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United States Military Quotes

The following shows various quotes, sayings, and excerpts that are specific to the United States military, active duty personnel, veterans, reservists and military families (military spouse, military children).

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United States Army Quotes

United States Marine Corps Quotes

United States Navy Quotes

United States Air Force Quotes

United States Coast Guard Quotes

United States PHS CC and NOAA CC Quotes

United States General Military Quotes

United States Army Quotes:

Also check out our US Army history section!

"They've got us surrounded again, the poor bastards."
General Creighton Williams Abrams Jr.

"When we land against the enemy, don't forget to hit him and hit him hard. When we meet the enemy we will kill him. We will show him no mercy."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"Three thousand miles from home, an American army is fighting for you. Everything you hold worthwhile is at stake. Only the hardest blows can win against the enemy we are fighting. Invoking the spirit of our forefathers, the army asks your unflinching support, to the end that the high ideals for which America stands may endure upon the earth."
General of the Armies John Joseph Pershing

"America loves a winner, and will not tolerate a loser, this is why America has never, and will never, lose a war."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"The point I wish to make is that those things cause the soldier to remember that the people at home are behind him. You do not know how much that is going to mean to us who are going abroad. You do not know how much that means to any soldier who is over there carrying the flag for his country. That is the point which should be uppermost in the minds of those who are working for the soldier."
General of the Armies John Joseph Pershing

"I am a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"The representatives of business interests are the men to start this enterprise among our people and bring them to a full realization of the very grave seriousness of this war, to make them feel that we are in this war to win, and the probability is that our entering this war is going to be the deciding factor, and that the burden of the success is going to rest upon the United States."
General of the Armies John Joseph Pershing

"May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"In each succeeding war there is a tendency to proclaim as something new the principles under which it is conducted. Not only those who have never studied or experienced the realities of war, but also professional soldiers frequently fall into the error. But the principles of warfare as I learned them at West Point remain unchanged."
General of the Armies John Joseph Pershing

"Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"America has joined forces with the Allied Powers, and what we have of blood and treasure are yours. Therefore it is that with loving pride we drape the colors in tribute of respect to this citizen of your great republic. And here and now, in the presence of the illustrious dead, we pledge our hearts and our honor in carrying this war to a successful issue. Lafayette, we are here."
Colonel Charles E. Stanton

"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity."
President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"I have the utmost confidence that through your efforts we will eventually beat the hell out of those bastards — You name them; I'll shoot them!"
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable."
President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The only way you get on in this profession is to have the reputation of doing what you are told as thoroughly as possible."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"You know, I know, all of us know that the time factor is the vital consideration — and vital is the correct meaning of the term — of our national defense program; that we must never be caught in the same situation we found ourselves in 1917."
General George Catlett Marshall

"Americans never quit."
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur

"A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"The time has come when we must proceed with the business of carrying the war to the enemy, not permitting the greater portion of our armed forces and our valuable material to be immobilized within the continental United States."
General George Catlett Marshall

"It was close; but that's the way it is in war. You win or lose, live or die — and the difference is just an eyelash."
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur

"Some goddamn fool once said that flanks have got to be secure. Since then sonofabitches all over the globe have been guarding their flanks. I don't agree with that. My flanks are something for the enemy to worry about, not me. Before he finds out where my flanks are, I'll be cutting the bastard's throat."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, Our Flag will be recognized throughout the World as a symbol of Freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other."
General George Catlett Marshall

"I see that the flagpole still stands. Have your troops hoist the colors to its peak, and let no enemy ever haul them down."
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"The one great element in continuing the success of an offensive is maintaining the momentum. This was lost last fall when shortages caused by the limitation of port facilities made it impossible to get sufficient supplies to the armies when they approached the German border."
General George Catlett Marshall

"As you pointed out, we must win. There is no substitute for victory."
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur

"My men can eat their belts, but my tanks have gotta have gas."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"It is not enough to fight. It is the spirit which we bring to the fight that decides the issue. It is morale that wins the victory."
General George Catlett Marshall

"'Duty, Honor, Country' — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn."
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur

"A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"Morale is the state of mind. It is steadfastness and courage and hope. It is confidence and zeal and loyalty. It is élan, esprit de corps and determination."
General George Catlett Marshall

