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Marine Quotes that Show Honor and Pride

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It is common knowledge that the Marines stand for toughness and honor, as seen in these Marine quotes.

The appeal of joining the Marines is not for everyone.

Not everyone can make it; only the best of the best.

Tell us your favorite marine quote in the comment section below.

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What are the benefits of reading these marine quotes?

As you read through the quotes below, one of the common themes is how proud Marines are to be Marines and how important the brotherhood is.

We all want to belong to something, and if you can belong to one of the world’s toughest, most honorable groups, then that is something to be proud of.

These marine quotes will highlight:

  • their pride and courage
  • the importance they place on brotherhood
  • what they believe in and fight for

Enjoy reading the quotes below discussing what it means to be a Marine.

And don’t forget to check out these military quotes to honor our heroes.

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Check out more inspirational quotes on our motivational quotes category page.

Marine Quotes about their pride and courage

1. “A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons.” – Admiral David D. Porter

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2. “Retreat Hell! We’re just attacking in another direction.” – Major General Oliver P. Smith

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3. “Marines don’t know how to spell the word ‘defeat’.” – James Mattis

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4. “Your soul may belong to Jesus, but your ass belongs to the marines.” ― Eugene B. Sledge

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5. “Once a Marine, always a Marine!” – MSgt Paul Woyshner

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6. “Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there.” – LtGen Victor H. Krulak

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7. “I’ve always been proud of being a Marine. I won’t hesitate to defend the Corps.” – Jonathan Winters

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8. “Marines are built through the ethos of struggle and sacrifice.” – Gen James Jones

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9. “The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps.” – General Alexander A. Vandergrift

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10. “Without discipline, there is no Marine Corp.” – R. Lee Ermey

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11. “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

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12. “If I charge, follow me. If I retreat, kill me. If I die, revenge me.” ― USMC

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13. “There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.” – Gen. William Thornson

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14. “I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world.” – General Douglas MacArthur

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

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16. “The Marine Corps is proud of the fact that it is a force of combined arms, and it jealously guards the integrity of its air-ground team.” – General Keith B. McCutcheon

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17. “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

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18. “It was the Marines who taught me how to act. After that, pretending to be rough wasn’t so hard.” – Lee Marvin

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19. “Thousands of Marine combat veterans earned medals for bravery every day. A few were even awarded.” – Unknown

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Marine quotes about brotherhood

20. “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

Marine quotes about brotherhood

21. “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

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22. “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

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23. “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

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24. “It is friendship, and something beyond friendship, that binds the Marine Corps together.” – Unknown

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25. “I would not trade you a billion dollars for the kids I led to combat in Vietnam or in fact any of the Marines that I served with for a quarter of a century.” – Oliver North

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26. “We are acknowledging the close personal nature of our 10 years at war and the strong bonds of fidelity that Marines have for one another, especially for those fellow Marines who we have lost.” – James F. Amos

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27. “Old breed? New breed? There’s not a damn bit of difference so long as it’s the Marine breed.” – Chesty Puller

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28. “I loved being in the Marine Corps, I loved my job in the Marine Corps, and I loved the people I served with. It’s one of the best things I’ve had a chance to do.” – Adam Driver

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Marine quotes about what they fight for

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

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30. “The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight!” – MGen. Frank E. Lowe

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31. “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

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32. “Marines die, that’s what we’re here for. But the Marine Corps lives forever. And that means YOU will live forever.” – GySgt. Hartma

33. “To Marines, love of liberty is not an empty phrase… Rather, it’s displayed by blood, sweat, and tears for the fallen.” – Jim Mattis

34. “So long as our Corps fields such Marines, America has nothing to fear from tyrants, be they Fascists, Communists or Tyrants with Medieval Ideology. For we serve in a Corps with no institutional confusion about our purpose: To fight! To fight well!” – Jim Mattis

35. “We Marines believe that God gave America the greatest gift He could bestow to man while he lived on this earth -freedom. We also believe He gave us another gift nearly as precious – our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines – to safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can ever steal it away.” – John F. Kelly

Marine quotes about their fighting ability

36. “Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper-weights.” – Navy Times

37. “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

38. “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

39. “Don’t you forget that you’re First Marines! Not all the communists in Hell can overrun you!” – Col. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller

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40. “Planning plus preparation breeds confidence.”― US Marines

41. “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

42. “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem. – Ronald ReaganYou’ll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!” – Capt. Henry P. Crowe, USMC

