"That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one colonel, two lieutenant colonels, two majors and officers as usual in other regiments, that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no person be appointed to office or enlisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea."

(Resolution of the Continental Congress, 10 November 1775.)



"The Continental ship Providence, now lying at Boston, is bound on a short cruise, immediately; a few good men are wanted to make up her complement."

(Marine Captain William Jones, Providence Gazette, 20 March 1779.)



"A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons."

(Admiral David D. Porter, USN, 1863.)



"The Marines have landed and have the situation well in hand."

(Attributed to many sources and popularized by the correspondent Richard Harding Davis during the late nineteenth-century.)



"To our Marines fell the most difficult and dangerous portion of the defense by reason of our proximity to the great city wall and the main city gate. . .The Marines acquitted themselves nobly."

(Mr. Edwin N. Conger, U.S. Minister, in commending the Marines for the defense of the legations at Peking, China, in 1900.)



"Your Marines having been under my command for nearly six months, I feel that I can give you a discriminating report as to their excellent standing with their brothers of the army and their general good conduct."

(General John J. Pershing, USA, in a letter to Major General Commandant George Barnett, USMC, 10 November 1917.)



"Retreat Hell! We've just got here!"

(Attributed to several World War I Marine Corps officers, Belleau Wood, June 1918.)



"Once a Marine, always a Marine!"

(MSgt Paul Woyshner, a 40-year Marine, is credited with originating this expression during a taproom argument with a discharged Marine.)



"Come on, you sons of bitches-do you want to live forever?"

(Attributed to Gunnery Sergeant Daniel Daly, USMC, Belleau Wood, June 1918.)



"I have only two out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold."

(First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates, USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918.)



"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, USMC, 1943.)



"Goddamn it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

(Captain Henry P. "Jim" Crowe, USMC, Guadalcanal, 13 January 1943.)



"Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency; we are winning."

(Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC, Tarawa, 21 November 1943.)



"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

(James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 February 1945.)



"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

(Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, 16 March 1945.)



"The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps."

(General Alexander A. Vandergrift, USMC, to the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, 5 May 1946.)



"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, USA, outskirts of Seoul, 21 September 1950.)



"Retreat Hell! We're just attacking in another direction."

(Attributed to Major General Oliver P. Smith, USMC, Korea, December 1950.)



"You don't hurt 'em if you don't hit 'em."

(Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC, Marine, 1962.)



"Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there."

(Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, USMC, April 1965.)



"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, USMC, Naval Review, 1971.)



"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, Jr., USMC, 17 May 1974.)



"I can't say enough about the two Marine divisions. If I use words like brilliant, it would really be an under-description of the absolutely superb job they did in breaching the so-called impenetrable barrier. . .Absolutely superb operation, a textbook, and I think it'll be studied for many, many years to come as the way to do it."

(General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, USA, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 27 February 1991.)

Reference Branch
Marine Corps History Division