"I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barrack ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that 'old soldiers never die; they just fade away.' And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty."
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur

"When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can't run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn't fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag. ... As for the types of comments I make, sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"Military power wins battles, but spiritual power wins wars."
General George Catlett Marshall

"Always do everything you ask of those you command."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"An essential part of any successful action on the part of the United States is an understanding on the part of the people of America of the character of the problem and the remedies to be applied. ... It is virtually impossible at this distance merely by reading, or listening, or even seeing photographs or motion pictures, to grasp at all the real significance of the situation. And yet the whole world of the future hangs on a proper judgment."
General George Catlett Marshall

"There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"There has been considerable comment over the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to a soldier. I am afraid this does not seem as remarkable to me as it quite evidently appears to others. I know a great deal of the horrors and tragedies of war. ... The cost of war in human lives is constantly spread before me, written neatly in many ledgers whose columns are gravestones. I am deeply moved to find some means or method of avoiding another calamity of war."
General George Catlett Marshall

"So as through a glass, and darkly
The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names, but always me."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"Dependability, integrity, the characteristic of never knowingly doing anything wrong, that you would never cheat anyone, that you would give everybody a fair deal. Character is a sort of an all-inclusive thing. If a man has character, everyone has confidence in him. Soldiers must have confidence in their leader."
General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley

"Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"We are dealing with veterans, not procedures; with their problems, not ours."
General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley

"All through your Army careers, you men have bitched about what you call 'chicken shit drilling'. That, like everything else in this Army, has a definite purpose. That purpose is alertness. Alertness must be bred into every soldier. ... You men are veterans or you wouldn't be here. You are ready for what's to come."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"I thought I might die. But then I thought, 'Other people have made it through these things before'. I kept my eyes on the lights on shore and kept swimming."
Corporal Clint Eastwood

"An Army is a team. It lives, sleeps, eats, and fights as a team. This individual heroic stuff is pure horse shit."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"To the infantryman, his country's military might is only those buddies he can see, and the equipment they have at hand; likewise, to the wage-earner, "free enterprise" is primarily the way his boss treats him and those around him."
Staff Sergeant Malcolm Forbes

"All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"If we wish to be free; if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending; if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained — we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms, and to the God of hosts, is all that is left us."
Colonel Patrick Henry

"All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain."
General George Smith Patton, Jr.

"This We'll Defend"
US Army Motto

United States Marine Corps Quotes:

Also check out our US Marine Corps history section!

"That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one colonel, two lieutenant colonels, two majors and officers as usual in other regiments, that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no person be appointed to office or enlisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea."
Resolution of the Continental Congress

"The Continental ship Providence, now lying at Boston, is bound on a short cruise, immediately; a few good men are wanted to make up her complement."
Marine Captain William Jones

"A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons."
Admiral David D. Porter

"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."
General Thomas Holcomb

"Goddamn it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"
Colonel Henry Pierson Crowe

"Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency; we are winning."
General David Monroe Shoup

"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."
Secretary of Defense James Forrestal

"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."
Fleet Admiral Chester William Nimitz

"The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps."
General Alexander A. Vandergrift

"Retreat, hell! We're not retreating, we're just advancing in a different direction."
General Oliver P. Smith

"Retreat? Hell, we just got here!"
Major Lloyd W. Williams

"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

"There has been one persistent theme through all Axis propaganda. This theme has been that Americans are admittedly rich, that Americans have considerable industrial power – but that Americans are soft and decadent, that they cannot and will not unite and work and fight. ... Let them tell that to the Marines!"
President Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Since the birth of our nation, the steady performance of the Marine Corps in fighting America's battles has made it the very symbol of military excellence. The Corps has come to be recognized worldwide as an elite force of fighting men, renowned for their physical endurance, for their high level of obedience, and for the fierce pride they take, as individuals, in the capacity for self discipline."
Clare Boothe Luce

"Never forget those who were killed. Never let rest those who killed them."
Major Douglas A. Zembiec

"You don't really think about the enemy or death in situations where Marines are injured. The only concern is getting them evacuated. Everything else just comes natural from good training."
Gunnery Sergeant Christopher J. Clookey