43. “I am convinced that there is no smarter, handier, or more adaptable body of troops in the world.” – Sir Winston Churchill

44. “The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle.” – Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing

45. “Marines are very good at fighting… And if Gen. Franks wants fighters on the ground and he puts Marines in, he’ll have what he wants.” – Peter Pace

Marine quotes about the benefits of being one

46. “The Marines gave me a really strong sense of discipline and a work ethic that kicks in at my job.” – Drew Carey

47. “I learned a great many things in the Marines that helped me as a football coach. The Marines train men hard and to do things the right way, just as a football team must train.” – Hayden Fry

48. “The Marines was a fresh start – that is why they shave your head. I wish they would let you change your name.” – Drew Carey

49. “We think of the Marine Corps as a military outfit, and of course it is, but for me, the U.S. Marine Corps was a four-year crash course in character education. It taught me how to make a bed, how to do laundry, how to wake up early, how to manage my finances.” – J. D. Vance

50. “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

51. “There was always talk of esprit 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

52. “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.” – Elmer Davis

53. “So the Marine Corps really did teach me to conquer fear, and then to go for higher causes, higher purposes.” – Robert Kiyosaki

54. “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

55. “Success in battle is not a function of how many show up, but who they are.” – Robert H. Barrow

56. “We go forward with our heads held high, but look back and remember where we come from.” – Michael Hudson

More marine quotes and sayings

57. “The Marine Corps taught me commitment, courage, focus, and a value system that can easily suffice for people like me who aren’t religious.” – Bob Lutz

58. “The marines gave me an eternal discipline.” – Huey Morgan

59. “The oceans are a way of life. We fish; we sail; we have a robust marine economy.” – Sheldon Whitehouse

60. “Just rejoice at the news and congratulate our armed forces and the Marines. Rejoice!” – Margaret Thatcher

61. “In the Marine Corps, everything had a purpose.” – Adam Driver

62. “The task describes the action to be taken while the intent describes the purpose of the action.”― U.S. Marine Corps

63. “The Marines have landed, and the situation is well in hand.” – Richard Harding Davis

64. “Ensure that no Marine who honarably wore the Eagle, Globe and Anchor is lost to the Marine Corps family.” – James L. Jones

65. “Demonstrate to the world there is “No better friend, no worse enemy” than a U.S. Marine.” – James Mattis

66. “Retreat!… we’re just attacking in a different direction.” – Chesty Puller

67. “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” – William James

68. “Hit hard, hit fast, hit often.” – Chesty Puller

69. “We must therefore be prepared to cope—even better, to thrive—in an environment of chaos, uncertainty, constant change, and friction.”― U.S. Marine Corps

70. “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” – Chesty Puller

Marine quotes about their bravery and sacrifice

71. “Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.” Ronald Reagan

72. “Get off your butt and join the Marines!”John Wayne

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73. “Without the brave efforts of all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines and their families, this Nation, along with our allies around the world, would not stand so boldly, shine so brightly and live so freely.” – Lane Evans

74. “In the simple moral maxim the Marine Corps teaches—do the right thing, for the right reason—no exception exists that says: unless there’s criticism or risk.” – Joel Rushing

75. “Those of us who have never been in the military don’t understand what it is like to serve in the military.” – Gina Barreca 

76. “Marines don’t cry.” – Barbara Nickless

77. “In my experience, Marines are gung ho no matter what. They will all fight to the death.” – Chris Kyle

78. “You always hear all these statements like “Freedom isn’t free.” You hear the President talking about all these people making sacrifices. But you never really know until you carry one of them in a casket. When you feel their bodyweight. When you feel them. That’s when you know. That’s when you understand.” – Jim Sheeler

79. “You may hate the war, but never hate the ones that fight. For they do not choose when or where to fight. All they chose was to protect who they love and even the people they don’t know.” – Millie

80. “Everyday US Marines make possible the impossible and then go about their business like it’s just the way things are supposed to be.” – Mark W. Boyer

Marine Quotes about their Sacrifice for Patriotism

81. “Men do not fight for flag or country, for the Marine Corps or glory or any other abstraction. They fight for one another. And if you came through this ordeal, you would age with dignity.” – William Manchester

82. “The Marine Corps taught me how to kill, but it didn’t teach me how to deal with killing.” – Karl Marlantes

83. “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 Keane

84. “Casualties many; percentage of dead not known; combat efficiency; we are winning.” – David M. Shoup

