United States Marines from Bravo Company of the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Marines watch the explosion after calling in an airstrike during a gunbattle as part of an operation to clear the area of insurgents near Musa Qaleh, in northern Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan

Within the Marines and especially the infantry you hear some interesting quotes and some are dead on. The infantryman is a unique monster, many never understand why they like what they do and you either love being in the infantry or are on the other end of the spectrum about it. Below are a few of the “phrases” I’ve heard about the Infantry.

Never accept an officer as competent based on his source of commission.

 Your right to influence the battlefield is diminished in ratio to the  distance you are from the actual arena of action.

 The battlefield selects its own Generals. No school or board can replace  it.

Never call fire on your own troops, unless you stand among them.

Leaders are indeed born and no military school can provide what God did not.

Equipment procurement will always be compromised by not only being made by the lowest bidder, but by attempting to make it multi-functional.

Attempting to lighten the warrior's load by diminishing the weight of any   given weapon, will always result in shorter range and less firepower.

Excellent staff officers rarely make good battlefield commanders.

Outstanding commanders will surround themselves with excellent staff officers.

Never make command a reward for good staff work.

Outstanding NCO's may make good officers. But, rarely will a riffed officer make a good NCO.

Atheists will never be trusted by their troops on the battlefield.

Troops tell the truth about good and bad commanders. Their opinion is the ultimate evaluation of an officer.

No commander was ever hated for being too hard. But, many are detested for trying to cultivate that image, without substance.

The maximum effective range of any weapon is that range at which the individual Warrior can hit his target and not an inch further.

Endurance should be judged on the bayonet assault course and not on a marathon run.

How far troops can run in shorts is unimportant, compared to how far they can speed march with full equipment.

Marines are not 'sent into combat," they are led.

Your worth as an officer should never be judged on how well you ran with a football in college.

 The computer will never be able to judge the content of a Marine's  spirit, as his Sergeant can.

Esprit De Corps cannot be attained at the Battalion picnic or Sports Day. It must be instilled by good leadership and belief in one's fellow Marines.

No new weapon or tactic will ever instill the same fear in the enemy that one Marine with a bayonet can.

He who drinks at lunch is a drunken soldier in the afternoon.

No soldier is so smart that his physical deficiencies can be overlooked in the Infantry.

Consolidation of all administrative personnel at battalion level has eroded accountability and proper reporting.

Anyone who thinks that future battlefields will not contain Infantrymen knows nothing about war.

Indecision kills more troops than any wrong decision. One can command his way out of a wrong decision.

 The only mission of the Infantry is to locate, close with and destroy the enemy.

Only the Infantry and Armor can gain ground. Only the Infantry can hold it alone.

Victory is not a limited objective. There is no other reason to engage an enemy, except victory.

No American Warrior can be managed to victory. He must be led.

The only color in the U.S. military ground forces is green.

Any tactic written in a book is known to your enemies.

 Any soldier who sleeps with another soldier's wife or lover cannot be trusted on the battlefield and should be shunned.

Any award for Valor is of more value to the Marines than any school diploma or certification.

Heroism cannot be taught. But, cowardice is a communicable disease.

The machine gun is too important a weapon to be used as a tool for punishing poor soldiers.

No officer should be given a command, because, he needs one for his career.

No officer should be denied a command, because, he already had one.

A combat veteran of any war should be respected by all trooops.

American troops do not lose wars. Leaders lose wars.

The one night you don't dig in, will bring mortars on your position.

Taking the easy way will always get you killed.

The more you restrict Infantrymen possessing live ammunition, the more accidents you will have.

The Air Force and Navy are supporting arms.

Inclement weather is the true Infantryman's ally.

There is no special duty so important, that it takes the Infantryman away from his squad.

An officer must be judged on his ability and not on how many coffees his wife has attended.

If a Sergeant Major suggests a unit watch, he is the supplier.

No NCO or Warrant Officer outranks a Second Lieutenant.

Any officer who does not listen to NCO's and Warrant Officers is a fool.

If you wish your subordinates to call you by your first name, go sell shoes. There is no place for you in the Marines.

Any Army man who sneers at a Marine for being sharp and well turned out is no soldier.

Any Infantryman who must call higher headquarters before engaging the enemy has a fool for a commander.

Warriors respect leaders worth emulating. They cannot be "ordered" to respect anyone.

 There is only one reason to join the Marines and that is to fight and serve the Country.


Time for a CGar!


  1. Major B., Thank you for “schooling” us. I was always under the impression that one may join the Army, one may join the Air Force, one may even join the Navy. However, one has to BECOME a Marine.
    In the same vein of thought as your quotes, somewhere I read the following (penned by a retired USMC officer whose name, I apologize, I do not recall): “Nothing will sour the morale of combat troops faster than the realization that the commander at the top receives frequent visits from the Good Idea Fairy.”
    Thank you, learning and enjoying your writings very much.

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