159 Navy Quotes and Sayings About Teamwork and Leadership

These Navy quotes and sayings show us why having a strong Navy force is important to maintaining peace and stability in the United States.

All factions of the United States military are incredibly important to maintaining peace and protecting our country and each sector has a very specific role.

Since three sides of the continental U.S. are surrounded by water, it is important to have a strong Navy force.

The Navy is in charge of defending against offensive operations carried out by enemy forces and in protecting our borders, territory, and trade.

Here is our list of Navy quotes and sayings that honor the United States Navy and share the Navy’s strong philosophy of teamwork and leadership.

If you enjoy this article, check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily motivation. 

Browse our entire collection of inspirational quotes for more motivating ideas and concepts.

Famous Navy quotes and sayings

1. “I have not yet begun to fight!” — John Paul Jones

Navy quotes about Fight

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2. “A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace.” — President Theodore Roosevelt

Navy quotes about Peace

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3. “Don’t give up the ship!” — James Lawerence

Wise Navy quotes

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4. “We have met the enemy and they are ours…” — Oliver Hazard Perry

Navy quotes about Enemies

5. “Damn the torpedoes, Full speed ahead!” — David Glasgow Farragut

Navy quotes about Torpedoes

6. “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!” — Howell Maurice Forgy

Navy quotes about Lord

7. “Sighted Sub, Sank Same.” — Donald Francis Mason

interesting Navy quotes

8. “Anchors aweigh, my boys, anchors aweigh.” — Joyce Eilers & Bob Lowden

Navy quotes about Anchors

9. “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards.” – Shane Patton

Navy quotes about Worth

10. “No matter what happens, the U.S. Navy is not going to be caught napping.” – Frank Knox

Threatening Navy quotes

Navy quotes about the Navy

11. “Until we meet again, here’s wishing you a happy voyage home.” — Joyce Eilers & Bob Lowden

Navy quotes about Meeting Again

12. “And without a respectable navy – alas, America!” – John Paul Jones

Navy quotes about Respect

13. “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.” — George Washington

Navy quotes about Naval force

14. “I wish to have no Connection with any Ship that does not Sail fast for I intend to go in harm’s way.” — John Paul Jones

Navy quotes about Connection

15. “A navy is essentially and necessarily aristocratic.” – John Paul Jones

Navy quotes about Aristocracy

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16. “My plan for forming a proper corps of sea officers is by teaching them the naval tactics in a fleet of evolution.” – John Paul Jones

Navy quotes about Tactics

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17. “A captain of the line must at this day be a tactician.” – John Paul Jones

Navy quotes about Captain

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18. “But I need use no arguments to convince you of the necessity of making the emoluments of our navy equal, if not superior, to theirs.” – John Paul Jones

Navy quotes about Arguments

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19. “Much wisdom, and more knowledge than we possess, is in my humble opinion necessary to the formation of such a naval constitution as is absolutely wanting.” – John Paul Jones

Navy quotes about Wisdom

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20. “I propose not our enemies as an example for our general imitation, yet, as their navy is the best regulated of any in the world, we must, in some degree, imitate them and aim at such farther improvement as may one day make ours vie with – and exceed – theirs.” – John Paul Jones

Navy quotes about Improvement

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21. “There is now, perhaps, as much difference between a battle between two ships and an engagement between two fleets, as there is between a duel and a ranged battle between two armies.” – John Paul Jones

Navy quotes about Battle

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22. “The Navy has both a tradition and a future ─ and we look with pride and confidence in both directions.” — George Anderson

Navy quotes about Pride and Confidence

Navy SEAL quotes and sayings

23. “All your excuses are lies.” – Jocko Willink

Navy quotes about Lies

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24. “I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I’m done.” – David Goggins

Navy quotes about Finishing

25. “It’s all mind over matter, if I don’t mind, then it doesn’t matter.” – Kory Knowles

Navy quotes about Mind

26. Farewell to foreign shores, we sail at break of day, of day.” — Joyce Eilers & Bob Lowden

27. “Truly – my mind never told me to give up though my body was beaten down.” – Stew Smith

28. “Your mind is the epicenter of sustained personal growth. Strengthen it in silence.” – Mark Divine

29. “The Navy ship returned fire after being fired upon.” —Charlie Brown

Motivational Navy quotes about teamwork and leadership

30. “It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.” – General Norman Schwarzkopf

31. “If there is not the war, you don’t get the great general; if there is not a great occasion, you don’t get a great statesman; if Lincoln had lived in a time of peace, no one would have known his name.” — Theodore Roosevelt

