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350 Inspirational Military Quotes to Honor our Heroes

Last Updated: November 7, 2022 by Team

The freedom and liberty we enjoy are much because of the brave men and women of the military who dedicate their lives to protecting the nation. Many have sacrificed their lives so that we can live in a free and prosperous society. Military members sacrifice a lot for the rest of us. It takes great courage and sacrifices to do what our soldiers do.

The crucible of war and battle is a challenge I can only imagine. I am fortunate to live in a country where war is a distant event, only made real by friends and family who have or currently do serve. I’m grateful to everyone who serves.

The least we can do for our military men and women is to honor and be thankful for their unselfish deeds. In that respect, below are some tremendous military quotes to celebrate and honor our brave soldiers and veterans.

350 Military Quotes

Top 10 Military Quotes

“Without heroes, we are all plain people and don’t know how far we can go.” – Bernard Malamud

“Who you are speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you are saying.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“When you become a leader you give up the right to think about yourself.” – Gerald Brooks

“True patriotism isn’t cheap. It’s about taking on a fair share of the burden of keeping America going.” – Robert Reich

“We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.” – Winston S. Churchill

“To spend a few minutes with people is simply not productive. If one wants to get anything across, one has to spend a fairly large minimum quantum of time. The manager who things that he can discuss the plans, direction, and performance of one of his subordinates in fifteen minutes – and many managers believe this – is just deceiving himself. If one wants to get to the point of having an impact, one needs probably at least an hour and usually more. And if one has to establish a human relationship, one needs infinitely more time.” – Peter F. Drucker

“We must never forget why we have and why we need our military. Our armed forces exist solely to ensure our nation is safe, so that each and every one of us can sleep soundly at night, knowing we have ‘guardians at the gate.’ ” – Allen West

“We live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns.” – Aaron Sorkin

“To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.” – James Carse

our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. it flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.

Famous Military Quotes

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“You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don’t ever count on having both at once.” – Robert A. Heinlein

“Word to the Nation: Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard.” – John F. Kennedy

“You’ve changed me forever. And I’ll never forget you.” – Kiera Cass

“When I am getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say and two-thirds about him and what he is going to say.” – Abraham Lincoln

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight — it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” – H.A. Ironside

“Those who do not appreciate the soldiers and instead pompously talk about peace, should try to live a single day without the soldiers.” – Abhijit Naskar

“To get the best out of your men, they must feel that you are their real leader and must know that they can depend upon you.” – of the Armies John J. Pershing

“To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less.” – Andre Malraux

“To be prepared for war is one of the most “effectual means of preserving peace.” – George Washington

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

“Who you are on a daily basis is who you are when you compete. If you want to be a champion, you have to have the mindset of a champion every day.” – Jerry Ignalls

“We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” – Barack Obama

“We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” – Winston Churchill

“War makes extremely heavy demands on the soldier’s strength and nerves. For this reason, make heavy demands on your men in peacetime exercises.” – Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

“War is cruelty. There’s no use trying to reform it, the crueler it is the sooner it will be over.” – William Tecumseh Sherman

“The truth is that you always know the right thing to do. The tough part is doing it.” – Norman Schwarzkopf

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” – Abraham Lincoln

“The truly great leader overcomes all difficulties, and campaigns and battles are nothing but a long series of difficulties to be overcome. The lack of equipment, the lack of food, the lack of this or that are only excuses; the real leader displays his quality in his triumphs over adversity, however great it may be.” – of the Army George C Marshall

“The number of medals on an officer’s breast varies in inverse proportion to the square of the distance of his duties from the front line.” – Charles Edward Montague

“The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.” – Charles George Gordon

“No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.” – Helmuth von Moltke

“The objective of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.” – George Patton

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” – George S. Patton Jr.

