25 Douglas MacArthur Quotes from the American General

Douglas MacArthur quotes and strong words from one of America’s greatest military commanders.

Douglas MacArthur grew up as a child with a father who was an officer in the Army.

They lived on the western frontier where he shares that he was riding and shooting even before he had learned to walk or talk.

While, obviously, that statement isn’t true, it speaks to the type of upbringing that he had.

He ended up graduating from West Point and serving during World War I and World War II.

Between the two wars, he led an armed force in the Philippines and served some time as a civilian advisor as well before being called to serve in WWII.

MacArthur was a strong and wise leader who was well recognized for his work.

He was also a no-nonsense person as you’ll see in his quotes.

Don’t forget to also check out these general James Mattis quotes about leadership and the military.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.

Explore our complete collection of motivational quotes here.

Famous Douglas MacArthur quotes about courage and wisdom

1. “Life is a lively process of becoming.” Douglas MacArthur

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2. “Age wrinkles the body; quitting wrinkles the soul.” Douglas MacArthur

3. “The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself.” Douglas MacArthur

4. “There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity.” Douglas MacArthur

5. “I realize that advice is worth what it costs–that is, nothing.” Douglas MacArthur

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6. “A better world shall emerge based on faith and understanding.” Douglas MacArthur

7. “Last, but by no means least, courage of one’s convictions, the courage to see things through.” Douglas MacArthur

8. “I had learned one of the bitter lessons of life: never try to regain the past, the fire will have become ashes.” Douglas MacArthur

9. “Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.” Douglas MacArthur

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General MacArthur quotes about peace and war

10. “It is fatal to enter an war without the will to win it.” Douglas MacArthur

11. “Men since the beginning of time have sought peace.” Douglas MacArthur

12. “We are not retreating – we are advancing in another direction.” Douglas MacArthur

13. “In war, defensive strategy never has produced ultimate victory.” Douglas MacArthur

14. “Give me ten thousand Filipino soldiers and I will conquer the world.” Douglas MacArthur

15. “In war, you win or lose, live or die – and the difference is just an eyelash.” Douglas MacArthur

16. “The history of the failure of war can almost be summed up in two words: too late.” Douglas MacArthur

17. “These disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.” Douglas MacArthur

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18. “Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won…” Douglas MacArthur

19. “Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.” Douglas MacArthur

20. “You don’t win wars by dying for your country you win wars by making the other son of a bitch die for his.” Douglas MacArthur

21. “People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil—soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples.” Douglas MacArthur

22. “Once war is forced upon us, there is no alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War’s very object is victory-not prolonged indecision.” Douglas MacArthur

23. “The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery, has in fact now reached a point which revises the traditional concepts of war.” Douglas MacArthur

Douglas MacArthur quotes and sayings about choices and consequences

24. “I shall return.” Douglas MacArthur

25. “You are remembered for the rules you break.” Douglas MacArthur

What did you learn from these Douglas MacArthur quotes?

General Douglas MacArthur’s drive to succeed caused problems for him in the form of a disagreement about how to handle the Korean War.

MacArthur wanted to fight back by attacking the People’s Republic of China who was working to help North Korea; however, President Truman did not agree.

This led to the removal of MacArthur from his command.

General MacArthur was eventually welcomed back to America from his command with parades throughout various cities.

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While the end of his service may not have come like you would have expected, there’s no denying the importance of his role in the military throughout his service.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Douglas MacArthur quotes and sayings?

Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?

Let us know in the comment section below.

Stephanie Kirby is a Lifestyle Writer at Everyday Power and the Founder of Rising River Marketing. She is also experienced in SEO and WordPress. As a freelance writer, she has helped create content that will position business owners as an authority in their markets while providing valuable content for their readers. The principal areas of work include content surrounding mental health, leadership and personal development, and small business growth. She enjoys partnering with therapists and coaches to help them connect with clients online and better the world by helping people.She understands that customer service is a key component in growing your business. Focusing on the minor details and ensuring that the customer or reader has an excellent experience is paramount to success. She strives to carry those details into every aspect of businesses, including any content she creates.
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  1. Frankly Nonurbiznes

    February 12, 2023 at 8:35 PM

    Truman was a petty small man in stature, mentality, & foresight. He is personally responsible for North Korea being a communist country.
    MacArthur wanted to finish off the communist war by mopping up the resistance re-grouping just across the Yalu River. Truman denied the request which led to them counter attacking, forcing the allied troops all the way down to the 38th parallel.

  2. Jack Fry

    October 15, 2021 at 2:49 PM

    He also said America will never be conquered by foreign troops but from within. Paraphrasing.

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