32. “Because the crew was convinced that I was “on their team” there were never any issues with negative criticism… You as a mentor have to establish that you are sincerely interested in the problems of the person you are mentoring.” — David Marquet

33. “In teamwork, silence isn’t golden. It’s deadly.” — Mark Sanborn

34. “Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.” — Mike Krzyzewski

35. “If we don’t communicate, we certainly can’t get much done and if we don’t communicate authentically, what we get done is less effective.” — Michele Jennae

36. “A leader must inspire or his team will expire.” — Orrin Woodward

37. “There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” — George Shinn

38. “Trust is knowing that when a team member does push you, they’re doing it because they care about the team.” — Patrick Lencioni

39. “Teamwork builds trust and trust builds speed.” — Russel Honore

40. “A team is not a group of people who work together. It is a group of people who trust each other.” — Simon Sinek

Other inspirational US Navy quotes

41. You may fire when you are ready Gridley.” — George Dewey

42. “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.” – John F. Kennedy

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43. “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” — John F. Kennedy

44. “For the first time in a long time, I felt like I had a purpose being in the Navy. It wasn’t about money and rank or prestige. It was about raising the flag. We do what we do because no one else can or will do it. We fight so others can sleep at night. And I had forgotten that.” – Timothy Ciciora

45. “The world is a navy in an empty ocean.” — Dejan Stojanovic

46. “You should be concerned when a corrupt government has control of nuclear weapons, nuclear power generation facilities and a nuclear-powered navy.” ― Steven Magee

47. “I’m a huge fan of the Navy. My father was a Naval historian, and I’ve been studying Naval battles forever.” – Peter Berg

48. “I’m blessed to be in a command position in a Navy this good.” – Michael Mullen

49. “Events of October 1962 indicated, as they had all through history, that control of the sea means security. Control of the seas can mean peace. Control of the seas can mean victory. The United States must control the seas if it is to protect your security…” — John F. Kennedy

50. “Never in history has the navy landed an army at the planned time and place. But if you land us anywhere within 50 miles of Fedela and within 1 week of D-Day. I’ll go ahead and win.” — George S. Patton

More navy quotes and sayings

51. “I’m glad I was in the Navy.” – Yogi Berra

52. “It is the function of the Navy to carry the war to the enemy so that it is not fought on U.S. soil.” – Chester W. Nimitz

53. “The Navy speaks in symbols and you may suit what meaning you choose to the words.” – Patrick O’Brian

54. “I was in World War II; I cried when they took me in the Navy. That’s the last time I cried.” – Don Rickles

55. “Through our last night ashore, drink to the foam.” — Joyce Eilers & Bob Lowden

56. “My grandfather was a commander in the Navy. He was very proud of his service, and he lived his entire life as though he was still serving.” – Dean Cain

57. “I know from my experience as a Navy SEAL that barriers work.” – Dan Crenshaw

58. “We all know the Navy is never wrong, but in this case it was a little weak on being right.”
– Wendell Mayes

59. “The United States Navy is the envy of every other navy in the world. They don’t want to be like us–they want to be us.” – Leighton Smith

60. “The Navy is much more than a job; much more than service to country. It is a way of life. It gets in your blood.” – Albert F. Pratt

Navy quotes and sayings about excelling

61. “A captain of the Navy ought to be a man of strong and well-connected sense, with a tolerable good education, a gentleman, as well as a seaman both in theory and practice.” – John Paul Jones

62. “We were rugged individualists in the Navy, but we all had health care.” – Joe Sestak

63. “For much of my life, the Navy was the only world I knew. It is still the world I know best and love most.” – John McCain

64. “Whatever may be my feelings of personal gratitude to the Navy of the United States, I feel myself under still greater obligations to them for the honor they have done to the American name in every part of the globe.” – Marquis de Lafayette

65. “Being a Navy SEAL and sniper taught me all about risk management. Take away all the risk variables under your control and reduce it to an acceptable level. The same fundamentals apply in business.” – Brandon Webb

66. “My father volunteered in early 1941, before Pearl Harbor, and became an officer in the U.S. Navy. As I was growing up, he taught me the responsibility of command: A leader is ultimately responsible for every aspect of the welfare of people under his or her care. That was a deeply felt obligation in his generation.” – Chelsey Sullenberger

67. “All of our men and women in uniform, including our brave sailors in the U.S. Navy, deserve to have the best tools needed to carry out their mission to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” – Lauren Boebert