"Our young Marines of today are courageous, willing to make sacrifices, and are marvelous team players. I am confident our Corps, and indeed our Nation, will be in great shape for a long time to come as these people continue to grow and assume greater positions of responsibility."
General James T. Conway

"Regardless of facts and figures, one single message prevails: whether called a leatherneck, sea soldier or gyrene, it was the individual Marine and his rifle that made the Corps what it remains to this day, one of the world's elite fighting forces."
Gordon L. Rottman

"It's OK to have fun in the Marine Corps. I like to say we are an imperfect people working in an institution that tries to be perfect. That is a noble thing, but you have to realize there is no perfect. We're human."
General James L. Jones

"...the Marine Corps is committed to protecting your liberties and your freedoms.... If you take nothing away from this talk, I’d hope you understand and appreciate what a remarkable group of young people currently serve in your Armed Forces today. Want to know what Marine Generals talk about when we are together? We talk about what a remarkable privilege it is to lead these extraordinary Americans."
Major General Michael R. Lehnert

"We who serve, who are sent to fight wars and have nothing whatsoever to do with starting them, have never known defeat on the battlefield. When we have lost, we lost at home, and others declared defeat - not us."
Lieutenant General John F. Kelly

"And all of these together, as much as any campaign the Marine Corps has ever pursued, have brought an unrelenting, never-ceasing pride to all of us who have ever claimed the title of United States Marine"
Senator Jim Webb

"What shall I say of the gallantry with which these Marines have fought! ... I cannot write of their splendid gallantry without tears coming to my eyes."
Lieutenant General James Guthrie Harbord

"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

"We should never lose sight of the ethos that has made the Marine Corps – where 'every Marine is a rifleman' – one of America’s cherished institutions and one of the world’s most feared and respected fighting forces"
Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates

"A person cannot be a Marine without honor."
General Carl Epting Mundy, Jr.

"On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name "Marine". In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history."
Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune

"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

"Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary."
General Alfred M. Gray, Jr.

"Some people work an entire lifetime and wonder if they ever made a difference to the world. But the Marines don't have that problem."
President Ronald Reagan

"I can't see how a single man could spend his time to better advantage than in the Marines."
Sergeant Major Daniel Joseph "Dan" Daly

"Come on, you sons-o'-bitches! Do you want to live forever?"
Sergeant Major Daniel Joseph "Dan" Daly

"From the halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli
We fight our country's battles,
On the land as on the sea."
The Marines' Hymn

"Semper Fidelis"
US Marine Corps Motto

United States Navy Quotes:

Also check out our US Navy history section!

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."
President George Washington

"I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: 'I served in the United States Navy.'"
President John F. Kennedy

"Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!"
Lieutenant Howell Maurice Forgy

"Every Sailor has the potential to lead,” said Mullen, "I don’t care if it’s a seaman recruit or someone higher ranking than myself. Where there’s a will, there’s a way."
Admiral Mike Mullen

"A powerful Navy we have always regarded as our proper and natural means of defense; and it has always been of defense that we have thought, never of aggression or of conquest. But who shall tell us now what sort of Navy to build? We shall take leave to be strong upon the seas, in the future as in the past; and there will be no thought of offense or provocation in that. Our ships are our natural bulwarks."
President Woodrow Wilson

"I'm blessed to be in a command position in a Navy this good"
Admiral Mike Mullen

"I've received many honors and I'm grateful for them; but I've already received the highest award I'll ever receive, and that has been the privilege and honor of serving very proudly in the United States Navy."
Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

"I do not have regrets. I believe I helped preserve the peace for this country. Why should I regret that? What I accomplished was approved by Congress -- which represents our people. All of you live in safety from domestic enemies because of security from the police. Likewise, you live in safety from foreign enemies because our military keeps them from attacking us."
Admiral Hyman G. Rickover

"A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things."
Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

"A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace."
President Theodore Roosevelt

"The Navy has both a tradition and a future--and we look with pride and confidence in both directions."
Admiral George Anderson

"The difference between a good and great officer is about ten seconds."
Admiral Arleigh Burke

