The Marine Corps excels at three things: winning wars; creating warfighters, and operating the best public relations machine in the world. As such, everyone in the United States has seen the phrase Semper Fidelis or Semper Fi. It could be in a recruiting commercial, bumper tag, or shouted an overenthusiastic veteran. It’s a popular phrase, but what does Semper Fi mean?

Well, today, we are going to cover that and talk about all the other Sempers used by the military. Believe it or not, the Marines aren’t the only branch that embraces a Latin phrase.


Semper Fi and Semper Fidelis

Semper Fi is short for Semper Fidelis. It’s more than just a motto. Semper Fidelis is Latin for “Always Faithful,” and it’s been the Marines’ motto since 1883. The phrase can be used as a greeting or cheer, and immediately identifies a Marine regardless of his or her active status in the Marine Corps.

Marine Corps Seal

The phrase signifies both the Marines’ dedication to their branch and the country, and the Corps’s cult-like atmosphere. Semper Fi is without a doubt the most popular branch motto in the United States.


Semper Supra

The newly formed Space Force had to come up with their own motto, and they wisely took a page of the Marine Corps playbook with the phrase Semper Supra. This Latin phrase means “Always Above.” It’s quite appropriate for the Space Force, who is literally always looking above and outward.