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

“Leaders must be seen to be up front, up to date, up to their job and up early in the morning.” – Marcus Sieff

“Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never peril.” – Sun Tzu

“It’s almost worth having been in the army for the joy your freedom gives you.” – John Dos Passos

“The most important thing I learned is that soldiers watch what their leaders do. You can give them classes and lecture them forever, but it is your personal example they will follow.” – Colin Powell

“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

“Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea.” – Samuel Johnson

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.” – The Little Prince

Try again. Fail again. Fail better. Samuel Beckett

Short Military Quotes

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“We make war that we may live in peace.” – Aristotle

“Victory belongs to the most persevering.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“To err is nature, to rectify error is glory.” – George Washington

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” – Alexander Hamilton

“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”

“A leader leads by example not by force.” – Sun Tzu

“Live for something rather than die for nothing.” – George S. Patton

“The army teaches boys to think like men.” – Elvis Presley

“A person cannot be a Marine without honor.” – Carl Epting Mundy

“Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.” – Groucho Marx

“Patriotism demands of us sustained sacrifice.” – Chiang Kai-shek

“No man is a man until he has been a soldier.” – Louis de Bernières

“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” – Erin Majors

“It takes a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye.”

“The Army was my bread and butter.” – Brian Lumley

“The Army is the true nobility of our country.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood.” – George Smith Patton

“No man has ever listened himself out of a job.” – Calvin Coolidge

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” – Jose Narosky

“Here men endured that a nation might live.” – Herbert Hoover

“Fortune favors the brave.” – Terence

“A safe army is better than a safe border” – B.R. Ambedkar

“Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.” – Gertrude Stein

“The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.” – George Washington

“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost

“Perseverance, secret of all triumphs.” – Victor Hugo

“Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.” – John Adams

“Discipline equals freedom.” – Jocko Willink

“Americans never quit.” – Douglas MacArthur

“I owe everything to the army.” – Norman Wisdom

“I can’t spare this man, he fights!” – Abraham Lincoln

It doesn't cost any money to think. General A. M. Gray, USMC

Funny Military Quotes

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“Who dares, wins. Who sweats, wins. Who plans, wins.” – British Special Air Service (SAS)

“War is the greatest evil Satan has invented to corrupt our hearts and souls. We should honor our soldiers, but we should never honor war.” – Dean Hughes

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

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

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

“True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job.” – Norman Schwarzkopf

“We do not seek peace in order to be at war, but we go to war that we may have peace. Be peaceful, therefore, in warring, so that you may vanquish those whom you war against, and bring them to the prosperity of peace.”

“When things go wrong in your command, start wading for the reason in increasingly larger concentric circles around your own desk.” – Bruce D. Clark

“When we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.” – Winnie the Pooh

“They’ve got us surrounded — the poor bastards.” – An unnamed medic

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” – Martin Luther King

“Military guys are rarely as smart as they think they are, and they’ve never gotten over the fact that civilians run the military.” – Maureen Dowd

“Now I recall the Recon Marines ragged, filthy cammie shirted young men in green paint who move silent like the fog with deadly purpose in their eyes. Swift, Silent, Deadly. I smile.” – GYSGT Correll

“No nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace, or ensure it of victory in time of war.” – Calvin Coolidge

“No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself.” – William Penn

“No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.” – Gen. Douglas MacArthur

“Liberty has never come from Government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it.” – Woodrow Wilson

“Some of you young men think that war is all glamour and glory, but let me tell you, boys, it is all hell!” – William Tecumseh Sherman

“Soldiers, when committed to a task, can’t compromise. It’s unrelenting devotion to the standards of duty and courage, absolute loyalty to others, not letting the task go until it’s been done.” – John Keegan

“Soldiers win battles and generals get the medals.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“Soldiers usually win the battles and generals get the credit for them.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“Therefore a victorious army first wins and then seeks battle; a defeated army first battles and then seeks victory.” – Sun Tzu

“Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Winston Churchill

“We have met the enemy and they are ours.” – Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry

“She stood in the storm. And when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.” – Elizabeth Edwards

“Rich people don’t like to be in the military. The shoes are ugly and the uniforms itch. Rich people don’t go in much for revolution or terrorism, either.” – P. J. O’Rourke

“Real heroes don’t wear capes. Real superheroes wear uniforms and badges and stethoscopes! Real superheroes are members of our military, law enforcement, and first responders. Pretend superheroes wear capes!” – Dean Cain