"Naval forces are able, without resorting to diplomatic channels, to establish offshore anywhere in the world, air fields completely equipped with machine shops, ammunition dumps, tank farms, warehouses, together with quarters and all types of accommodations for personnel. Such task forces are virtually as complete as any air base ever established. They constitute the only air bases that can be made available near enemy territory without assault and conquest; and furthermore, they are mobile offensive bases, that can be employed with the unique attributes of secrecy and surprise — which attributes contribute equally to their defensive as well as offensive effectiveness."
Fleet Admiral Chester William Nimitz

"Those officers and men who were immediately under my observation, evinced the greatest gallantry, and I have no doubt that all others conducted themselves as became American officers and seamen."
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry

"Our present undisputed control of the sea was achieved primarily through the employment of naval air-sea forces"
Fleet Admiral Chester William Nimitz

"We have met the enemy and they are ours."
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry

"Our present control of the sea is so absolute that it is sometimes taken for granted."
Fleet Admiral Chester William Nimitz

"Damn the torpedoes, Full speed ahead!"
Admiral David Glasgow Farragut

"We shall never forget that it was our submarines that held the lines against the enemy while our fleets replaced losses and repaired wounds."
Fleet Admiral Chester William Nimitz

"I may sink, but I'll be damned if I strike!"
Captain John Paul Jones

"Through the skill and devotion to duty of their armed forces of all branches in the Midway area our citizens can now rejoice that a momentous victory is in the making."br /> Fleet Admiral Chester William Nimitz

"I have not yet begun to fight!"
Captain John Paul Jones

"A ship is always referred to as "she" because it costs so much to keep her in paint and powder."
Fleet Admiral Chester William Nimitz

"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way."
Captain John Paul Jones

"Tell the men to fire faster. Fight 'til she sinks, boys. Don't give up the ship."
Captain James Lawrence

"Honor, Courage, Commitment"
US Navy Motto

United States Air Force Quotes:

Also check out our US Air Force history section!

"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return."
Leonardo da Vinci

"Air power may either end war or end civilization."
Sir Winston Churchill

"Once the command of the air is obtained by one of the contended armies, the war must become a conflict between a seeing host and one that is blind."
H. G. Wells

"Not to have an adequate air force in the present state of the world is to compromise the foundations of national freedom and independence."
Sir Winston Churchill

"Airpower has become predominant, both as a deterrent to war, and—in the eventuality of war—as the devastating force to destroy an enemy’s potential and fatally undermine his will to wage war."
General of the Army Omar Nelson Bradley

"Air power alone does not guarantee America's security, but I believe it best exploits the nation's greatest asset — our technical skill."
General Hoyt S. Vandenberg

"Air power is like poker. A second-best hand is like none at all — it will cost you dough and win you nothing."
General George Kenney

"The advent of air power, which can go straight to the vital centers and either neutralize or destroy them, has put a completely new complexion on the old system of making war. It is now realized that the hostile main army in the field is a false objective, and the real objectives are the vital centers."
Brigadier General William 'Billy' Mitchell

"Strategic air assault is wasted if it is dissipated piecemeal in sporadic attacks between which the enemy has an opportunity to readjust defenses or recuperate."
General H. H. 'Hap' Arnold

"In the development of air power, one has to look ahead and not backward and figure out what is going to happen, not too much what has happened."
Brigadier General William 'Billy' Mitchell

"A modern, autonomous, and thoroughly trained Air Force in being at all times will not alone be sufficient, but without it there can be no national security."
General H. H. 'Hap' Arnold

"The most important branch of aviation is pursuit, which fights for and gains control of the air."
Brigadier General William 'Billy' Mitchell

"Offense is the essence of air power."
General H. H. 'Hap' Arnold

"Only air power can defeat air power. The actual elimination or even stalemating of an attacking air force can be achieved only by a superior air force."
Major Alexander P. de Seversky

"We're going to bomb them back into the stone Age."
General Curtis LeMay

"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...."
Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

"The vast majority of Airmen we train are going to be somewhere in harm's way within the next year or two. It is up to us to impart to them the talent and skill they need to accomplish their mission in a world-class fashion and at the same time make sure we get them back safely to the families that love them."
General William R. Looney III

"If I see that they are amassing their planes for an attack, I'm going to knock the shit out of them before they take off the ground."
General Curtis LeMay

