"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by our nation."  

George Washington

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.  The decayed and degraded stench of the smoldering contents of a half of a 55 gallon drum, fired by diesel and stirred by the 1SGT’s worse screwup, is much worse.

With apologies to John Stuart Mill. English economist & philosopher (1806 - 1873)

'If the enemy is in range, so are you.'

Infantry Journal
'It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed.'
US  Air Force Manual


'Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.'
General Mac Arthur
'You, you, and you ... Panic. The rest of you, come with me.'
US Marine Corp Gunnery Sgt.
'Tracers work both ways.'
U.S. Army Ordnance


'Five second fuses only last three seconds.'
Infantry Journal


'Any ship can be a minesweeper. Once.'


'Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do'
Marine Recruit


'If you see a bomb technician running,  try to keep up with him.'
USAF Ammo Troop
Air Force Pilot Quotes
'Though I Fly Through the  Valley  of  the  Shadow  of  Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.'


'You've never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3.'
Paul F. Crickmore (test pilot)

'The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.'


'If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a helicopter -- and therefore, unsafe.'


'When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash.'


'Even with ammunition, the USAF is just another expensive flying club.'


'What is the similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots? If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; If ATC screws up, .... The pilot dies.'

'Never trade luck for skill.'

The three most common expressions (or famous last words) in aviation are:
  • 'Why is it doing that?'
  • 'Where are we?'
  • and 'Oh Shit !

'Airspeed, altitude and brains. Two are always needed to successfully complete the flight.'

'Mankind has a perfect record in aviation -- we have never left one up there!'

'Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it.'

'The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you.'

Airman, maintain thy air speed lest the earth rise up and smite thee!

'There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime.'
Sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, 1970

'If something hasn't broken on your helicopter, it's about to.'

'You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal.'

As the test pilot climbs out of the experimental aircraft, having torn off the wings and tail in the crash landing, the crash truck arrives; the rescuer sees a bloodied pilot and asks, 'What happened?'  The pilot's reply: 'I don't know, I just got here myself!'

September 14, 1944 on the Crozon Peninsula (western part of France):"I am to surrender to you,"German Lt Gen Ramcke told BG Canham, Assistant Division Commander, 8thID, through his own interpreter. "I want to see your credentials”.  BG Canham pointed to the eager dogfaces crowding the entrance with their M-1s. "These are my credentials”. This blunt phrase put the Nazi in his place, and paid dramatic tribute to the real power behind America's Army —the G.I.

“The ultimate determinant in war is a man on the scene with a gun. This man is the final power in war. He is control, he determines who wins. There are those who would dispute this as an absolute, but it is my belief that while other means may critically influence war today, after whatever devastation and destruction may be inflicted on an enemy, if the strategist is forced to strive for final and ultimate control, he must establish, or must present as an inevitable prospect, a man on the scene with a gun. This is the Soldier.”
Rear Admiral Wylie, U.S. Navy, World War II
“You may fly over a land forever; you may bomb it, atomize it, and wipe it clean of life -but if you desire to defend it, protect it, and keep it for civilization, you must do this on the ground, the way the Roman Legions did -by putting your soldiers in the mud.”
T.R. Fehrenbach, from his book, “This Kind of War”
"I'd rather go down the river with seven studs than with a hundred shitheads"
Colonel Charlie Beckwith, founder & CMDR of Delta Force
“American soldiers in battle don’t fight for what some president says on T.V., they don’t fight for mom, apple pie, the American flag…they fight for one another.”
LTC Hal Moore, CMDR 1/7 Cav, Ia Drang Valley, Vietnam
“If you’re going to go to war against a major enemy, go; knock the hell out of him fast, and go in there to kill him and get it over with.”
Lieutenant General (Ret) Harold Moore

"In this business, you find the enemy, then go after and destroy him. Everything else is rubbish!" Eddie Rickenbacker, American WWI Flying Ace