“Those who gain experience while retaining a firm hold on a beginner’s state of mind become long term survivors.” – Laurence Gonzales

“America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor.” – Paul Tsongas

“Always forgive your enemies–nothing annoys them so much.” – Oscar Wilde

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” – Cynthia Ozick

“A man has integrity if his interest in the good of the service is at all times greater than his personal pride, and when he holds himself to the same line of duty when unobserved as he would follow if his superiors were present.” – S.L.A. Marshall

“The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.” – Norman Schwarzkopf

“The military weapon is but one of the means that serve the purposes of war: one out of the assortment which grand strategy can employ.” – B. H. Liddell Hart

“To be pleased with one’s limits is a wretched state.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

“When you act on your priority, you’ll automatically go out of balance, giving more time to one thing over another. The challenge then doesn’t become one of not going out of balance, for in fact you must. The challenge becomes how long you stay on your priority. To be able to address your priorities outside of work, be clear about your most important work priority so you can get it done. Then go home and be clear about your priorities there so you can get back to work. Purpose has the power to shape our lives only in direct proportion to the power of the priority we connect it to. Purpose without priority is powerless.” – Gary Keller

“A military operation involves deception. Even though you are competent, appear to be incompetent. Though effective, appear to be ineffective.” – Sun Tzu

“There are some who speak one moment before they think.” – Les Caracteres

“There are not enough chinamen in the world to stop a fully armed Marine regiment from going where ever they want to go” – General Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. In the end, leaders are much like eagles… they don’t flock, you find them one at a time.”

“A leader is the man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don’t want to do, and like it.” – Harry S. Truman

“A leader is a man who can adapt principles to circumstances.” – George S. Patton

“Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” – John Dickinson

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” – Albert Einstein

“War is too important to be left to the generals.” – Georges Clémenceau

“A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.” – Winston Churchill

“A man does not have himself killed for a half-pence a day or for a petty distinction. You must speak to the soul in order to electrify him.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” – Woodrow Wilson

“There are far better things ahead than we ever leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis

“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” – Raymond Lindquist

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, andlearning from failure. General Colin Powell, US Army

Inspirational Military Quotes

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“We are defined by what we do repeatedly, therefore excellence is a habit, not an act.” – Aristotle

“War means fighting, and fighting means killing.” – Nathan Bedford Forrest

“When the will defies fear, when duty throws the gauntlet down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death — that is heroism.” – Robert Green Ingersoll

“We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.” – Omar Bradley

“We must never forget why we have, and why we need our military. Our armed forces exist solely to ensure our nation is safe, so that each and every one of us can sleep soundly at night, knowing we have ‘guardians at the gate.” – Allen West

“There’s likely a place in paradise for people who tried hard, but what really matters is succeeding. If that requires you to change, that’s your mission.” – Stanley McChrystal

“We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.” – George Orwell

“A lack of planning on your part does not constitute a crisis on mine…unless of course I failed to lead you.”

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

“A general is just as good or just as bad as the troops under his command make him.” – of the Army

“There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.” – Gen. James H. Doolittle

“There is no honor in sending men to die for something you won’t even fight for yourself.” – Mark Owen

“There are three kinds of people: Those who are immovable, those who are moveable, and those who move them.” – Li Hung

“Always do everything you ask of those you command.” – George S. Patton

“The world has nothing to fear from military ambition in our Government.” – James K. Polk

“The veterans of our military services have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have dedicated their lives to their country and deserve to be recognized for their commitment.” – Judd Gregg

“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.” – Ulysses S. Grant

“Modern war is the most highly developed of all sciences. We have perfected our weapons but failed to perfect the men who use them.” – Billy Graham

“Military spouses find their strength along the way. Everyone began frightened of distance, deployment, and the unknown.” – The Seasoned Spouse

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” – John Quincy Adams

“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” – Heraclitus

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it. —Thucydides” – Dave Grossman, On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.” – Thucydides

“An army of sheep led by a lion is better than an army of lions led by a sheep.” – Alexander the Great

“Be selective about whom you take on as friends, colleagues, and neighbors. The world is full of agreeable and talented folk. The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best. But remember that our moral influence is a two-way street, and we should thus make sure by our own thoughts, words, and deeds to be a positive influence on those we deal with. The real test of personal excellence lies in the attention we give to the often neglected small details of our conduct. Make it your business to draw out the best in others by being an exemplar yourself.” – Epictetus

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

“In war there is no substitute for victory.” – Douglas MacArthur

“GET UP. AND. GO. Take the risk, take the gamble, take the first step. Take action. And don’t let another day slip by.” – Jocko Willink

“From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Freedom is never free.”

“Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Civilians enjoy their time because soldiers sacrifice their time.” – Amit Kalantri

“Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.” – Franklin P. Jones

“Could I have but a line a century hence crediting a contribution to the advance of peace, I would gladly yield every honor which has been accorded me in war.” – Douglas MacArthur

“Being brave means knowing that when you fail, you don’t fail forever.” – Lana Del Rey

“Effective leaders are made, not born. They learn from trial and error, and from experience.” – Colin Powell

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

“Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak and esteem to all.” – George Washington

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill

“Being in the army is like being in the Boy Scouts, except that the Boy Scouts have adult supervision.” – Blake Clark

“Bein’ a soldier is not hard. If it was, soldiers would not be able to do it.” – Terry Pratchett

“Happiness is found not in doing what one likes to do, but in liking what one has to do.” – Sir James M. Barrie

“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.” – Samuel Johnson

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” – Maya Angelou

“Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.” – Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

“Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none have a right to expect.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“An army without culture is a dull-witted army, and a dull-witted army cannot defeat the enemy.” – Mao Zedong

“If you’re never satisfied with what you have achieved, you’re never going to be satisfied with what you do achieve.” – Chris LoCurto

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” – Voltaire

“Diplomats are just as essential in starting a war as soldiers are in finishing it.” – Will Rogers

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste death but once.” – William Shakespeare

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E.E. Cummings

“Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.” – Abraham Lincoln

“It is well that war is so terrible, else we should grow too fond of it.” – Robert E. Lee

“Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader.” – George S. Patton

“Sometimes you have to pick the gun up to put the Gun down.” – Malcolm X

“The hero’s sacrifice becomes just the story for people.” – Amit Kalantri

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan

“The good general is simply the good company commander in his post-graduate course. The idea that more godlike qualities are required of him and that he above others can achieve miracles through the working of his will is dismissed as idle superstition.” – S.L.A. Marshall in “Men Against Fire”

“Battles are sometimes won by generals; wars are nearly always won by sergeants and privates.” – F. E. Adcock

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

“It is the pride of my heart to have been one of the earliest adopted sons of America.” – Marquis de Lafayette

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

The only easy day was yesterday. U. S. Navy Seals

Motivational Military Quotes

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“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” – John Stewart Mill

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

“These fallen heroes represent the character of a nation who has a long history of patriotism and honor – and a nation who has fought many battles to keep our country free from threats of terror.” – Michael N. Castle

“They could beat you, run you, make you endure untold cold and pain, and kill you… but they could never make you quit.” – Walter Diaczenko

“These Marines left their home–all these great Americans left their home–signed up during a time of war and said, ‘I wanna do that.’ And we owe them so much gratitude. I am so, so proud. And they understand that in our profession there can be no second place. There can be no losing. Because the weight of our nation rests on their shoulders.” – Sergeant Major Bradley Kasal

“A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living.” – John F. Kennedy

“The soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country.” – George S. Patton Jr.

“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” – Douglas MacArthur

“A soldier is he whose blood makes the glory of the general.” – Adapted from Henry G. Bohn

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” – Douglas MacArthur

“Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. Therefore do not take lightly the perils of war.” – Thucydides

“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” – Paulo Coelho

“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.” – Ret. Capt L. David Marquet

“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten; then he who continues the attack wins.” – Ulysses S. Grant

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

“It is a proud privilege to be a soldier – a good soldier [with]discipline, self-respect, pride in his unit and his country, a high sense of duty and obligation to comrades and to his superiors, and a self-confidence born of demonstrated ability.” – George S. Patton Jr.

