES get all the credit!"

"Sometimes it is entirely appropriate to kill a fly with a sledge-hammer!"

"The MARINES have landed and have the situation well in hand!"

"Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency: we are winning!"

"I can never again see a UNITED STATES MARINE without experiencing a feeling of reverence."

"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a MARINE CORPS for the next 500 years."

"Come on, you sons of b*****! Do you want to live forever?"

"We're not retreating, Hell! We're just attacking in a different direction!"

"I have just returned from visiting the MARINES at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!"

"Teufelhunde! (Devil Dogs)"

"So they've got us surrounded, good! Now we can fire in any direction, those b*****ds won't get away this time!"

"We have two companies of MARINES running all over this island and thousands of ARMY troops doing nothing!"

"Retreat hell! We just got here!"

"The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of MARINES. LORD, how they could fight!"

"Panic sweeps my men when they are facing the AMERICAN MARINES."

"Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won't be any AMERICA because some foreign soldier will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race!"

"The man who will go where his colors go without asking, who will fight a phantom foe in a jungle or a mountain range, and who will suffer and die; in the midst of incredible hardship, without complaint, is still what he has always been, from Imperial Rome to sceptered Britain to democratic America. He is the stuff of which legends are made. His pride is his colors and his regiment, his training hard and thorough and coldly realistic, to fit him for what he must face, and his obedience is to his orders. As a legionnaire, he held the gates of civilization for the classical world...today he is called United States Marine."
LTCOL FEHRENBACH, USA, in "This Kind of War"

"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."

"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth - and the amusing thing about it is that they are."
- Father Kevin Keaney, 1st MarDiv Chaplain, Korean War

“The Marines fought almost solely on esprit de corps, I was certain. It was inconceivable to most Marines that they should let another Marine down, or that they could be responsible for dimming the bright reputation of their Corps. The Marines simply assumed that they were the world's best fighting men."
- Robert Sherrod, 1943, regarding the battle at Tarawa

Roger that George, and even an Army guy like me has to admit that it is always best to have a Devil Dog unit on your flank in combat because that's one flank you don't have to worry about. Here's a true story:  In 2003  when the Marines and the Army 3d Infantry Division had taken down Baghdad and had truck convoys scattered all the way into Kuwait, I was a plans officer at USCENTCOM when our intelligence intercepted an order from the Iraqi insurgency commander.   It was a field order to all the insurgent unit commanders and it went something like this:

"Resistance Commanders, When attacking supply and truck units you must be aware that there are two different American "armies":

1. The US Army which wears tan desert uniforms like this (photo of a
Soldier wearing the old desert uniform);  and.

2. The US Marine Corps which wears a different uniform like this (photo of a Marine wearing the newly issued USMC digital uniform).

When planning your attacks on supply lines and truck convoys ensure that you do NOT attack a US Marine unit.   If you do, these supply-unit Marines will immediately act like Army infantry and they will attack you and hunt every one of your men down and kill them.   The US Army truck and supply units will not pursue you.  Attack them instead."

As deeply embarrassing as that was to the entire US Army, it was a long time coming.  As an Infantryman, I know that in the past 25 years we trained the hell out of our active duty combat units but we let the rest
of the force waste away.   The Army has a long ways to go, but we have rectified some of these problems in the past four years.  It's just sad that we had to let the enemy tell us how screwed up we were.


John A. Keenan
Colonel,  USMC (Ret)


There are about 1.5 million of us in the active forces that wear a uniform.  If you add all the reserves and the National Guard, the total is somewhere close to 3 million.  That is only 1% of our nation’s population.  We are a military at war, not a nation at war.  Unfortunately, many Americans just don’t get it.  But you get it.

BGen Robert E. Milstead, Jr.,

Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat.
RAdm. "Jay" R. Stark, USN; 10 November 1995

Why in hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can. They are the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines.
Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, USA; 12 February 1918

A group of Americans, retired teachers, recently went to France on a tour. Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.  At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on. "You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.
"Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."
The American said, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."
"Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France!"   The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained. "Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in '4 4 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find any damn Frenchmen to show it to."

"And there we were, out in the countryside in Vietnam, living together, eating together and obviously going through all sorts of things. I think I came up with a very, very different perspective than most people that end up in senior management positions about what people who wear blue collars think about things and how they react to things, and what you should do to try to be fair to those folks. So in that regard it was an invaluable experience. And a great deal of what FedEx has been able to accomplish was built on those lessons I learned in the Marine Corps."  Fred Smith, FED Ex founder 

I learned an awful lot in the Marine Corps -- particularly about, I think, how to treat people, lead people -- which has played a big role in FedEx. A big part of the employee relations systems and all that we have at our company came from my experience in the service. The Marine Corps is the best when it comes to teaching people how to lead other folks.”  Fred Smith, FED Ex founder