"War is hell, but actual combat is a motherfucker."
Colonel David Hackworth
“The Spartans do not enquire how many the enemy are, but where they are.”
Agis II, 427 B.C.
This is the law:The purpose of fighting is to win.There is no possible victory in defense.The sword is more important than the shield and skill is more important than either.The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.
John Steinbeck
"May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't.”
General George S. Patton Jr.
“…an imperfect plan implemented immediately and violently will always succeed better than a perfect plan.”
General George S. Patton
“The Soldiers of TF 2-7 Infantry rose to the occasion. All of the values their mothers and fathers and grandparents taught them, they learned. They stepped up to the plate. They did not just follow their leaders, they ACCOMPANIED their leaders. Sometimes, they LED the way! They said, “Sir, the enemy’s over there …don’t worry, we’ll get you there!”
LTC Scott Rutter, Commander, TF 2-7 IN, May 15, 2003
“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.
Colonel James. M. Lowe, Commander, Marine Corps Base Quantico, 2004

"We win here or lose everywhere; if we win here, we improve the chances of winning everywhere.“ General MacArthur, Korean War


“Your job is to point that rifle into the other guy’s face and shoot him dead.”
General Matthew Ridgeway, instructions to his troops, Korean War, 1950
"Somewhere a True Believer is training to kill you. He is training with minimum food or water, in austere conditions, day and night. Theonly thing clean on him is his weapon. He doesn't worry about what workout to do---his rucksack weighs what it weighs, and he runs until the enemy stops chasing him. The True Believer doesn't care 'how hardit is'; he knows he either wins or he dies. He doesn't go home at 1700; he is home. He knows only the 'Cause.'Now, who wants to quit?"
NCOIC of the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course in a welcome speech to new SF candidates

“I don't mind being called tough, because in this racket it's the tough guys who lead the survivors.” General Curtis LeMay, USAF WWII

"We better win this war, otherwise I'll be tried as a war criminal
General Curtis LeMay, USAF WWII after firebombing of Japanese cities
“We have funny things that happen. I can remember standing in a land fill in southern Iraq where we began one of our attacks, and watching my guys so tired from lack of sleep....literally fall on the ground, with their gear on, on top of each other. I then watched "my boys" swat flies for each other, guard each other, share water with each other, offer food for those that did not have any chow, express their disdain for the trash heap that was our home, all the while ready to do battle and if necessary die for each other. I saw with my own eyes the actual creation of the closeness and bond that historians write about in times of war amongst fighting men.”
1LT John G. Gibson, 82nd Airborne Division, Baghdad, Iraq
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”
George Orwell
“In the final measure, nothing speaks like deeds”
General John A. Wickham, Jr.
“When in war, men must die, they can’t be managed to their deaths, they must be led.”
Dandridge “
“But to the fighting soldier that phase of the war is behind. It was left behind after his first battle. His blood is up. He is fighting for his life, and killing now for him is as much a profession as writing is for me.”
Ernie Pyle – Famous WWII War Correspondent killed on Ie Shima 1945
“Understanding future warfare is the most important responsibility of those who must defend a nation from future enemies!”
Major General Perry M. Smith


"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth-and the amusing thing about it is that they are."
Father Kevin Keaney, 1st Mar Div Chaplain, Korean War
"Every morning, I get up, get out of bed, and get on my knees and thank God for waking up in America ... (She is) the light of the world ...A nation of heroes ... The real stars are wearing body armor on top of their battle dress uniforms in 130 degree heat and they do not have stunt doubles to come in for them when the going gets rough and the bullets and the shrapnel start flying. They are the real stars, fighting terrorism and trying to free a nation.”
Ben Stein


"When you men get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a pussy."
General Tommy Franks


“There could not possibly be 71 virgins awaiting them in heaven –because as our hymn says “the streets are guarded by united states marines!”
US Marine, Iraq


"What is a hero? My heroes are the young men who faced the issues of war and possible death, and then weighed those concerns against obligations to their country. Citizen-soldiers, who interrupted their personal and professional lives at their most formative stage, in the timeless phrase of the Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery, 'not for fame or reward, not for place or for rank, but in simple obedience to duty, as they understood it.”
Senator James Webb (D-VA) & Former Secretary of the Navy


