The Marine Corps has no shortage of incredible and famous quotes that have been passed through generations of Marines. These quotes not only embody the Marines’ fortitude and standards, but also their fighting spirit.


A High-stakes Fraternity

When people find out I was in the Marine Corps they often ask me “What is it really like? Is it like the movies? Is it like Full Metal Jacket?”

The answer to each of those questions is “kind of.” I do think that boot camp is eerily similar to Full Metal Jacket and because of it I absolutely love that movie. However, I think the best answer to the first question is that the Marine Corps is like a high-stakes college fraternity. Of course, the high-ranking officers and enlisted Marines would probably disagree with this comparison, but the reality is that the senior leaders make up only a tiny portion of the Marine Corps. Most in the Marine Corps hold the rank of private through sergeant and to be honest, they’re the heart of the Corps.

The Marine Corps Hymn
The Marine Corps Hymn. (Dick Martin)

Now, why do I equate the Marine Corps to a college fraternity? It’s simple. The biggest reason is the “secret squirrel stuff” that both entities have in common, as in secret phrases or handshakes. There are also a lot of traditions and stories that you only learn once you are a part of the group. For the Marine Corps, there is a lot of identity around war stories, phrases, and slogans and Drill Instructors begin beating (usually not literally) that into our heads on day one of boot camp.

In this article, I’m going to discuss some of my favorite famous Marine Corps quotes, phrases, and slogans. They will hopefully paint the picture as to why the Marine Corps is the best light infantry on the planet.


The Most Famous of Marine Quotes: ‘Semper Fidelis’

I’d be remiss if I didn’t begin with the Marine Corps motto, “Semper Fidelis” (Always Faithful). Semper Fidelis is the core principle upon which the Marine Corps is built. Through this motto, Marines are called to be always faithful to their country, fellow Marines, family, and the Marine Corps (not necessarily in that order). Marines are required to live by this standard whether in peacetime or wartime and regardless of deployment.