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Soldiers are members of the armed forces.

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A recent study, which assessed the long-lasting impact of a terrorist attack, found that children who were held as hostages at the Russian town of Beslan on September 2004 by Chechen rebels were more accurate than nonexposed children in detecting threat related information such as anger in faces, which were morphed from two prototypical emotions (Scrimin, Moscardino, Capello, Altoe, & Axia, 2009; Scrimin, Moscardino, Capello, & Axia, 2008). In military veterans, however, the long-term consequences of life threatening experience on the perception of facial expressions have not been explored before, to the best of our knowledge. ~ David Anaki, Tamar Brezniak, Liron Shalom,


Where is Christ, the King? In Heaven, to be sure. Thither it behooves you, soldier of Christ, to direct your course. Forget all earthly delights. A soldier does not build a house; he does not aspire to possession of lands; he does not concern himself with devious, coin-purveying trade. … The soldier enjoys a sustenance provided by the king; he need not furnish his own, nor vex himself in this regard. ~ Basil of Caesarea
  • Where is Christ, the King? In heaven, to be sure. Thither it behooves you, soldier of Christ, to direct your course. Forget all earthly delights. A soldier does not build a house; he does not aspire to possession of lands; he does not concern himself with devious, coin-purveying trade. … The soldier enjoys a sustenance provided by the king; he need not furnish his own, nor vex himself in this regard.
  • It is a hard trade, and one that does things to you as a man; that changes you from one sort of man into another. It is not easy to be a good soldier, and for a middle-class intellectual who had spent most of his conscious life in the sedentary pursuit of finding words for things he believed he felt, it was an almost impossible life. For years I had not awaked in the morning before ten, and loved to lie abed; now I was up daily before dawn. I had always avoided walking when I could ride; and now spent hours every day marching all over the landscape. And the intellectual is likely to find his likely to find his greatest satisfaction (perverted as it is) in long periods of solitude when he can justify his loneliness by looking down upon his fellow man. "You're in the ar-my now," the boys would sing, "you're not be-hind the plow. You'll never get rich, you son of a bitch..." You're in the army now, and when you're in the army you learn to keep a large part of your precious individualism to yourself. An army of individualists cannot function in the field, and this the Spanish people had learned to their sorrow earlier in the war, when individualized units recruited independently by dozens of political parties and trade unions had done a beautiful job of failing to cooperate with each other- while demonstrating determination and heroism that will be remembered so long as there are men to whom the defense of democracy is more than a hackneyed phrase.
    • Alvah Bessie, Men in Battle: A Story of American in Spain (1939), p. 54
  • Every soldier in every army is taught first off to be neat and clean, to keep his clothes in good repair, his buttons sewed on and his shoes polished, his face and hands and body washed, his beard shaved. He is respectful to his officers and stands at attention when he is addressed; he moves with precision about his business, walking as a soldier should, head up, chin in, arms at his sides.
    • Alvah Bessie, Men in Battle: A Story of American in Spain (1939), p. 82
  • The sun beat upon our heads and we lay there wondering what was going on in our particular sector, what was the significance of the intermittent firing, whether we were advancing or holding our own. For to the average soldier battle always remains a chaos and an impression of immense confusion; he has only a worm's-eye view of the affair; he has no way of knowing what it's all about. One minute he is advancing under fire; the next he is lying low; the next withdrawing. He receives definite orders and they are immediately countermanded; he rarely sees the enemy and the fire that is directed at him assumes astonishing impersonality, as though it were independent of any human agency.
    • Alvah Bessie, Men in Battle: A Story of American in Spain (1939), p. 227
  • Ay me! what perils do environ
    The man that meddles with cold iron!
  • Earth! render back from out thy breast
    A remnant of our Spartan dead!
    Of the three hundred grant but three,
    To make a new Thermopylæ!
  • His breast with wounds unnumber'd riven,
    His back to earth, his face to heaven.


For the army is a school in which the miser becomes generous, and the generous prodigal; miserly soldiers are like monsters, but very rarely seen. ~ Miguel de Cervantes
I'm the best there is at what I do. But what I do best isn't very nice. ~ Chris Claremont
  • When the final taps is sounded and we lay aside life's cares,
    And we do the last and glories parade, on Heaven's shining stairs,
    And the angels bid us welcome and the harps begin to play,
    We can draw a million canteen checks and spend them in a day,
    It is then we'll hear St. Peter tell us loudly with a yell,
    "Take a front seat you soldier men, you've done your hitch in Hell."
    • Frank Bernard Camp, "Our Hitch in Hell", st. 6, in American Soldier Ballads (1917), p. 21
    • A better known variant was later used as an epitaph of PFC Cameron, USMC, at Lunga Point Cemetery, Guadalcanal:
      • And when he goes to Heaven
        To Saint Peter he will tell:
        Another Marine reporting , Sir;
        I've served my time in Hell!
      • Samuel Eliot Morison, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Vol. 5: The Struggle for Guadalcanal (1949), p. x.
  • For the army is a school in which the miser becomes generous, and the generous prodigal; miserly soldiers are like monsters, but very rarely seen.
  • You cannot make soldiers of slaves, or slaves of soldiers, the day you make a soldier of them, is the beginning of the end of the revolution. And if slaves seem good soldiers, than our whole theory of slavery is wrong.
  • They're saps! because they risk their lives for strangers.


  • Make every private Sentinel, every Musquetier, both Judge, Jury, and Executioner.


  • We see human heroism broken into units and say, this unit did little – might as well not have been. But in this way we might break up a great army into units; in this way we might break the sunlight into fragments, and think that this and the other might be cheaply parted with. Let us rather raise a monument to the soldiers whose brave hearts only kept the ranks unbroken and met death – a monument to the faithful who were not famous, and who are precious as the continuity of the sunbeams is precious, though some of them fall unseen and on barrenness.


  • The primary intent of physical standards in the military has always been to select soldiers best suited to the physical demands of military service. This standard has usually meant the selection of soldiers who at least looked as though they could carry loads and fight well.
  • Some physical standards have changed easily with the need for soldiers, which suggests that what may be portrayed as a soldierly characteristic may not be solidly rooted in combat necessity. Height is an example. European monarchs prided themselves on their tall soldiers; it was also convenient to have men of about the same height for drill and ceremony. Some eugenicists claimed that criminals tended to be shorter than the rest of the population (Baxter, 1875), and a retired military surgeon proposed that physical characteristics could identify future heroes (Foster et al., 1967).
  • In the frontispiece to their book on human physique, Sheldon et al. (1940) showed photographs of three extremes of somatotype: an endomorph, who was characterized by pendulous fat deposits; a mesomorph, who looked well proportioned and muscular; and an ectomorph, who looked like a victim of anorexia nervosa. There can be little argument about which of these three types would make a suitable soldier. Without question, the massively obese endomorph would be unable to perform physically, would fail even the most subjectively lenient standards of military appearance, would likely encounter acute as well as long-term health problems as a direct consequence of excess fat, and would suffer miserably with work in even a moderately hot environment. At the other extreme of size, the ectomorph would be unable to carry a normal load on a standard road march task, would likely suffer health problems from extreme deficiency of muscle mass, and would be unable to effectively thermoregulate in a cold environment. The current Army body composition standards ignore the ectomorph, because this soldier is undetected by the height-weight screening tables, even when the soldier is so deficient in fat-free mass that relative body fat is high. This omission is a change from the earlier standards, which emphasized the exclusion of physically weak individuals who would have difficultly with basic soldier tasks. At the upper end, the endomorph is clearly excluded by current Army standards, as are many individuals who may even approach the mesomorph in appearance and physical capabilities. Thus, the second change from previous standards is that current body fat standards draw a precise line, without confidence intervals, for acceptable fatness; these standards take into account neither the strength of the association between body fat and military performance nor the reliability of the method of estimation. Previously, a physician made the final subjective determination that a soldier was unsuited to the Army because of his or her obesity, but this was subjective and had little impact on offenders of military appearance. Without this buffer, the arbitrary standards have had a major impact. Thus, it becomes more important to test and carefully adjust body composition standards to performance end points to ensure that good soldiers are not eliminated.




Inquiry shall likewise be made about the professions and trades of those who are brought to be admitted to the [Christian] faith. ... A soldier of the civil authority must be taught not to kill men and to refuse to do so if he is commanded. ... If he is unwilling to comply, he must be rejected. ... If a catechumen or a believer seeks to become a soldier, they must be rejected, for they have despised God. ~ Hippolytus of Rome
  • Inquiry shall likewise be made about the professions and trades of those who are brought to be admitted to the [Christian] faith. ... A soldier of the civil authority must be taught not to kill men and to refuse to do so if he is commanded, and to refuse to take an oath; if he is unwilling to comply, he must be rejected. ... If a catechumen or a believer seeks to become a soldier, they must be rejected, for they have despised God.


And though ten out of twelve had fallen, still the last two, sure as death, were to be bound on the first evening of rest over the bottle, drinking a silent health to their death companions, talking and laughing over all they had been through. For dangers past - an old soldier laughs. For those to come - a full glass, though death and the devil grinn there, as long as the wine was good. Such has ever been the custom of war. ~ Ernst Jünger
  • And though ten out of twelve had fallen, still the last two, sure as death, were to be bound on the first evening of rest over the bottle, drinking a silent health to their death companions, talking and laughing over all they had been through. For dangers past - an old soldier laughs. For those to come - a full glass, though death and the devil grinn there, as long as the wine was good. Such has ever been the custom of war.


  • When primitives fight, two little bands of men shoot arrows or swing war-clubs at one another because they want to fight; or because they are defending themselves, their families, or their territory. In the modern world, soldiers fight because they have been brainwashed into believing in some kook ideology such as that of Nazism, socialism, or what American politicians choose to call "freedom". In any case the modern soldier is merely a pawn, a dupe who dies not for his family or his tribe but for the politicians who exploit him. If he's unlucky, maybe he does not die but comes home horribly crippled in a way that would never result from an arrow- or a spear-wound. Meanwhile, thousands of non-combatants are killed or mutilated. The environment is ravaged, not only in the war zone, but also back home, due to the accelerated consumption of natural resources needed to feed the war machine. In comparison, the violence of primitive man is relatively innocuous.
  • The use of children as soldiers in armed conflict is among the most morally repugnant practices in the world, as illustrated by this Los Angeles Times photo essay. Children are combatants in nearly three-quarters of the world’s conflicts and have posed difficult dilemmas for the professional armies they confront, including the United States’.
  • Approximately 300,000 children are believed to be combatants in some thirty conflicts worldwide. Nearly half a million additional children serve in armies not currently at war, such that 40 percent of the world’s armed organizations have children in their ranks.
  • Soldiers are not as other men – that is the lesson that I have learned from a life cast among warriors. The lesson has taught me to view with extreme suspicion all theories and representations of war that equate it with any other activity in human affairs. War undoubtedly connects, as the theorists demonstrate, with economics and diplomacy and politics. Connection does not amount to identity or even similarity. War is wholly unlike diplomacy or politics because it must be fought by men whose values and skills are not those of politicians and diplomats. They are those of a world apart, a very ancient world, which exists in parallel with the everyday world but does not belong to it. Both worlds change over time, and the warrior world adapts in step to the civilian. It follows it, however, at a distance. The distance can never be closed, for the culture of the warrior can never be that of civilization itself. All civilisations owe their origins to the warrior; their cultures nurture the warriors who defend them, and the differences between them will make those of one very different in externals from those of another. It is, indeed, a theme of this book that in externals there are three distinct warrior traditions. Ultimately, however, there is only one warrior culture. Its evolution and transformation over time and place, from man’s beginnings to his arrival in the contemporary world, is the history of warfare.
  • Since as a rule only the king could afford to hire mercenaries in bulk they strengthened both King and nobles against the people with whom they had no ties or sympathy. While much more expensive than native troops, they left no troublesome widows and orphans; and at the end of the campaign they could be sent away unlike a country's own men coming home from the wars.
    • V. Kreman, "Foreign Mercenaries and Absolute Monarchy", Past and Present, 69 (1958).


Most of the people who get sent to die in wars are young men who've got a lot of energy and would probably rather, in a better world, be putting that energy into copulation rather than going over there and blowing some other young man's guts out. ~ Alan Moore
  • The development of an international legal framework to control the use of mercenaries started in the 1960's. At that time, the United Nations became concerned that the use of foreign mercenary forces could prevent and hinder the right to self-determination of peoples under colonial domination. What developed at the international level was a recognition that mercenary activities were an affront to the principles of sovereign equality, political independence and territorial integrity of states.
  • I'm supposed to be a soldier who never blows his composure, even though I hold the weight of the whole world on my shoulders.
  • Step by step. Heart to heart. Left, right, left. We all fall down, like toy soldiers. Bit by bit torn apart, we never win, but the battle wages on for toy soldiers.
  • I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.
    • George McGovern , McGovern's acceptance speech at the 1972 Democratic National Convention
  • Most of the people who get sent to die in wars are young men who've got a lot of energy and would probably rather, in a better world, be putting that energy into copulation rather than going over there and blowing some other young man's guts out.
    • Alan Moore, "The Craft" - interview with Daniel Whiston, Engine Comics (January 2005)
  • [R]esearch has provided evidence that combat exposure is associated with aggression and violent behavior, with various studies finding that violent combat experience predicts risk-taking behaviors, criminal behavior, and physical aggression with a significant other (MacManus et al., 2015).
    • Leslie Morland, Eric Elobogen, Kirsten Dillon; “Anger and PTSD”, PTSD Research Quarterly, Volume 31/No.3, p.1


  • It is vital... to establish facilities for providing sexual comfort [to the soldiers] as soon as possible.
    • Okabe Naosaburo as reported by Karen Parker & Jennifer F. Chew, Compensation for Japan's World War II War-Rape Victims, 17 HASTINGS INT'L & COMP. L REV. 497, 503 (1994), citing "Order of June 27, 1938 by Okabe Naosaburo, Chief of Staff, Japanese Expeditionary Force in north China," reprinted in Rapes Sparked call for facilities, JAPAN TIMES, Aug. 5, 1992, p.3; as quoted in War Crimes Against Women: Prosecution in International War Crimes Tribunals, Kelly Dawn Askin, (1997), p. 49.




  • Soldiers, you brave guys, who are your fathers?
    Our fathers are Russian commanders, that's what our fathers are.
    Soldiers, you brave guys, who are your mothers?
    Our mothers are white tents, that's what our mothers are.
    Soldiers, you brave guys, who are your sisters?
    Our sisters are our sharp sabres and pikes, that's what our sisters are.
    Soldiers, you brave guys, who are your wives?
    Our wives are our loaded guns, that's what our wives are.
    Soldiers, you brave guys, who are your children?
    Our children are our well-aimed bullets, that's what our children are.
    Soldiers, you brave guys, who are your aunts?
    Our aunts are our ripped soles, that's what our aunts are.
    Soldiers, you brave guys, who are your grandfathers?
    Our grandfathers are glorious victories, that's what our grandfathers are.
    Soldiers, you brave guys, what is your glory?
    Our glory is Russian state, that's what our glory is.


When the military man approaches, the world locks up its spoons and packs off its womankind. ~ Bernard Shaw
Arm'd at point exactly, cap-à-pie. ~ William Shakespeare
  • Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
    Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon's mouth.
  • Blow, wind! come, wrack!
    At least we'll die with harness on our back.
  • God's soldier be he!
    Had I as many sons as I have hairs,
    I would not wish them to a fairer death:
    And so his knell is knoll'd.
  • Sometime she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,
    And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
    Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
    Of healths five fathom deep, and then anon
    Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes.


  • Living the grueling life of a warrior seemed, and still does seem, a very simple and uninteresting occupation, especially for someone of my unusually capable intellect, and I was very much opposed to having my life controlled by the crude brutality of the society into which I was thrust.


  • Children are increasingly vulnerable as conflicts around the world become more brutal, intense and widespread. It is estimated that 300,000 children are today fighting as child soldiers in over 20 countries worldwide. Up to 40 per cent of them are girls.


  • Of boasting more than of a bomb afraid,
    A soldier should be modest as a maid.
  • Some for hard masters, broken under arms,
    In battle lopt away, with half their limbs,
    Beg bitter bread thro' realms their valour saved.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night I, line 250.



Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

I want to see you shoot the way you shout. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 725-29.
  • O Dormer, how can I behold thy fate,
    And not the wonders of thy youth relate;
    How can I see the gay, the brave, the young,
    Fall in the cloud of war, and lie unsung!
    In joys of conquest he resigns his breath,
    And, filled with England's glory, smiles in death.
  • God and a soldier all people adore
    In time of war, but not before;
    And when war is over and all things are righted,
    God is neglected and an old soldier slighted.
    • Anonymous. Lines chalked on a sentry-box on Europa Guard. Compare Rudyard Kipling, Tommy. Otway's Soldier's Fortune, Shakespeare's Sonnet XXV.
  • O little Force that in your agony
    Stood fast while England girt her armour on,
    Held high our honour in your wounded hands,
    Carried our honour safe with bleeding feet—
    We have no glory great enough for you,
    The very soul of Britain keeps your day.
    • Anonymous. Published in a London Newspaper, 1917.
  • An Austrian army awfully arrayed.
    Siege of Belgrade.
    • Poem arranged with "Apt alliteration's artful aid." First appeared in The Trifler, May 7, 1817, printed at Winchester, Eng. Found in Bentley's Miscellany, March, 1838, p. 313. Quoted in Wheeler's Mag. Winchester, Eng, Volume I, p. 344. (1828). Attributed to Rev. B. Poulter, of Winchester. In the Wild Garland to Isaac J. Reeve. Claimed for Alaric A. Watts by his son in a biography of Watts, Volume I, p. 118.
  • See! There is Jackson standing like a stone wall.
  • Each year his mighty armies marched forth in gallant show,
    Their enemies were targets, their bullets they were tow.
  • The king of France with twenty thousand men
    Went up the hill, and then came down again:
    The king of Spain with twenty thousand more
    Climbed the same hill the French had climbed before.
    • From Sloane Manuscript, 1489. Written time of Charles I. Later version in Old Tarleton's Song in Pigge's Corantol or News from the North. Halliwell gives several versions in his Nursery Rhymes.
  • L'infanterie anglaise est la plus redoubtable de l'Europe; heureusement, il n'y en a pas beaucoup.
    • The English Infantry is the most formidable in Europe, but fortunately there is not much of it.
    • Marshal Bugeaud, Œuvres Militaires. Collected by Weil.
  • You led our sons across the haunted flood,
    Into the Canaan of their high desire—
    No milk and honey there, but tears and blood
    Flowed where the hosts of evil trod in fire,
    And left a worse than desert where they passed.
  • The knight's bones are dust,
    And his good sword rust;
    His soul is with the saints, I trust.
  • How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
    By all their country's wishes blest!
    * * * * *
    By fairy hands their knell is rung,
    By forms unseen their dirge is sung.
    • Collins, Ode Written in 1746.
  • Who passes down this road so late?
    Compagnon de la Majaloine?
    Who passes down this road so late,
    Always gay!

    Of all the King's Knights 'tis the flower,
    Compagnon de la Majaloine,
    Of all the King's Knights 'tis the flower,
    Always gay!
    • Compagnon de la Majaloine. Old French Song.
  • I have seen men march to the wars, and then
    I have watched their homeward tread,
    And they brought back bodies of living men,
    But their eyes were cold and dead.
    So, Buddy, no matter what else the fame,
    No matter what else the prize,
    I want you to come back thru The Flame
    With the boy-look still in your eyes!
  • He stands erect; his slouch becomes a walk;
    He steps right onward, martial in his air,
    His form and movement.
  • Terrible he rode alone,
    With his yemen sword for aid;
    Ornament it carried none
    But the notches on the blade.
    • The Death Feud. An Arab War Song, Stanza 14. Tait's Edinburgh Magazine. July, 1850. Translation signed J. S. M.
  • So let his name through Europe ring!
    A man of mean estate,
    Who died as firm as Sparta's king,
    Because his soul was great.
  • Mouths without hands; maintained at vast expense,
    In peace a charge, in war a weak defense:
    Stout once a month they march, a blustering band,
    And ever, but in times of need, at hand.
  • Under the sod and the dew,
    Waiting the Judgment Day;
    Love and tears for the Blue,
    Tears and love for the Gray.
  • Hunde, wollt ihr ewig leben?
    • Dogs, would you live forever?
    • Traditional saying of Frederick the Great to his troops at Kolin, June 18, 1757 (or at Kunersdorf, Aug. 12, 1759). Doubted by Carlyle.
  • We are coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more.
    • J. S. Gibbons. Pub. anon. in New York Evening Post (July 16, 1862).
  • The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay;
    Sat by his fire, and talked the night away,
    Wept o'er his wounds, or tales of sorrow done,
    Shoulder'd his crutch, and show'd how fields were won.
  • Wake, soldier wake, thy war-horse waits
    To bear thee to the battle back;—
    Thou slumberest at a foeman's gates,—
    Thy dog would break thy bivouac;
    Thy plume is trailing in the dust,
    And thy red falchion gathering rust.
    • T. K. Hervey—Dead Trumpeter.
  • He slept an iron sleep,—
    Slain fighting for his country.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book XI, line 285. Bryant's translation.
  • The sex is ever to a soldier kind.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book XIV, line 246. Pope's translation.
  • Ben Battle was a soldier bold,
    And used to war's alarms;
    But a cannon-ball took off his legs,
    So he laid down his arms.
  • But for you, it shall be forever Spring,
    And only you shall be forever fearless,
    And only you shall have white, straight, tireless limbs,
    And only you, where the water lily swims,
    Shall walk along pathways, thro' the willows
    Of your West.
    You who went West,
    And only you on silvery twilight pillows
    Shall take your rest
    In the soft, sweet glooms
    Of twilight rooms.
  • The Seconds that tick as the clock moves along
    Are Privates who march with a spirit so strong.
    The Minutes are Captains. The Hours of the day
    Are Officers brave, who lead on to the fray.
    So, remember, when tempted to loiter and dream
    You've an army at hand; your command is supreme;
    And question yourself, as it goes on review—
    Has it helped in the fight with the best it could do?
    • Philander Johnson. Lines selected by Paymaster Gen. McGowan to distribute to those under his command during the Great War. See Everybody's Magazine, May, 1920, p. 36.
  • He smote them hip and thigh.
    • Judges, XV. 8.
  • In a wood they call the Rouge Bouquet,
    There is a new-made grave today,
    Built by never a spade nor pick,
    Yet covered with earth ten meters thick.
    There lie many fighting men,
    Dead in their youthful prime.
  • Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.
    • I Kings, XX. 11.
  • As we pledge the health of our general, who fares as rough as we,
    What can daunt us, what can turn us, led to death by such as he?
  • "What are the bugles blowin' for?" said Files-on-Parade.
    "To turn you out, to turn you out," the Colour Sergeant said.
  • "For they're hangin' Danny Deever, you can 'ear the Dead March play,
    The regiment's in 'ollow square—They're hangin' him to-day;
    They're taken of his buttons off an' cut his stripes away,
    An' they're hangin' Danny Deever in the morning."
  • Tho 'eathen in 'is blindness bows down to wood an' stone;
    'E don't obey no orders unless they is 'is own;
    'E keeps 'is side-arms awful: 'e leaves 'em all about,
    An' then comes up the Regiment an' pokes the 'eathen out.
  • So 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, at your 'ome in the Soudan;
    You're a pore benighted 'eathen but a first-class fightin' man;
    And 'ere's to you, Fuzzy-Wuzzy, with your 'ay-rick 'ead of 'air;
    You big black boundin' beggar—for you broke a British square!
  • For it's Tommy this an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck 'im out, the brute!"
    But it's "Savior of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot.
  • It is not the guns or armament
    Or the money they can pay,
    It's the close co-operation
    That makes them win the day.
    It is not the individual
    Or the army as a whole,