"The soldier is the centerpiece of all our units. Most effective, flexible and adaptable asset we possess. Rapidly re-tasked from combat to stability operations to homeland defense. Best sensor: receives and processes information better than any technology. Face of the United States overseas. Everything we do is designed to support the soldier.“
Army G-3, General Cody, February 2005


"We're here today to pay tribute to two great soldiers; to two great Americans. I am 100 percent convinced we will win this war because we have soldiers like Sgt. Shields and Spc. Velez, and the enemy does not. The enemy has no response for sergeants that risk everything to rescue their injured comrades only to immediately return to the fight. The enemy has no answer to soldiers standing over their injured buddies, even when it means their own lives, so that others will live. Because of that, we will win."
LTC James Rainey, CMDR 2/7th Cavalry Regt., Camp Taji, Iraq, Nov 27, 2004SGT Jonathan B. Shields and SPC Jose A. Velez, both gave their lives while rescuing others.


“I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend”
J R Tolkien


“There are only two types of warriors in this world. Those that serve tyrants and those that serve free men.”
Special Forces NCO Stefan Mazak


“The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.”
Thomas J. Jackson


“Nothing is as strong as the heart of a volunteer.”
LTC Jimmy Doolittle, WWII


"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.“
Jeff Cooper


"Hate war, but love the American Warrior."
LTG Harold G. Moore (Ret.)


“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”
General Douglas MacArthur


“War is cruel and you cannot refine it.”
General William Tecumseh Sherman, US Civil War,1864


“Victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay its price.”
Sun Tzu


“We gave each of our fallen comrades a fitting memorial and mourned their loss. Each time, I knew these heroes left wives, husbands, children and other loved ones behind. They were all volunteers and each had their reasons for joining the Army and defending their country. They all had great plans for the future, but none of them had planned on dying in combat. These soldiers will never see their children graduate from high school, will never attend their weddings, will never coach their little league baseball teams.”
Colonel Ted Spain, Brigade Commander who had 13 KIAs from his unit, OIF, Feb 2004


“Heart is what makes the American Soldier”
SFC Barbara Ray, 1993


“The world is witnessing first hand, live on television, the hearts of American warriors --and the spirit and pride only displayed by magnificent young men and women who are volunteers in the fight for the cause of freedom. It's all about heart.”
Colonel. A.J. Stewart, 71st Flying Training Wing commander, 2004

Immediately after a bombing in Baghdad, June 2007, which killed at least 21 people and injured at least 66, was a shooter, maybe targeting people in the crowd. Amid all the Iraqis who are running from the gunfire was a U.S. soldier, standing tall, perhaps looking in the direction of the gunshots, not apparently looking for cover. An Iraqi boy seeks shelter behind the soldier, a member of the 82ndAirborne Division. The kid's face shows he is scared to death, and he's running to the safest spot he can find: this soldier who stands between him and danger. It would be difficult to stage a picture that provides a more potent metaphor for the role played by United States in this wretched world.

“Where there is one brave man, in the thickest of the fight, there is the post of honor.”
Henry David Thoreau


“Where do we get guys like this the reporter asked? The answer is as simple as it is profound. You give them to us. You parents, you families, you brothers and sisters, grandparents, uncles and aunts, friends, you loan us these wonderful young people. They are the fruit of our country, raised by caring parents or a single parent, nurtured in love, and taught that Americans are supposed to have concern for the rights, freedoms and needs of not only our own citizens, but the citizens of the world,
The credit for their goodness, and their greatness, rests with all of you back home. The mothers, the fathers, husbands, wives, all of the family members, all the friends, the teachers, the preachers, scout leaders, football coaches, volunteer youth workers of all sorts, each person who had a positive impact on the lives of these young people deserves a piece of the credit."
Colonel Ron Smith, US Army "The war in Iraq, what the media doesn't tell you, ”The Meridian Star, March 9, 2005


“Be ashamed to die until you have done something good for mankind.”
American pastor Dr. Vernon Johnson during the Revolutionary War


“I remind you again we had those elections [in Afghanistan and Iraq] because we had boots on the ground and we had people that could help people, and we had people on the ground that could get into somebody’s face when they had to, and do whatever was required.”
General Peter J. Shoemaker, April 11, 2005


