Happy 241st birthday to the finest force the world has ever known…the United States Marines!

Semper Fi, Devil Dogs! Ooh-Rah!!

Much has been said about “The Corps”. Here are some of the best quotations about the U.S. Marines:

“The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight!” [MGen. Frank E. Lowe, US Army; 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, US Army; 12 February 1918]

“The United States Marine Corps, with it 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]

“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; in response to the flag-raising on Iwo Jima, 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!” [Gen. Douglas MacArthur, US Army; Korea, 21 September 1950]

“We have two companies of Marines (520 men) running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments (3600 men) pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the hell is going on?” [Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., US Army, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; during the assault on Grenada, 1983]

“Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The Marines don’t have that problem.” [Ronald Reagan, U.S. President; 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, US Navy; 10 Nov. 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, U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991]

“No finer military organization than the Marine Corps exists in the world.” [Admiral George Dewey, US Navy, 1898]

“I am convinced there is no smarter, handier or more adaptable body of troops in the world.” [Winston Churchill writing about US Marines, 1917]

“In 150 years they have never been beaten. They will hold.” [Col. Preston Brown, US Army speaking of the Marines replacing routed French units in a desperate last-ditch effort to stop the German advance on Paris during WWI, June 1918. The Marines stopped the Germans]

“Do not attack the Marines. They fight like devils. Leave the Marine yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army.” [a captured Chinese Army Headquarters directive to Chinese troops in Korea, 1951]

“The eyes of the Nation, the eyes of the entire world and the eyes of history itself are on that brave little band of Marine defenders who hold the pass at Khe Sanh.” [President Lyndon B. Johnson during the 77 day siege of the US Marine bastion at Khe Sanh, 19 February 1968. The Marines held, Khe Sanh did not fall]

“Retrieving wounded comrades from the field of fire is a Marine Corps tradition more sacred than life.” [Robert Pisor, The End of the Line, 1982]

“Panic sweeps my men when they face the American Marines.” [captured North Korean major, Korea 1951]

“I’d give a million dollars to be a US Marine.” [former heavyweight boxing champ of the world Riddick Bowe who completed only 11 days of USMC boot camp at Parris Island before dropping out, The Detroit News, 16 April 200]

“Apparently the Marine Corps has a training program that can knock out even a former heavyweight champion of the world.” [Sgt. Kevin Robinson, US Army, Army Link News speaking of former heavyweight boxing champ not being able to make through Marine Corps boot camp, 3 March 1997]

“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.” [Kevin Keaney, US Navy chaplain, Korea 1951]

“There is the finest body of troops in the world, those gallant Marines who are ever ready to devote themselves to the interests of their country.” [Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister of England, 1879]

“A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons.” [Rear Admiral David Porter, US Navy, 1863]

“The Marines are at all times prompt in the execution of any duty.” [Col. Robert E. Lee, US Army (prior to the Civil War) after the capture of abolitionist John Brown, 18 October 1859]


“The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle.” [Gen. John J. Pershing, US Army]

“There is no better group of fighting men anywhere in the world than in the United States Marine Corps.” [Sen. Irving M Ives in the Congressional Record, April 1951]

From the “Halls of Montezuma”: Marines enter Mexico City, 1847

“The more Marines I have around me, the better I like it. The Marines have 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, US Army]

“The Marines will never disappoint the most sanguine expectations of their country—never! I have never known one who would not readily advance in battle.” [Capt. C.W. Morgan, US Navy, 1852]

“The Marines have landed and the situation is well in hand.” [Richard H. Davis, war correspondent, Panama, 1885]

“Before the Marines are through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell.” [Admiral William “Bull” Halsey, US Navy, 1943]

“They are quite brave.” [a Japanese staff officer describing the victorious US Marines on Guadalcanal in a dispatch to Tokyo, 4 March 1943]

“Guadalcanal is no longer merely the name of an island. It is the name of the graveyard of the Japanese Army.” [MGen. Kiyotake Kawaguchi, Imperial Japanese Army, 1943 after the US Marines handed the Imperial Japanese Army its first military defeat in over 1,000 years]

“The American Marines are terribly reckless fellows. They would make very good storm troopers.” [German Army report. Belleau Wood, France, 1918]

“Their fiery advance and great tenacity were well recognized by their opponents.” [LtCol. Ernst Otto, Imperial German Army, writing of the repeated US Marine onslaughts in Belleau Wood, France, 1918]

“In the Army, shock troops are a small minority supported by a vast group of artisans, laborers, clerks and organizers. In the Marines there are practically nothing but shock troops.” [John Lardner, combat correspondent, Iwo Jima, 6 March 1945]

“I cannot say enough about the two Marine divisions. If I used words like brilliant, it would really be an under-description of the absolutely superb job 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. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, US Army, speaking in Saudi Arabia after the battle for Kuwait, 27 February 1991]


“I have respect for the Marines. God bless them, every one.” [Sgt. William Stuart, US Air Force, Afghanistan, 27 September 2002]

“Thank God for the Marines!” [an Army Air Corps B-29 crewman after his crippled bomber made an emergency landing on Iwo Jima after the Marines captured the island, May 1945]

“The {expletive} Marines have killed every living thing except the snakes and lizards!” [Capt. James A. Smith, US Army viewing the carnage after US Marines battled through Nasiriyah, Iraq, 24 March 2003]

“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]

“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.”
[Col. Archibald Henderson, USMC (CMC); in a note pinned to his office door, 1836]

“Don’t you forget that you’re 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]

“They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked on both sides by an enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can’t get away from us now!”[Col. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, USMC; when the Marines were cut off behind enemy lines and the Army had written the 1st Marine Division off as being lost because they were surrounded by 22 enemy divisions. The Marines made it out inflicting the highest casualty ratio on an enemy in history and destroying 7 entire enemy divisions in the process.]

“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]


“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]

“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 Sornij, USMC; in Navy Times, November 1994]

(Thanks to Chris Pangalos, Spartan warrior and US Marine!)

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  1. Happy Veterans Day Brother

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