The 235th anniversary of the United States Marine Corps is Nov. 10, 2010. Wherever they are, in barracks, aboard ship, in combat, Marines will celebrate. They will. Celebrate with them through these quotes by and about the most dominant warriors since the Roman Legions.
CAVEAT ... I'm going to offer an apology right up front for any coarse, rude language you find in these quotes. I documented them as they were said, some first-hand, others from many sources. But these are about Marines and in many cases by Marines, who tend to deal with life in the raw.
QUOTES: U. S. Marines
"I like Marines, because being a Marine is serious business. We're not a social club or a fraternal organization and we don't pretend to be one. We're a Brotherhood of Warriors -- nothing more, nothing less, pure and simple. We are in the ass-kicking business, and unfortunately, these days business is good." –USMC Colonel James M. Lowe, Commander, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., 2004
"From Day One, I've told [my troops] that killing is not wrong if it's for a purpose, if it's to keep your nation free or protect your buddy. One of the most noble things you can do is kill the enemy." -- Major Charles A. Zembiec, The Lion of Fallujah, USMC (1973-2007)
"Every Marine should look like a Marine. But a Marine looks like a Marine when he's got a bayonet stuck in the enemy's chest." -- Gen. Robert Magnus, Assistant Commandant
"I am a United States Marine, I am the measure against which all others fall short." -- Sergeant Major Anonymous
"You're making the wrong assumption that a Marine by himself is outnumbered." -- Gen Peter Pace, USMC, Chief of Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2006
"It'll be very difficult for me to walk away," he said. "I was shaking hands the day before yesterday in Afghanistan and a soldier came through and said, 'Sir, thank you for your service. We'll take it from here.'” – General Peter Pace, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
"Hell, these are Marines. Men like them held Guadalcanal and took Iwo Jima. Baghdad ain't shit." – Major General John Kelly, during the battle for Bagdad when asked by an L. A. Times reporter if, since Saddam’s forces outnumbered the Marines, they had considered defeat.
Marine Corps Credo: To catch us ..... You have to be fast .....To find us ..... You have to be smart ..... To beat us ..... You have to be kidding.
“People tell me what a shame it was that I had to go back into the service a second time......but I am a U.S. Marine and I'll be one til I die.” -- Ted Williams, championship baseball hero, and U.S. Marine
Early in the Kennedy administration, when there was talk about a U.S. invasion of Cuba, Gen. David M. Shoup, Marine Commandant, gave President John Kennedy and his advisers a tutorial. David Halberstam wrote in "The Best and the Brightest": "First he took an overlay of Cuba and placed it over the map of the United States. To everybody's surprise, Cuba was not a small island along the lines of, say, Long Island at best. It was about 800 miles long and seemed to stretch from New York to Chicago. Then he took another overlay, with a red dot, and placed it over the map of Cuba. 'What's that?' someone asked him. 'That, gentlemen, represents the size of the island of Tarawa,' said Shoup, who had won a Medal of Honor there, 'and it took us three days and 18,000 Marines to take it.' " – George Will, The Washington Post, Sept. 23, 2007
"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, I'll kill you all." – Lieutenant General James (Jim) Mattis, Commanding General, 1st Marine Division, Iraq, 2004, speaking to a gathering of Iraqi Sheiks outside Fallujah
"Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot, ... It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up front with you, I like brawling. You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them." -- Major General James (Jim) Mattis, Commanding General, 1st Marine Division, Iraq, 2003
“The man who will go where his colors go, without asking, who will fight a phantom foe in the jungle and mountain range, without counting, and who will suffer and die in the midst of incredible hardship, without complaint, is still what he has always been, from Imperial Rome to sceptered Britain to democratic America. He is the stuff of which legions are made.… His pride is in his colors and his regiment, his training hard and thorough and coldly realistic, to fit him for what he must face … and his obedience is to his orders. He has been called United States Marine.” – T. R. Fehrenbach, “This Kind of War”
"The commitment of our forces to this fight [Iraq] was done with the casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions - or bury the results." -- Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbolt, USMC, Ret.
"And when you have served among good people, fellow Marines, some of whom you came to love with the same intensity as you do your own family, there are few others you will meet in your lifetime who can ever gain that same level of trust and respect." -- Senator Jim Webb, "A Time to Fight."
"Where we go we will stay, and where we stay, we will hold, build and work toward transition of all security responsibilities to Afghan forces." — Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson on a major operation involving 4,000 U.S. Marines to clear out Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan; July 2, 2009
"Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper-weights." -- Navy Times; November 1994
"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 Ricks; Making the Corps, 1997
"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." -- Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery
"Travel the world, meet exotic people, and shoot the hell out of them using integrated combat arms that include air, ground and sea, unrivalled leadership, and interlocking fields of fire that leverage augmented small units comprised of professional warriors to bring a force to bear with such fury that the enemy wishes it had never been born -- thus ensuring that personal visitation with Allah is expedited in an orderly and decisive fashion. God Bless the Marine Corps and all those past, present and future who serve her!" -- Marine Tom LaPointe
There is no racial bigotry here. I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops or greasers. Here, you are all equally worthless." -- Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermey), movie "Full Metal Jacket"
"You have to ask me nicely. You see, Danny, I can deal with the bullets and the bombs and the blood. I can deal with the heat and the stress and the fear. I don't want money and I don't want medals. What I want is for you to stand there in that faggoty white uniform, and with your Harvard mouth, extend me some fuckin' courtesy. You gotta ask me nicely." -- Jack Nicholson in movie "A Few Good Men"
"You earned the title "Marine" upon graduation from boot recruit training. It wasn't willed to you; it isn't a gift. It is not a government subsidy. Few can claim the title; no one can take it away. It is yours forever." -- Tom Barlett, Leatherneck Magazine
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem." -- President Ronald Reagan - 1985
"Travel the world, meet exotic people, and shoot the hell out of them using integrated combat arms that include air, ground and sea, unrivalled leadership, and interlocking fields of fire that leverage augmented small units comprised of professional warriors to bring a force to bear with such fury that the enemy wishes it had never been born -- thus ensuring that personal visitation with Allah is expedited in an orderly and decisive fashion. God Bless the Marine Corps and all those past, present and future who serve her! Ooh-rah" -- Anonymous Combat Marine
“You’re the best this place has ever seen. You proved to the world the United States of America is going to take this fight to the most dangerous part of Afghanistan unafraid and absolutely determined. You rocked him back on his heels. You knocked him on his ass." -- Army Maj. Gen. Eric Olson, top field commander in Afghanistan, to the 22nd MEU, July 24, 2004, Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan