Top Ten Military Quotes

Hello friends.

In today’s post, I will share my top ten favorite military quotes.

It was a lot of fun making this list.

I hope you enjoy it.

Let’s get started.

QUOTE # 10: “When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard.”

General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson

My Take: Once you make the decision to fight, FIGHT.

Get rid of your exit strategies.

Don’t give yourself an easy way out.

Either do it.

Or don’t do it!

QUOTE # 9: “Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position fTop 10 Military Quotesalls, your ego goes with it.”

General Colin Powell

My Take: The position doesn’t make the man.

It reveals the man.

Don’t think you are better than the people you lead.

If you want to see someone’s true colors, give them a position of authority.

QUOTE # 8: “A good plan executed violently today is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

General George S. Patton

My Take: There’s no perfect time to do anything.

Don’t worry about having a perfect plan.

Instead, come up with a good plan now, and give your subordinates enough time to do their planning.

QUOTE # 7: “Bravery is being the only one who knows you are afraid.”

David Hackworth

My Take: It’s okay to be scared.

Just don’t let anyone else know you are scared.

As a leader, you set the tone for your organization.

In combat, your troops will rely on you to be confident and poised.

If you are confident, they will be confident.

QUOTE # 6: “Five second fuses only last three seconds.”

Infantry Journal

My Take: Don’t wait to the last minute.

Something always comes up, so plan accordingly.

Murphy is ALWAYS working against you.

QUOTE # 5: “If it’s stupid but works it isn’t stupid.”


My Take: The only stupid idea is the idea not mentioned or acted upon.

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

  1. Top 17 Abraham Lincoln Quotes
  2. Top 15 Robert E. Lee Quotes
  3. The Top 20 George Washington Quotes Ever
  4. Top 18 Army Quotes Of All Time
  5. Top 7 President Ulysses S. Grant Quotes

QUOTE # 4: Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”

General Dwight Eisenhower

My Take: Anyone can give orders.

But it takes a real effective leader to empower others and get them to want to do what they are doing.

QUOTE # 3: “No combat unit ready unit has ever passed inspection.”

Joe Gay

My Take: Any unit can look good on paper.

But the only way to really test a unit is in combat.

Don’t get so caught up in the paperwork and minutia that you forget your true mission: to train for war.

QUOTE # 2: “The more you sweat in peace the less you bleed in war.”


My Take: Train, train, and train some more.

Perfect practice makes perfect.

If your unit is proficient at a task, do it again.

Soldiers need to be able to do their individual and collective tasks without thinking about it.

The only way to become that proficient is to practice, practice, practice.

QUOTE # 1: “A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living.”

President John F. Kennedy

My Take: Soldiers are special Americans.

They are true patriots.

It takes someone really special to put aside his personal agenda to serve his country honorably.

If you are a Soldier, THANK YOU for your service.

I hope you enjoyed these top ten military quotes.

If there is one in particular that you really enjoy, please use it as an email signature and share it with your peers.

I’d like to end this post with one last quote.

Here it goes. “If it moves, salute it; if it doesn’t move, pick it up; and if you can’t pick it up, paint it” (1940s saying).

P.S. If you have a favorite military quote, just leave a comment to this post and tell us what it is.


16 thoughts on “Top Ten Military Quotes”

  1. A couple by General Norman Cota during WWII:
    1. He walked up to a commander on Omaha beach and asked what unit they were, they responded they were 5th Rangers. His response, "Well, G#dd#mmit then Rangers, lead the way."
    This remains the Rangers motto. Talk about a guy whose cool under pressure. Sometimes it just takes one person to motivate people.

    2. Finding another group of pinned down American soldiers he said, "Gentlemen, we are being killed on the beach, let's go inland and be killed."
    When the situation is tough, or beyond tough in this case, you just have to grin and bear it.

  2. These are all great quotes. I have found one by the great General Schwarzkopf that is great also,

    “Do what is right, not what you think the high headquarters wants or what you think will make you look good.”

    I wish all military leaders would keep this in mind. Sometimes the ones sitting behind the desk do not understand the situation when a unit has bullets flying and bombs exploding.

    Do the right thing, and if you are punished for it, you will always know you still did the right thing.

  3. “Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.”
    ― Douglas MacArthur

  4. Here is my favorite military quote.

    “We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”
    ― Winston Churchill

  5. Here’s my favorite military quote.

    A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.

    MLK Jr.

  6. Here’s a military quote you might like. “The reason the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices it on a daily basis.” – from a post-war debriefing of a German General

  7. Here’s a good military quote. “The best tank terrain is that without anti-tank weapons.”
    -Russian military doctrine.

  8. Amy Skalicky

    I have had a few comments on Pinterest regarding this post, with John F. Kennedy’s quote being the overall favorite. I think Kennedy’s thought does have merit, for the military requires foundational skills that translate anywhere, anytime. Discipline, respect, work ethic and sound decision-making abilities are just a few. Without them, failure is just around the corner no matter were you are, whether heading out to battle to working in a meat factory. Some view them as old-fashioned; however, I view them as building on principles proven by time.

  9. All of these are thought-provoking quotes worth repeating. Great article. Here is my contribution: "It is a big step to take another human life. It is not to be done lightly." – Lieutenant Colonel Tim Collins to the battle group of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish at Fort Blair Mayne desert camp, 20 miles from the Iraqi border. It is a simple statement, yet compelling because of the clear reminder to respect life and death. It is a heavy responsibility to take a life, and one I believe our soldiers do not take lightly. It is one of the many factors that separates us from the enemies of today–our soldiers are scarred forever, but our enemy combatants seem to revel in it. I thank each and every one of you for shouldering this burden.

  10. I love seeing the wise words of quotes. This is a great list. I had not heard the quote about “if it’s stupid but works it isn’t stupid.” I think that is going into my collection. I’ve pulled out a well timed quoted at a leadership meeting to really drive a point home. A well-timed (and appropriate) quote can be priceless. Thanks for this great list.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!