"If you're going through hell, keep going."
Winston Churchill
"Urge all of your men to pray, not alone in church, but everywhere. Pray when driving. Pray when fighting. Pray alone. Pray with others. Pray by night and pray by day. Pray for the cessation of immoderate rains, for good weather for Battle. Pray for the defeat of our wicked enemy whose banner is injustice and whose good is oppression. Pray for victory. Pray for our Army, and Pray for Peace. We must march together, all out for God.”
George S. Patton Jr.
"I love the infantry because they are the underdogs.  They are the mud-rain-frost-and-wind boys.  They have no comforts, and they even learn to live without the necessities.  And in the end they are the guys that wars can't be won without."
Ernie Pyle – Famous WWII War Correspondent killed by a sniper on Ie Shima 1945
'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.'
G. K. Chesterton
A people that values its privileges above its principles will soon lose both.  Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.'
Thomas Jefferson
"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy."
Samuel Adams 


"Not for fame of reward, not for place of for rank, but in simple obedience to duty, as they understood it."
Inscription in Arlington National Cemetery on the Confederate Memorial
Rest assured our America, this experiment in democracy started over two centuries ago, will forever remain the "land of the free and home of the brave" so long as we never run out of tough young Americans who are willing to look beyond their own self-interest & comfortable lives, and go into the darkest and most dangerous places on earth to hunt down, and kill, those who would do us harm.
Lt General John Kelly USMC At a tribute to two Marines who gave their lives at an Iraqi checkpoint to save their fellow Marines.
The first quality of a soldier is constancy in enduring fatigue and hardship.  Courage is only second.  Poverty, privation and want are the school of a good soldier.
In Vietnam, you have to hunt for the enemy.  But in Laos, man, they hunt for you.
158th Aviation Huey Pilot during Operation Lam Son 719 & Dewey Canon


Nothing ruins a good war story like an eyewitness.
Gen Stanley McChrystal
"Aim towards the Enemy."
Instruction printed on US Rocket Launcher
"When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend."
 US Marine Corps
"Cluster bombing from B-52s is very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground."
 USAF.Ammo Troop
"If the enemy is in range, so are you."
 Infantry Journal
"A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what's left of your unit."
 Army's magazine of preventive maintenance.
"It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed."
US Air Force Manual
"Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo."
Infantry Journal
"Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid."
Col. David Hackworth
"If your attack is going too well, you're probably walking into an ambush."
Infantry Journal
"No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection."
Joe Gay
"Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do."
 Unknown Marine Corps Recruit
"Don't draw fire; it irritates the people around you."
Your Buddies
Quotes from a Veteran Drill Instructor
"The handgun would not be my choice of weapon if I knew I was going to a fight....I'd choose a rifle, a shotgun, an RPG or an atomic Bomb instead."
"The two most important rules in a gunfight are: Always cheat and Always win."
"Every time I teach a class, I discover I don't know something."
"Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way." 
"Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets. I may get killed with my own gun, but he's gonna have to beat me to death with it, cause it's going to be empty."
"If you're not shootin', you should be loadin'. If you're not  loadin, you should be movin', if you're not movin', someone's gonna Cut your head off and put it on a stick."
"When you reload in low light encounters, don't put your flashlight in your back pocket... If you light yourself up, you'll look like an angel or the tooth fairy...and you're gonna be one of 'em pretty soon."
"Do something.  It may be wrong, but do something."
"Nothing adds a little class to a sniper course like a babe in a Ghilliesuit." 
"Shoot what's available, as long as it's available, until something else becomes available."
"If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous.. If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for."
"Don't shoot fast, shoot good."
"You can say 'stop' or 'alto' or use any other word you think will work but I've found that a large bore muzzle pointed at someone's head is pretty much the universal language."
"You have the rest of your life to solve your problems. How long you live depends on how well you do it."
"You cannot save the planet. You may be able to save yourself and your family."
More Excellent Gun Wisdom.......The purpose of fighting is to Win!
There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either.
The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.
Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, He’ll just kill you.
If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.
I carry a gun ‘cause a cop is too heavy.
When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.