85. “I have learned two important lessons from my association with the Marine Corps: always be on time and always be ready to do what is required when you get there.” – Ed Mcmanhon

86. “There’s a mindset of flexibility and adaptability that comes with us. We don’t mind hardship. We don’t mind somebody saying—“Go in and do this nasty job.” Whatever the job is, we can do it. That’s why the nation has a Marine Corps.” – James F. Amos

87. “A Marine likes a good fight and respects a good fighter. You’ve got yourself one fine Marine for an escort and the whole Marine Corps behind you.” – Bud Rudesill

88. “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.” – Bernard Montgomery

89. “We’re really talking about the Army and Marine Corps here for almost all these ground combat jobs. They want to move in a careful, deliberate manner.” – Renee Montagne

90. “Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death.” – Omar N. Bradley

Marine Quotes About Their Character And Spirit

91. “Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary.” – A. M. Gray

92. “The Marine Corps is supposed to be the toughest and most rigorous of its class.” – Adam Driver

93. “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

94. “In the military, you learn the essence of people. You see so many examples of self-sacrifice and moral courage. In the rest of life you don’t get that many opportunities to be sure of your friends.” – Adam Driver

95. “The Marine Corps is some of the best acting training you could have. Having that responsibility for people’s lives, suddenly time becomes a really valuable commodity and you want to make the most of it. And for acting, you just have to do the work, just keep doing it.” – Adam Driver

96. “Emphasis in the Marine Corps isn’t on talking about your feelings.” – Adam Driver

97. “We’re a family, the Marine Corps. We take care of each other, and that includes supporting the spouses and families of Marines who are left behind during a deployment. We all take care of one another.” – Brad Milton

98. “The future success of the Marine Corps depends on two factors: first, an efficient performance of all duties to which its officers and men may be assigned; second, promptly bringing this efficiency to the attention of the proper officials of the government, and the American people.” – John A. Lejeune

99. “In the Marine Corps, your buddy is not only your classmate or fellow officer, but he is also the Marine under your command. If you don’t prepare yourself to properly train him, lead him, and support him on the battlefield, then you’re going to let him down. That is unforgivable in the Marine Corps.” – Chesty Puller

100. “The Marine Corps is not a job, it’s a vocation.” – Major Rick Spooner

Thought-Provoking Marine Quotes

101. “Ensure that no Marine who honorably wore the eagle, globe and anchor is lost to the Marine Corps family.” — James L. Jones

102. “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

103. “The Marine Corps is your family too. You may not have a mother here, but you have a shit pile of fathers, uncles, and brothers.” ― Bud Rudesill

104. “The essence of the Marine Corps experience, I decided, was pain.” ― Philip Caputo

105. “Welcome to the real Marine Corps, a bunch of nerds on computers all day. We only go to the gym so the grunts don’t eat us.” ― Jess Mastorakos

106. “We were the marines the other Marines avoided. The pariahs, the bad-luck charms. The ones no one wanted to risk being near. As if we didn’t just process death. As if we brought it.” ― Barbara Nickless

107. “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

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108. “To the men, families, and the lost of 1st Battalion, 5th Marines OIFII: You are the fabric of the red, white, and blue! You are in my heart forever.” ― Donnelly Wilkes

109. “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.” — Lieutenant General Thomas Holcomb

110. “The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.” — James Forrestal

Marine Quotes To Gain Strength To Safeguard People

111. “The Marine Corps … took a boy and made him a man.” ― Ed Bearss

112. “As a Marine officer in combat, I was responsible for the lives and safety of all the Marines who served with me.” ― Oliver North

113. “You’d figure he’d go do something with his life, like maybe he could enlist and actually become a marine!” ― CM Punk

114. “I always equate wrestling to having been in the Marine Corps.” ― William Baldwin

115. “We will send ships and Marines as soon as possible for the protection of American life and property.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

116. “I got a little bit of the Marine mentality from my dad, I guess. You can’t help but absorb the culture you’re around.” ― Robbie Lawler

117. “I can now say without hesitation the Marine Corps was the best foster home I ever had.” ― Art Buchwald

118. “A person cannot be a Marine without honor.” ― Carl Epting Mundy, Jr.

119. “I do not believe I could have built FedEx without the skills I learned from the Marine Corps.” ― Frederick W. Smith

120. “Oh, and once, when I was in the Marines, I got a perfect score on my physical fitness test.” ― Drew Carey

Badass marine quotes from Gen. James Mattis

121. “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” – Gen. James Mattis

122. “Fight with a happy heart and strong spirit.” – Gen. James Mattis

123. “Marines don’t know how to spell the word defeat.” – Gen. James Mattis

124. “It’s quite fun to shoot them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people.” – Gen. James Mattis

125. “You are part of the world’s most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.” – Gen. James Mattis

126. “I get a lot of credit these days for things I never did.” – Gen. James Mattis

127. “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot. I’ll kill you all.” – Gen. James Mattis

128. “Carry out your mission and keep your honor clean.” – Gen. James Mattis

129. “I keep other people awake at night.” – Gen. James Mattis

130. “There are some people who think you have to hate them in order to shoot them. I don’t think you do.” – Gen. James Mattis

Marine Quotes for Their Powerful Skills

131. “If I could have been a marine biologist I would have, but I didn’t have that kind of intelligence. Numbers were never my strong point.” — Nicolas Cage

132. “It was great to play an ex-marine cockney thug. All my roles are as different as the colours of the rainbow.” — Luke Treadaway

133. “All women are created equal, then some become Мarines.” — Katy Perry

134. “We are the ones responsible to determine whether the war that our marines, soldiers and airmen are fighting in is worth the cause.” — Scott Ritter

135. “Judging by the hard lines of his face and the flat look in his eyes, he’d left the Marines, but the Corps hadn’t quite left him.” — Ilona Andrews

136. “We also very importantly recommend continued growth in the Army and the Marine Corps end strength.” — John M. McHugh

137. “An untrained or uneducated Marine … deployed to the combat zone is a bigger threat to mission accomplishment … than the enemy.” — James Mattis

138. “Almost every Marine I’ve met says I portray a Marine dead-on, which is really, really flattering.” — Catherine Bell

139. “I know that this operation will be sort of helter-skelter. But the First Marine Division is going to win the war by landing at Inchon.” — Douglas MacArthur

140. “When I went through Marine boot camp in Paris Island, South Carolina, we actually did have bayonets that we trained with.” — Josh Mandel

Marine Quotes to Sail into the Beauty and Mystery of the Ocean

141. “The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.” ― Anne Morrow Lindbergh

142. “The ocean is a mute witness to the passage of time, marking the rhythms of the ages.” ― John F. Kennedy

143. “The ocean is a metaphor for the vastness of our own inner lives.” ― Jon Krakauer

144. “The ocean is a central image. It is the symbolism of a great journey.” ― Yann Martel

145. “There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea.” ― Joseph Conrad

146. “I am not a scientist. I am, rather, an impatient optimist whose hobby is characterizing the ocean.” ― Sylvia Earle

147. “The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat.” ― Jacques Yves Cousteau

148. “The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.” ― Kate Chopin

149. “The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination, and brings eternal joy to the soul.” ― Robert Wyland

150. “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” ― Jacques Yves Cousteau

Which of these marine quotes is your favorite?

Hopefully, you enjoyed these quotes about the Marines.

If you are one of those thinking about joining or are a current or past Marine, these quotes are a testament to the kind of men and women that make up the Marine Corps.

The Marines have long been a great protector and representative of the United States.

These quotes should motivate us all to strive for more in our lives and to appreciate those that have protected us.

You don’t have to wait for Veteran’s Day to show your appreciation each year.

Please take time to thank any Marines or other veterans that you may know.

Their service allows our freedom.

Which of these marine quotes and sayings is your favorite?

Do you have any other motivational quotes to add?

Let us know in the comment section below.

Stephanie Kirby
2 Comments
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2 Comments
  1. Manuela E. Leaton

    June 2, 2022 at 7:27 PM

    This is one of the reasons I love this country,
    Love for freedom. So I LOVE those who
    sacrificed for me to have it. Thank you.
    Semper Fidelis!
    Manuela E. Leaton.

  2. HMCS Martin L. Monaco USN (Ret)

    March 12, 2022 at 9:25 PM

    As Navy Corpsman who has served 3 tours of duty with the USMC Korea 1950-51, Camp Lejeune 1956-58, Vietnam 1966-67. Korea & Nam were the
    most rewarding & difficult, Casualties were high among Corpsmen but we lived up to the motto:
    “TO HELL AND BACK FOR A WOUNDED MARINE”
    At the of 89 I still greet a Marine with a “SEMPER FI-BROTHER” or respond with a “Do or Die”
    Two Corps Combined in Brotherhood.

    “DOC”

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