“Any soldier worth his salt should be antiwar. And still there are things worth fighting for.” – Norman Schwarzkopf

“Army: A body of men assembled to rectify the mistakes of the diplomats.” – Josephus Daniels

“The hand of the aggressor is stayed by strength — and strength alone.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war.” – Ernest Hemingway

“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” – Major General William T. Sherman

“It is of the nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of the legislative authority.” – Alexander Hamilton

“People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” – Richard Grenier

“Patriotism is a lively sense of collective responsibility.” – Richard Aldington

“Soldiers are men…most apt for all manner of services and best able to support and endure the infinite toils and continual hazards of war.” – Henry Knyvett

“So the important thing in a military operation is victory, not persistence.” – Sun Tzu

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

“I must study politics and war, that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy…in order to give their children the right to study painting, poetry, and music.” – John Adams

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – A.A. Milne

“I have to face the final battle by myself, maybe lonely, maybe desolate, maybe against formidable odds. But I was not giving up.” – Marcus Luttrell

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but by how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” – George S. Patton

“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

“I almost always feel inclined, when I happen to say anything to soldiers, to impress upon them in a few brief remarks the importance of success in this contest,” – Abraham Lincoln

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” – Maya Angelou

“Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices.” – Robert Braathe

“Read over and over again the campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus, Turenne, Eugene and Frederic…This is the only way to become a great general and master the secrets of the art of war…” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“Opportunity is missed by most because is it dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

“Never forget that no military leader has ever become great without audacity.” – Carl von Clausewitz

“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

“Soldiers have many faults, but they have one redeeming merit; they are never worshippers of force. Soldiers more than any other men are taught severely and systematically that might is not right.” – G. K. Chesterton

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William Arthur Ward

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

“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.” – George S. Patton Jr.

“All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters either. Every single man in this Army play 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.” – George S. Patton

“Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul.” – Douglas MacArthur

“Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.” – George S. Patton

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln

“Mountaintops inspire leaders, but valleys mature them.” – Winston Churchill

“Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men.” – George S. Patton

“The friend of my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.” – Ulysses S. Grant

“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave…” – Patrick Henry

“I contend that fortitude in war has its roots in morality; that selection is a search for character and that war itself is but one more test— the supreme and final test if you will—of character. Courage can be judged apart from danger only if the social significance and meaning of courage is known to us; namely that a man of character in peace becomes a man of courage in war. He cannot be selfish in peace and yet be unselfish in war. Character, as Aristotle taught, is a habit, the daily choice of right and wrong; it is a moral quality which grows to maturity in peace and is not suddenly developed on the outbreak of war. For war, in spite of what we have heard to the contrary, has no power to transform, it merely exaggerates the good and evil that are in us, till it is plain for all to read; it cannot change; it exposes.” – Lord Moran

“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

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

“Strong government doesn’t mean simply military power or an efficient intelligence apparatus. Instead, it should mean effective, fair administration – in other words, ‘good governance.’” – Raghuram Rajan

“Stay low, go fast. Kill first, die last. One shot, one kill. No luck, all skill.” – US Navy SEALs

“The courage of a soldier is found to be the cheapest and most common quality of human nature.” – Edward Gibbon

“Military power wins battles, but spiritual power wins wars.” – George C. Marshall

“There are no military solutions – dialogue and diplomacy are the only guarantee of lasting peace.” – Martin McGuinness

While a battle is raging one can see his enemy mowed down by the thousand, or the ten thousand, with great composure; but after the battle these scenes are distressing, and one is naturally disposed to do as much to alleviate the suffering of an enemy as a friend. Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs, 1885

Military Quotes About Life

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“Without a word this uniform also whispers of freezing troops, injured bodies, and Americans left forever in foreign fields. It documents every serviceman’s courage, who by accepting this uniform, promises the one gift he truly has to give: his life. I wear my uniform for the heritage of sacrifice it represents and more. I wear my uniform with pride, for it represents the greatest nation of free people in the world.” – Captain Karen Dorman Kimmel

