Quotes about Marines
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A special thank you to Teena Hubbard and Marianne Knight, Marines, for many of the quotes.

There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army


Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share.
Ned Dolan


A Marine is a Marine.  I set that policy two weeks ago - there's no such thing as a former Marine.   You're a Marine,  just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life.  But you'll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico.  There's no such thing as a former Marine.

General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps


I come in peace, I didn't bring artillery.  But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes:  If you fuck with me, I'll kill you all.

Marine General James Mattis, to Iraqi tribal leaders


Hell, these are Marines.  Men like them held Guadalcanal and took Iwo Jima.  Bagdad ain't shit.
Marine Major General John F. Kelly


We signed up knowing the risk. Those innocent people in New York didn't go to work thinking there was any kind of risk.
Pvt. Mike Armendariz-Clark, USMC; Afghanastan, 20 September 2001
As reported on page 1 of the New York Times


The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight!
MGen. Frank E. Lowe, USA; Korea, 26 January 1952


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


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


The United States Marine Corps, with its fiercely proud tradition of excellence in combat, its hallowed rituals, and its unbending code of honor, is part of the fabric of American myth.
Thomas E. Ricks; Making the Corps, 1997


For all of those that have son's or daughter's at bootcamp let me pass on what I found. Let me give you a little back ground first. When my son left home he had no motivation, he was lazy, slobby, no pride, no self worth. This is the boy that got off the bus March 18th at Parris Island. The man that I met on Thursday for parents day is AWESOME. There is no way I can describe to you all the difference. He looks different, he walks different, he talks different, he has such a sense of bearing and pride all I could do was look at him in awe. Oh yes, the training is hard, what he went through is unimaginable to any one that has not been there. They are definitely taught to be Warriors. Let me tell you the surprise of what else they are taught. My Marine son has better values, better morals, better manners than any one I know. It is so much more than Yes Sir, Yes Mam...so much more. He cares about how he looks, he cares about what he does, and its not a boastful, bad ass thing. He is a true gentleman. I saw patience, and a calmness in him that I have never seen. I could never express my gratitude enough to the Marine Corps for what they have given my son. I know this, I have an 11 year old Devil pup still at home. When the time comes for his turn if I had to I would take him kicking and screaming all the way. Although I'm sure that will not happen. The hero worship I see in my younger sons eyes for his Marine brother tells me I will have two Marines in the family, and I will be one very proud mother.
"Cybil", Mother of a Marine writing to the myMarine Group


The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years.
James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy; 23 February 1945
(the flag-raising on Iwo Jima had been immortalized in a photograph by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal)


I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!
General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur; Korea, 21 September 1950


We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the hell is going on?
Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., USA, Chairman of the the Joint Chiefs of Staff
during the assault on Grenada, 1983


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, First Lady of the United States, 1945


Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.
Ronald Reagan, President of the United States; 1985


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


They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake".
Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991


For over 221 years our Corps has done two things for this great Nation. We make Marines, and we win battles.
Gen. Charles C. Krulak, USMC (CMC); 5 May 1997


Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?
GySgt. Daniel J. "Dan" Daly, USMC
near Lucy-`le-Bocage as he led the 5th Marines' attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918


Gone to Florida to fight the Indians. Will be back when the war is over.
Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson, USMC
in a note pinned to his office door, 1836


Don't you forget that you're First Marines! Not all the communists in Hell can overrun you!
Col. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC
rallying his First Marine Regiment near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, December 1950


Marines die, that's what we're here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means YOU live forever.
the mythical GySgt. Hartman, USMC; portrayed by GySgt. R. Lee Ermey, a Marine Corps Drill Instructor using his own choice of words in Full Metal Jacket, 1987


You'll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!
Capt. Henry P. Crowe, USMC; Guadalcanal, 13 January 1943


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 (CMC); 10 November 2000


There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army


I love the Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the traditions for generations of warriors past.
Cpl. Jeff Sornig, USMC; in Navy Times, November 1994


I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold.
1stLt. Clifton B. Cates, USMC
in Belleau Wood, 19 July 1918


Courage is endurance for one moment more…
Unknown Marine Second Lieutenant in Vietnam


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


A Marine should be sworn to the patient endurance of hardships, like the ancient knights; and it is not the least of these necessary hardships to have to serve with sailors.
Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery


Lying offshore, ready to act, the presence of ships and Marines sometimes means much more than just having air power or ship's fire, when it comes to deterring a crisis. And the ships and Marines may not have to do anything but lie offshore. It is hard to lie offshore with a C-141 or C-130 full of airborne troops.
Gen. Colin Powell, U. S. Army
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
During Operation Desert Storm


This was the first time that the Marines of the two nations had fought side by side since the defence of the Peking Legations in 1900. Let it be said that the admiration of all ranks of 41 Commando for their brothers in arms was and is unbounded. They fought like tigers and their morale and esprit de corps is second to none.
Lt Col. D.B. Drysdale, Commanding
41 Commando, Chosen Reservoir, on the 1st Marine Division Division


The wonderful love of a beautiful maid,
The love of a staunch true man,
The love of a baby, unafraid,
Have existed since time began.

But the greatest of loves, The quintessence of loves.
even greater than that of a mother,
Is the tender, passionate, infinite love,
of one drunken Marine for another.

"Semper Fidelis"

General Louis H. Wilson
Commandant of the Marine Corps
Toast given at 203rd Marine Corps Birthday Ball
Camp Lejueune, N.C. 1978


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 Marine Division Chaplain
Korean War


There was always talk of espirit de corps, of being gung ho, and that must have been a part of it. Better, tougher training, more marksmanship on the firing range, the instant obedience to orders seared into men in boot camp.
James Brady, columnist, novelist,
press secretary to President Reagan, television personality and


The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps.
General Alexander A. Vandergrift, USMC
to the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, 5 May 1946


By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully. Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, U.S. Navy


Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there.
LtGen Victor H. Krulak, USMC
April 1965


The Marine Corps has just been called by the New York Times, 'The elite of this country.' I think it is the elite of the world.
Admiral William Halsey, U.S. Navy


I still need Marines who can shoot and salute. But I need Marines who can fix jet engines and man sophisticated radar sets, as well.
General Robert E. Cushman, Jr., USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps, 17 May 1974


I can't say enough about the two Marine divisions. If I use words like 'brilliant,' it would really be an under description of the absolutely superb job that they did in breaching the so-called 'impenetrable barrier.' It was a classic- absolutely classic- military breaching of a very very tough minefield, barbed wire, fire trenches-type barrier.
Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, U. S. Army
Commander, Operation Desert Storm, February 1991


I am convinced that there is no smarter, handier, or more adaptable body of troops in the world.
Prime Minister of Britain, Sir Winston Churchhill


The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle.
Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing, U.S. Army
Commander of American Forces in World War I


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 American Marines have it [pride], and benefit from it. They are tough, cocky, sure of themselves and their buddies. They can fight and they know it.
General Mark Clark, U.S. Army


They (Women Marines) don't have a nickname, and they don't need one. They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post. They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines.
LtGen Thomas Holcomb, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1943


I've always been proud of being a Marine. I won't hesitate to defend the Corps.
Jonathan Winters, comic and Marine


Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary.
Gen. A. M. Gray, USMC
Commandant of the Marine Corps


A Ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons.
Adm. David Dixon Porter, USN in a letter to
Colonel Commandant John Harris, USMC, 1863


The Marines have landed and the situation is well in hand.
Attributed to Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)


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

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