68. “If I were to listen to people all the time when they say, ‘Hey, this is a really high challenge, this is a high climb, the bar is pretty steep,’ then I wouldn’t have gone to the academy. I wouldn’t have become an aircraft carrier pilot. I wouldn’t have become a Navy SEAL for sure. And I probably wouldn’t have applied to Harvard.” – Gabriel E. Gomez

69. “As a Navy SEAL, and sniper, one of the things I learned was that excellence matters.” – Brandon Webb

70. “I wanted to be a veterinarian and go to school in Boston. It didn’t quite work out that way, and I ended up joining the Navy as a suggestion of my big brother. It was really awesome – and I didn’t realize it at the time, -but provided a lot of leadership and followership teamwork opportunities.” – Sunita Williams

Navy quotes and sayings about safety and protection

71. “For in this modern world, the instruments of warfare are not solely for waging war. Far more importantly, they are the means for controlling peace. Naval officers must therefore understand not only how to fight a war, but how to use the tremendous power which they operate to sustain a world of liberty and justice, without unleashing the powerful instruments of destruction and chaos that they have at their command.” – Admiral Arleigh Burke

72. “I’ve been to a number of places and seen for myself the caliber of people who are in the Navy today – in all the services for that matter. This is an altogether different bunch. These people of today are really bright, young, good people.” – Ernest Borgnine

73. “To compel the nation with challenge the traditional American doctrine of freedom of the seas, every man and every ship in the navy is solemnly pledged.” – Josephus Daniels

74. “Obviously I was challenged by becoming a Naval aviator, by landing aboard aircraft carriers and so on.” – Alan Shepard

75. “The US Navy has several people on every ship that can navigate by the stars. They don’t fool with that.” – BIll Nye

76. “Hearts of oak are our ships, Gallant tars are our men.” – David Garrick

77. “The Navy is very old and very wise.” – Rudyard Kipling

78. “There’s this misconception that the Navy is this cruise ship, and you get to go out and sail around, and every now and then, you have to swab the deck. But, no, it is a very impressive group of young people that live at sea, in this place that’s very uncomfortable. They exude a pride that is well-deserved.” – Tom Hanks

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79. “If you’ve never met a navy seal and you ran into one at a bar, you probably still wouldn’t know he’s a navy seal.” – Howard E. Wasdin

80. “Where’er thy navy spreads her canvas wings, homage to thee, and peace to all, she brings.” – Edmund Waller

Navy Quotes And Sayings To Celebrate Their Dedication 

81. “The heart and soul of a Navy SEAL is somebody who’s committed to their country and committed to their teammates.” ― Howard E. Wasdin

82. “The contention that a standing army and navy is the best security of peace is about as logical as the claim that the most peaceful citizen is he who goes about heavily armed.” ― Emma Goldman

83. “If it takes the entire army and navy to deliver a postcard in Chicago, that card will be delivered.” ― Grover Cleveland

84. “Before the BBC, I joined the Navy in order to travel.” ― David Attenborough

85. “I went to military college in Canada and graduated as an officer in the Navy but also as an engineer.” ― Marc Garneau

86. “I always wanted to go into the military or something like that – my whole family, all my friends are either Air Force, Navy, or Marines.” ― RJ Mitte

87. “I enlisted when I was a boy. The Navy looked after me like my mother. It fed me, took care of me and gave me wonderful opportunities.” ― Tony Curtis

88. “In armies, navies, cities, or families, in nature herself, nothing more relaxes good order than misery.” ― Herman Melville

89. “I joined the Navy hoping to be a submariner and ended up in the sub service aboard a tender in the Pacific.” ― Tony Curtis

90. “I have the complete support of the military. I personally served in the navy.” ― Juan Manuel Santos

Navy Quotes And Sayings That Highlight Their Prowess

91. “The purpose of the Navy is not to fight.” — Vice Admiral John Bird

92. “Navy Seals says when you are under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion. You sink to the level of your training. Train well.” — Jon Gordon

93. “The navy is like a socialist country. Efficiency isn’t part of the jargon.” — James W. Blinn

94. “A brave captain is as a root, out of which, as branches, the courage of his soldiers doth spring.” — Philip Sidney

95. “In the Navy, the path is paved for you. Your job is to be a soldier and fit in. As long as you stick to your place, it’s actually really easy.” — Kiesza

96. “ The function and Navy in any future war will be to support the dominant air arm.” — Jimmy Doolittle

97. The only kind of movement you could make in the Navy was to be a platoon leader or one of those kinds of things as you got more senior in your Navy career.” —  Daniel J. Evans