"If they turn on their radars we're going to blow up their goddamn SAMs. They know we own their country. We own their airspace ... We dictate the way they live and talk. And that’s what’s great about America right now. It’s a good thing, especially when there’s a lot of oil out there we need."
General William R. Looney III

"I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal.... Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you're not a good soldier."
General Curtis LeMay

"When we refused to be forced out of Berlin, we demonstrated to the people of Europe that with their cooperation we would act, and act resolutely, when their freedom was threatened."
President Harry S. Truman

"The most important thing is to have a flexible approach.... The truth is no one knows exactly what air fighting will be like in the future. We can't say anything will stay as it is, but we also can't be certain the future will conform to particular theories, which so often, between the wars, have proved wrong."
Brigadier General Robin Olds

"The Air Force comes in every morning and says, 'Bomb, bomb, bomb' … And then the State Department comes in and says, 'Not now, or not there, or too much, or not at all.'"
President Lyndon B. Johnson

"Our warriors are no longer limited to the people who fly the airplanes...Our entire force is a warrior force. Being a warrior is not an AFSC,'s a condition of the heart."
General John P. Jumper

"I never doubted, not ever, that we would succeed."
Lieutenant general William Henry Tunner

"The enduring responsibility of the United States Air Force is to provide strategic deterrence for the Nation and fly, fight and win as an integral part of the Joint Team. Together with our brothers and sisters in arms, we underwrite the national strategy of defending the Homeland and assuring allies, while dissuading, deterring and defeating enemies."
General Norton A. Schwartz

"The first and absolute requirement of strategic air power in this war was control of the air in order to carry out sustained operations without prohibitive losses."
General Carl A. 'Tooey' Spaatz

"We have the enemy surrounded. We are dug in and have overwhelming numbers. But enemy airpower is mauling us badly. We will have to withdraw."
Japanese infantry commander

"Air control can be established by superiority in numbers, by better employment, by better equipment, or by a combination of these factors."
General Carl A. 'Tooey' Spaatz

"To have command of the air means to be able to cut an enemy's army and navy off from their bases of operation and nullify their chances of winning the war."
General Giulio Douhet

"Adolf Galland said that the day we took our fighters off the bombers and put them against the German fighters, that is, went from defensive to offsensive, Germany lost the air war. I made that decision and it was my most important decision during World War II. As you can imagine, the bomber crews were upset. The fighter pilots were ecstatic."
General James H. Doolittle

"Nobody kicks ass without tanker gas. Nobody."
Special Operations KC-135 tanker crews

"In our victory over Japan, airpower was unquestionably decisive. That the planned invasion of the Japanese Home islands was unnecessary is clear evidence that airpower has evolved into a force in war co-equal with land and sea power, decisive in its own right and worthy of the faith of its prophets."
General Carl A. 'Tooey' Spaatz

"The function of the Army and Navy in any future war will be to support the dominant air arm."
General James H. Doolittle

"We're at a real time of transition here in terms of future aviation. What's going to be manned? What's going to be unmanned? There are those who see [the JSF] as the last manned fighter/bomber. And I'm one that's inclined to believe it—whether it's right or not."
Admiral Mike Mullen

"If we maintain our faith in God, love of freedom, and superior global air power, the future looks good."
General Curtis LeMay

"The hunters are the ones who go out and kill. Maybe one out of ten good fighter pilots will be one of the hunters."
Captain Jack M. Ilfrey

"Fight on and fly on to the last drop of blood and the last drop of fuel, to the last beat of the heart."
Baron Manfred von Richthofen

"Fighting in the air is not sport. It is scientific murder."
Captain Edward V. 'Eddie' Rickenbacker

"The first time I ever saw a jet, I shot it down."
General Chuck Yeager

"The wingman is absolutely indispensable. I look after the wingman. The wingman looks after me. It's another set of eyes protecting you. That the defensive part. Offensively, it gives you a lot more firepower. We work together. We fight together. The wingman knows what his responsibilities are, and knows what mine are. Wars are not won by individuals. They're won by teams."
Lt. Col. Francis S. "Gabby" Gabreski

"Go in close, and when you think you are too close, go in closer."
Major Thomas B. 'Tommy' McGuire

"A fighter without a gun ... is like an airplane without a wing."
Brigadier General Robin Olds

"I never went into the air thinking I would lose."
Commander Randy 'Duke' Cunningham