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson

“War is life multiplied by some number that no one has ever heard of.” – Sebastian Junger

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

“Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines don’t have that problem.” – Ronald Reagan

“One who loses his life for his country will get it” – Dr.P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar

“It is courage, courage, courage, that raises the blood of life to crimson splendor. Live bravely and present a brave front to adversity.” – Horace

“I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” – Nathan Hale

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” – Joseph Campbell

“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

“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

“Be an example to your men, in your duty and in private life. Never spare yourself and let your troops see that you don’t in your endurance of fatigue and privation. Always be tactful and well-mannered. Avoid excessive sharpness or harshness of voice, which usually indicates the man who has shortcomings of his own to hide.” – German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel

“It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment.” – Naomi Williams

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

I'm not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues. President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Military Quotes About Love

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“Plan the flight and fly the plan, but don’t fall in love with the plan. Be open to a changing world and let go of the plan when necessary so that you can make a new plan. Then as the world and the plan both go through their book of changes, you will always be ready to do the next right thing.” – Laurence Gonzales

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” – G.K. Chesterton

“The power of the army is his weapon, the power of the homeland is his lovers.” – Azadshah Ganjali

“Man is a military animal, glories in gunpowder, and loves parade.” – Philip James Bailey

“I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor food; I offer only hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles, and death. Let him who loves his country with his heart, and not merely with his lips, follow me.” – Giuseppe Garibaldi

“I loved the Army as an institution and loathed every single thing it required me to do.” – Simon Raven

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

“He loves his country best who strives to make it best.” – Robert G. Ingersoll

“The army is always the same. The sun and the moon change. The army knows no seasons.” – Frank Nugent

“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” – Newt Gingrich

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.” – Walter Elliot

“I saw courage both in the Vietnam War and in the struggle to stop it. I learned that patriotism includes protest, not just military service.” – John F. Kerry

“I respect every soldier, from every country, who serves beside us in the hard work of history. America is grateful, and America will not forget.” – George W. Bush

“If you are going to win any battle, you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do… the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.” – George S. 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.” – George Catlett Marshall

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.” – George S. Patton Jr.

“If you wage war, do it energetically and with severity. This is the only way to make it shorter and consequently less inhuman.” – Napoléon Bonaparte

“I am not afraid of an Army of lions lead by a sheep; I am afraid of sheep lead by a lion.” – Alexander the Great

“I don’t know whether this is the best of times or the worst of times, but I assure you it’s the only time you’ve got.” – Art Buchwald

“Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“It is long since I have learned to hold popular opinion of no value.” – Alexander Hamilton

“If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war.” – Ernest Miller Hemmingway

“The military system of a nation is not an independent section of the social system but an aspect of its totality.” – Tony Judt

“The military might of a country represents its national strength. Only when it builds up its military might in every way can it develop into a thriving country.” – Kim Jong-un

“The military is not so much a job, it is more of a death sentence.” – Steven Magee

“Soldiers can sometimes make decisions that are smarter than the orders they have been given.” – Orson Scott Card

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston S. Churchill

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. President John F. Kennedy

Military Quotes About Leadership

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“You manage things; you lead people. We went overboard on management and forgot about leadership. It might help if we ran the MBAs out of Washington.” – Rear Adm. Grace Murray Hooper

“When you are commanding, leading [soldiers] under conditions where physical exhaustion and privations mustMarshall be ignored, where the lives of [soldiers] may be sacrificed, then, the efficiency of your leadership will depend only to a minor degree on your tactical ability. It will primarily be determined by your character, your reputation, not much for courage—which will be accepted as a matter of course—but by the previous reputation you have established for fairness, for that high-minded patriotic purpose, that quality of unswerving determination to carry through any military task assigned to you.” – George C. Marshall

“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.” – Chris Hadfield

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Owning the facts is a prerequisite to leadership. But there are millions of technocrats out there with lots of facts in their quivers and little leadership potential. In many cases, what they are missing is empathy. No one is a leader who can’t put himself or herself in the other person’s shoes. Empathy and expertise command respect.” – Lieutenant General