98. “The U.S. Navy is best known for developing and building the world’s largest modern fleet of amphibious ships.” —  Norman Polmar

99. “The United States Navy carries the might and the mission of America to the farthest parts of the world.” — George W. Bush

100.“There is no such thing as a naval dictatorship.” — George Orwell

Navy Quotes and Sayings To Make You Feel Safe

101. “There are no extraordinary men… just extraordinary circumstances that ordinary men are forced to deal with.” ― William Halsey

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

103. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

104. “We few. We happy few. We band of brothers, for he today That sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother.” ― William Shakespeare

105. “In the Navy, there is no wrong hole. In the Marines, there is always a hole.” ― George Carlin

106. “In our town, the most popular way out was joining the service. So my three best friends joined the Navy to get out. I didn’t.” ― Jon Bon Jovi

107. “We had not had time to establish ourselves as a double act before Ernie joined the Merchant Navy. I teamed up with the brother of the late Dave Morris.” ― Eric Morecambe

108. “I left home at 14 and I have friends who joined the navy and the army performing troops at 9. I know people [like that]. It’s a very straightforward character.” ― Amanda Schull

109. “I wanted to join the navy to get some perspective on the world and explore.” ― James McAvoy

110. “The trouble with the military rule is that every colonel or general is soon full of ambition. The navy takes over today and the army tomorrow.” ― Yakubu Gowon

Thought Provoking Navy Quotes

111. “Neither the Army nor the Navy is of any protection, or very little protection, against aerial raids.” ― Alexander Graham Bel

112. “The Navy credits me with more kills as a sniper than any other American service member, past or present.” ― Chris Kyle

113. “The Navy has changed a great deal. Not that the officers of my day were bad, because I served under a lot of good officers, believe me. But there were a few bad ones, too.” ― Ernest Borgnine

114. “The Navy will need congressional and administration leadership in finding creative solutions for the submarine program, or the current course will continue.” ― Dan Blumenthal

115. “Lower than a Navy seal show up with them navy guns.” ― Lil Wayne

116. “We joined the navy to see the world and what did we see? We saw the sea. We saw the Pacific and the Atlantic but the atlantic isn’t romantic.” ― Fred Astaire

117. “I was a mechanic in the Navy. And mechanics in the Navy are like mechanics in airlines. You may have more stripes than I do, but you don’t know how to fix the airplane.” ― Gordon Bethune

118. “The Navy, from early on, knew this was important. They could have dumped it in the ocean. We don’t know who decided this, but someone said let’s keep it and preserve it.” ― Daniel Martinez

119. “Nobody wants to see the ship go anywhere. The Navy likes it here, and I believe the city does as well.” ― Richard Conti

120. “Stand Navy down the field, sails set to the sky. We’ll never change our course, so Army you steer shy-y-y-y. Roll up the score, navy, anchors aweigh.” ― Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Navy Quotes and Sayings to Honor the Brave

121. “The navy is a proud and honorable tradition, and those who serve in it are among the bravest and most dedicated people in the world.” ― Admiral James L. Holloway III

122. “The navy is a powerful weapon, and it must be wielded with precision and skill.” ― Admiral Frank Kelso

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123. “The navy is a force of strength and security, defending our nation’s interests and protecting our freedom.” ― Admiral Michael G. Mullen

124. “The navy is a true brotherhood, and the bonds that are formed last a lifetime.” ― Admiral William H. McRaven

125. “The navy is a unique and special organization, built on the foundation of honor, courage and commitment.” ― Admiral Vern Clark

126. “The navy is a force for peace and stability in the world.” ― Admiral Mike Mullen

127. “The navy is a living, breathing institution that must adapt to changing times.” ― Admiral James G. Stavridis

128. “The navy is a master in the art of deception.” ― Admiral Chester W. Nimitz

129. “The navy is a master of strategy and tactics; the politicians are not.” ― Admiral Hyman G. Rickover

130. “A navy is not just a bunch of ships, it’s an attitude.” ― Admiral Arleigh Burke

Legendary Navy Quotes That Define Service and Sacrifice

131. “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.” — Giulio Douhet

132. “I’m obsessed with the Victorian era and the British Royal Navy… I’d love to play a troubled sailor or captain or a boatman on a three masted ship.” — Nick Offerman

133. “I never translated from my days in the Navy to being a congressman.” — Eric Massa

134. “I will maintain the presence of a Mexican Army, and the Navy and police in the states of the Mexican Republic, where the problem of crime has increased.” — Enrique Pena Nieto