"Fighting spirit one must have. Even if a man lacks some of the other qualifications, he can often make up for it in fighting spirit."
Brigadier General Robin Olds

"It is probable that future war will be conducted by a special class, the air force, as it was by the armored Knights of the Middle Ages."
Brigadier General William 'Billy' Mitchell

"The smallest amount of vanity is fatal in aeroplane fighting. Self-distrust rather is the quality to which many a pilot owes his protracted existence."
Captain Edward V. 'Eddie' Rickenbacker

"Most healthy young men or women from sixteen to forty years of age can be taught to fly an ordinary airplane. A great majority of these may become very good pilots for transport- or passenger-carrying machines in time of peace; but the requirements for a military aviator call for more concentrated physical and mental ability in the individual than has ever been necessary in any calling heretofore."
Brigadier General William 'Billy' Mitchell

"It's just like being in a knife fight in a dirt-floor bar. If you want to fix a fella, the best way to do it is to get behind him and stick him in the back. It's the same in an air fight. If you want to kill that guy, the best thing to do is get around behind him where he can't see you ... and shoot him."
Captain William O'Brian

"It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed."
USAF Manual

"Cluster bombing from B-52s is very, very accurate. The bombs always hit the ground."
B-52 Pilot

"Fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace"
US Air Force Mission

"Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win"
US Air Force Motto

United States Coast Guard Quotes:

Also check out our US Coast Guard history section!

"A few armed vessels, judiciously stationed at the entrances of our ports, might at a small expense be made useful sentinels of the laws."
Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton

"The lighthouse and the lightship appeal to the interests and better instinct of man because they are symbolic of never-ceasing watchfulness, of steadfast endurance in every exposure, of widespread helpfulness."
George R. Putnam

"The Blue Book says we've got to go out and it doesn't say a damn thing about having to come back."
Captain Patrick Etheridge

"The cat with nine lives is a piker compared to the Coast Guard. You can kick this old service around, tear it to pieces, scream from the house-tops that it is worthless, ought to be abolished or transferred to the Navy, have the people in it fighting among themselves and working at cross purposes and it bobs up serenely bigger and stronger than ever."
Rear Admiral R. R. Waesche

"I reasoned that I was a Coast Guard first class boatswain mate. My job was the sea and to save those in peril upon it."
Bernard C. Webber

"Commanding officers of the revenue service, of whatsoever grade or rank, are required and strictly enjoined to show in themselves a good example of virtue, honor patriotism, subordination, and of fidelity to the government and laws, and to be vigilant in inspecting the conduct of all persons under their command, and to guard, against and suppress all dissolute and immoral practices."
Rules and Regulations for the Government of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service

"When I am in charge of a vessel, I always command; nobody commands but me. I take all the responsibility, all the risks, all the hardships that my office would call upon me to take. I do not steer by any man’s compass but my own."
Captain Michael Healy

"Keeping always under steam and ever ready, in the event of extraordinary need, to render valuable service, the cutters can be made to form a coast guard whose value it is impossible at the present time to estimate."
Army & Navy Journal

"Adaptability is a characteristic of the American fighting man that has enabled this country’s Armed Forces to emerge triumphant in every major war we have fought. Adaptability is synonymous with the operations of the United States Coast Guard."
Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz

"The story of the Coast Guard at war is replete with incidents which, in combat or otherwise, demonstrated consummate skill, great devotion to duty, and heroism worthy of special mention in any wartime history of the Service."
Malcolm F. Willoughby

"To date there has been no Homer, Herman Melville, or Charles Dana to record their deeds so that Americans recognize that they have always had maritime heroes living among them. Until that time, if you wish to see ordinary men and women who perform heroic deeds, visit a US Coast Guard small boat rescue station."
Dennis L. Noble

"I will ensure that my superiors rest easy with the knowledge that I am on the helm, no matter what the conditions."
Surfman's Creed

"To the Coast Guard is charged protection of life and ships upon the sea; to this end the Service bends its every energy, often at the expense of its other varied duties. ‘Humanitarian’ is the term that has been given to this phase of Coast Guard activity, and humanitarian the Service is. No night too stormy, no seas too high, no shoals too forbidding to restrain our cutters from their work of saving life. The same heroic spirit of self-sacrifice and disregard of personal danger that was fostered by our predecessors in the Service’s infancy pervades the Service to-day, not only on large, seaworthy cutters and powerful destroyers but also on the tiny egg-shell craft that patrol nearly every mile of our far-flung coast."
USCG Academy

"I want to make sure that the Coast Guard people in Vietnam know that I am hearing about them often and that I am pleased with what I hear."
General Wallace Greene, Jr.