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

“Leadership is of the spirit, compounded of personality and vision: its practice is an art. Management is of the mind, more a matter of accurate calculation, of statistics, of methods, timetables and routine; its practice is a science. Managers are necessary; leaders are essential.” – Field Marshal Sir Bill Slim

“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” – Norman Schwarzkopf

“If you as a leader allow people to halfway do their jobs and don’t demand excellence as a prerequisite to keeping their job, you will create a culture of mediocrity. If you allow people to misbehave, underachieve, have a bad attitude, gossip, and generally avoid excellence, please don’t expect to attract and keep good talent. Please don’t expect to have an incredible culture.” – Dave Ramsey in EntreLeadership

“If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat.” – Sun Tzu

“If you can’t experience the humanity of people who don’t look like you, you’re not civilized enough to be an officer of the peace.” – Ann Medlock

“If officers desire to have control over their commands, they must remain habitually with them, industriously attend to their instruction and comfort, and in battle lead them well.” – Stonewall Jackson

“Military justice is to justice what military music is to music.” – Groucho Marx

“I am a Soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.” – George S. Patton

“On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind.” – Dan Lipinski

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.” – Douglas MacArthur

“It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.” – Julius Caesar

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry S Truman

“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” – Winston Churchill

“Some succeed because they are destined to; most succeed because they are determined to.”

“How can men boast that they control their own destiny when they cannot solve the problems of war?” – Billy Graham

“Heroes may not live long in years, but they live forever in the stories.” – Amit Kalantri

“Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking.” – Ferdinand Foch

All war is a symptom of man's failure as a thinking animal. John Steinbeck

Military Quotes About Training

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“What the SEAL teams do, what our training does, is it chips away the outer layer and shows you what you’re capable of and not capable of.” – Marcus Luttrell

“The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment. On the contrary, such treatment is far more likely to destroy than to make an army. It is possible to impart instruction and give commands in such a manner and such a tone of voice as to inspire in the soldier no feeling but an intense desire to obey, while the opposite manner and tone of voice cannot fail to excite strong resentment and a desire to disobey. The one mode or the other in dealing with subordinates springs from a corresponding spirit in the breast of the commander. He who feels the respect which is due to others cannot fail to inspire in them respect for himself; while he who feels, and hence manifests, disrespect toward others, especially his subordinates, cannot fail to inspire hatred against himself.” – LTG John M. Schofield

“The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.” – Colin Powell

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” – Archilochos

“Navy SEALs Say when you are under pressure you don’t rise to the occasion. You sink to the level of your training. Train well.” – Jon Gordon

“The military don’t start wars. Politicians start wars.” – William Westmoreland

“The soldier’s heart, the soldier’s spirit, the soldier’s soul, are everything.” – George Marshall

“Take patriotism away, and the nation’s soul has fled.” – Edward Mark Deems

“Surprise is an event that occurs in the mind of an enemy commander.” – Jerry Pournelle

“Success is peace of mind that is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” – Coach John Wooden

“The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree.” – Thomas Campbell

“The only things those people have that you don’t is guts. Do you wanna live forever?” – Merritt A. Edson

“Take patriotism away, and the nation’s soul has fled.” – Edward Mark Deems

“Surprise is an event that occurs in the mind of an enemy commander.” – Jerry Pournelle

“The majority of men devote the greater part of their lives to making their remaining years unhappy.” – Les Caracteres

“Success is peace of mind that is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” – Coach John Wooden

“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.” – H. Norman Schwarzkopf

“I may not have been the best combat commander, but I always strove to be. My men depended on me to carefully analyze every tactical situation, to maximize the resources that I had at my disposal, to think under pressure, and then to lead them by personal example.” – Major Dick Winters

“I learned that good judgment comes from experience and that experience grows out of mistakes.” – Omar N. Bradley

“In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it.” – Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

“America without her Soldiers would be like God without His angels.” – Claudia Pemberton

“It would be a joke if the conduct of the victor had to be justified to the vanquished.” – Napoléon Bonaparte

“Discipline is simply the art of making the soldiers fear their officers more than the enemy.” – Helvetius


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