135. “As my own boss, I have the opportunity to get to work with great brands, like Old Navy, and I get to style some looks together that people can actually buy and afford.” — Brad Goreski

136. “Baseball in the Navy always was much more fun than it had been in the major leagues.” — Bob Feller

137. “Our Navy is now the smallest it’s been since, believe or not, World War I. Don’t worry. It’s going to soon be the largest it’s been.” — Donald Trump

138. “It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy. On the importance of loving what you do.” — Steve Jobs

139. “In my opinion the greatest advantage we can at present expect from our Navy; for at this early period We can not expect to have a Navy to cope with the British.” — William Whipple

140. “A fleet of the most powerful vessels would be of little use in war without a personnel at least as efficient as that of our possible enemies.” — William Sims

Powerful Navy Quotes That Inspire and Reflect Valor

141. “You mention the Navy, for example, and the fact that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets.” — Barack Obama

142. “In time, the church will actually be organized more as a military force with an army, navy, air force, etc.” — Rick Joyner

143. “But I felt it necessary to be part of the war effort and I enlisted in the Navy to be a flyer.” — Paul Berg

144. “Marriage laws, the police, armies and navies are the mark of human incompetence.” — Dora Russell

145. “I went over to the Charlestown Navy Yard yesterday and saw some big men of war, one over 100 guns.” — John Davis Long

146. “I do not hesitate to say that the limitation on naval craft between the great naval powers was too high.” — Frank B. Kellogg

147. “My observations of Japanese naval fighting men, their abilities and equipment led me to believe that they gave a better account of themselves than we did.” — Jack Adams

148. “Suddenly, the brave warriors parading to combat with bugles and bayonets were replaced by the push of a button.” ― Maggie Young

149. “I wouldn’t trade those 10 years for anything. The Navy taught me a lot of things. It molded me as a man, and I made a lot of wonderful friends.” — Ernest Borgnine

150. “The launch of Nautilus, the world’s first atomic submarine marked a transition in naval warfare-a transition as sudden as that associated with the Monitor.” — Waldemar Kaempffert

151. “The Navy is a master plan designed by wise men, and the human element is always capable of pulling it off track.” — Admiral Arleigh Burke

152. “The Navy is a master plan designed by geniuses for execution by idiots. If you’re not an idiot, but find yourself in the Navy, you can only operate well by pretending to be one.” — Herman Wouk

153. Harry Truman was courageous enough to command that racial segregation be ended in the military. I was serving in a submarine in the U.S. Navy at the time he issued the order.” — Jimmy Carter

154. “I haven’t been down to Navy Pier in such a long time. I know that’s probably the touristy thing to do, but it just reminds me so much of 2000 when I was here shooting [“Hardball”].” — Michael B. Jordan

155. “When I was young, I was very shy and quiet, because we moved all the time. My dad was in the Navy, so we moved every two years.” — Kimberly Willis Holt

156. “The Navy is the asylum for the perverse, the home of the unfortunate. Here the sons of adversity meet the children of calamity, and here the children of calamity meet the offspring of sin.” — Herman Melville

157. “My style is my personality. It’s always been that way. Being a wiseguy and having fun. It’s always been that way for me, when I was in high school, and in the Navy. It’s not something I rehearse.” — Don Rickles

158. “The ship was masted according to the proportion of the navy; but on my application the masts were shortened, as I thought them too much for her, considering the nature of the voyage.” — William Bligh

159. “Strike fast, strike hard, strike often.” — William Halsey

What did you learn from these Navy quotes?

While great teamwork and leadership are important in all aspects of society, it is especially crucial to have excellent teamwork and leadership in the military.

Sailors in the Navy must have a special sense of comradery and trust because they have to rely on each other for survival.

Often, during their missions, lives are at stake, and so a strong sense of teamwork and leadership must be in place.

There is so much we can learn from those in the military and so much to be grateful for.

We honor all military veterans whether they be sailors, soldiers, marines, or airmen, and thank them for the service they have provided to our country and people.

Did you enjoy these Navy quotes and sayings?

Which quote was your favorite?

Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Michael Yett

    December 12, 2022 at 6:19 PM

    These are really great to read. There are a couple of quotes I did not see, and maybe these are not verbatim.

    “Don’t tell me of the hole in the ship. Tell me the hole has been fixed”. (Leadership, ownership)

    “Why use one man to complete 100% of the task when 100 men can complete 1% of the same task. (Teamwork)

    • Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor

      December 13, 2022 at 11:35 AM

      Thanks for those! We are glad you enjoyed the read! Please take a moment and share it on social media.

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