"I am America's Maritime Guardian.
I serve the citizens of the United States.
I will protect them.
I will defend them.
I will save them.
I am their Shield.
For them I am Semper Paratus.
I live the Coast Guard Core Values.
I am a Guardian.
We are the United States Coast Guard."
The Guardian Ethos

"The U.S. Coast Guard is a shining example of how well a Federal agency can perform with its flexibility, speed, and expertise."
Representative John Russell "Russ" Carnahan

"I think in the wake of Katrina, the Coast Guard may well have been the only entity or agency that came out of that exercise free of fault and free of blame."
Representative John Howard Coble

"Semper Paratus / Always Prepared"
US Coast Guard Motto

United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps Quotes:

Also check out our other uniformed services history section!

"The mission of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is to protect, promote, and advance the health and safety of our Nation."
US Public Health Service Mission

"The mission of our service is known the world around
In research and in treatment no equal can be found
In the silent war against disease no truce is ever seen
We serve on the land and the sea for humanity
The Public Health Service Team"
US Public Health Service March

"Forward with NOAA
With the Corps that's got it all
Science and Service
We are always there to meet the call
We survey the oceans
And we track storms in the air
Forward with NOAA
We're the NOAA Corps, we're always there"
Forward with NOAA

General Military Quotes:

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty."
President John F. Kennedy

"Those who cannot bravely face danger are the slaves of their attackers."

"Wars produce many stories of fiction, some of which are told until they are believed to be true."
President Ulysses S. Grant

"It is God's job to forgive Osama Bin Laden. It is our job to arrange a face to face meeting."
General Norman Schwarzkopf

"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"I don't underrate the value of military knowledge, but if men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail."
President Ulysses S. Grant

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
President Thomas Jefferson

"There are some who've forgotten why we have a military. It's not to promote war, it's to be prepared for peace."
President Ronald Reagan

"Now therefore, be it Resolved by the Fiftieth Annual Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, That we hereby declare that we are unalterably opposed to any program which would entail the surrender of any part of the sovereignty of the United States of America in favor of a world government."
Veterans of Foreign Wars

"The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it."
General Norman Schwarzkopf

"To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace."
General George Washington

"The difficult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little longer."
Armed Forces saying

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."
President George Washington

"Don’t throw away a single shot, my brave fellows; ... don’t throw away a single shot, but take good aim; nor touch a trigger, till you can see the whites of their eyes."
Battle of Bunker Hill

"The brave man inattentive to his duty, is worth little more to his country, than the coward who deserts her in the hour of danger."
President Andrew Jackson

"There is no type of human endeavor where it is so important that the leader understands all phases of his job as that of the profession of arms."
Major General James Fry

"In no other profession are the penalties for employing untrained personnel so appalling or so irrevocable as in the military."
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur

"Wherever the enemy goes let our troops go also."
President Ulysses S. Grant

"To expect ... the same service from raw and undisciplined recruits, as from veteran soldiers, is to expect what never did and perhaps never will happen. Men, who are familiarized to danger, meet it without shrinking; whereas troops unused to service often apprehend danger where no danger is."
General of the Armies George Washington

"We'll fight them, sir, 'til hell freezes over, and then, sir, we will fight them on the ice."
Soldier at Gettysburg

"But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing."
President Andrew Jackson

"Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace."
President Ulysses S. Grant

"Yesterday the greatest question was decided... and a greater question perhaps never was nor will be decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states."
President John Adams

"Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all."
General of the Armies George Washington

"Posterity! you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the pains to preserve it."
President John Adams

"The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on."
President Ulysses S. Grant

"Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country."
General of the Armies George Washington

"I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy."
President John Adams

"Perhaps the happiest moment of my life was then, when I saw that our line didn’t break and that the enemy’s did."
President Rutherford B. Hayes

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