    But the everlastin' teamwork
    Of every bloomin' soul.
    • J. Mason Knox. Claimed for him by his wife in a communication in New York Times.
  • But in a large sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.
  • Nulla fides pietasque viris qui castra sequuntur.
    • Good faith and probity are rarely found among the followers of the camp.
    • Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia, X, 407.
  • Ned has gone, he's gone away, he's gone away for good.
    He's called, he's killed.
    Him and his drum lies in the rain, lies where they was stood.
    Where they was stilled.
    • A. Neil Lyons ("Edwin Smallweed"), Drums. Appeared in the London Weekly Dispatch.
  • Nicanor lay dead in his harness.
    • II Maccabees, XV. 28.
  • Here's to the Blue of the wind-swept North
    When we meet on the fields of France,
    May the spirit of Grant be with you all
    As the sons of the North advance!
    * * * * *
    Here's to the Gray of the sun-kissed South
    When we meet on the fields of France,
    May the spirit of Lee be with you all
    As the sons of the South advance!
    * * * * *
    And here's to the Blue and the Gray as One!
    When we meet on the fields of France,
    May the spirit of God be with us all
    As the sons of the Flag advance!
  • "Companions," said he [Saturninus], "you have lost a good captain, to make of him a bad general."
  • Napoleon's troops fought in bright fields where every helmet caught some beams of glory; but the British soldier conquered under the cold shade of aristocracy.
  • The greatest general is he who makes the fewest mistakes.
  • Judge not that ye be not judged; we carried the torch to the goal.
    The goal is won: guard the fire: it is yours: but remember our soul
    Breathes through the life that we saved, when our lives went out in the night:
    Your body is woven of ours: see that the torch is alight.
  • The muffled drum's sad roll has beat
    The soldier's last tattoo;
    No more on Life's parade shall meet
    The brave and fallen few.
    On Fame's eternal camping-ground
    Their silent tents are spread,
    And Glory guards, with solemn round
    The bivouac of the dead.
  • Miles gloriosus.
    • The bragging soldier.
    • Plautus. Title of a comedy.
  • But off with your hat and three times three for Columbia's true-blue sons;
    The men below who batter the foe—the men behind the guns!
  • I want to see you shoot the way you shout.
    • Theodore Roosevelt, at the meeting of the Mayor's Committee on National Defense, Madison Square (Oct., 1917). Speech to the audience after their enthusiastic demonstration over the patriotic addresses.
  • A thousand leagues of ocean, a company of kings,
    You came across the watching world to show how heroes die.
    When the splendour of your story
    Builds the halo of its glory,
    'Twill belt the earth like Saturn's rings
    And diadem the sky.
    • "M.R.C.S." In Anzac, on Colonial Soldiers (1919).
  • 'Tis a far, far cry from the "Minute-Men,"
    And the times of the buff and blue
    To the days of the withering Jorgensen
    And the hand that holds it true.
    'Tis a far, far cry from Lexington
    To the isles of the China Sea,
    But ever the same the man and the gun—
    Ever the same are we.
    • Edwin L. Sabin, The American Soldier, in Munsey's Magazine (July, 1899).
  • Abner … smote him under the fifth rib.
    • II Samuel, II. 23.
  • Soldier, rest! thy warfare o'er,
    Dream of fighting fields no more:
    Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking,
    Morn of toil, nor night of waking.
  • Although too much of a soldier among sovereigns, no one could claim with better right to be a sovereign among soldiers.
  • Yet what can they see in the longest kingly line in Europe, save that it runs back to a successful soldier?
  • A soldier is an anachronism of which we must get rid.
  • When the military man approaches, the world locks up its spoons and packs off its womankind.
  • Sleep, soldiers! still in honored rest
    Your truth and valor wearing:
    The bravest are the tenderest,—
    The loving are the daring.
  • Foremost captain of his time,
    Rich in saving common sense.
  • For this is England's greatest son,
    He that gain'd a hundred fights,
    And never lost an English gun.
  • Home they brought him slain with spears,
    They brought him home at even-fall.
    • Alfred Tennyson, version of the song in The Princess, Canto V, as published in the Selections. (1865). T. J. Wise, Bibliography of Tennyson, only reprinted in the Miniature Edition (1870), Volume III, p. 147.
  • Dans ce pays-ci il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un admiral pour encourager les autres.
    • In this country it is found necessary now and then to put an admiral to death in order to encourage the others.
    • Voltaire, Candide, Chapter XXIII.
  • Old soldiers never die;
    They fade away!
    • War Song, popular in England. (1919).
  • Under the tricolor, long khaki files of them
    Through the Étoile, down the Champs Elysées
    Marched, while grisettes blew their kisses to miles of them,
    And only the old brushed the tear stains away—
    Out where the crows spread their ominous pinions
    Shadowing France from Nancy to Fay,
    Singing they marched 'gainst the Kaiser's gray minions,
    Singing the song of boyhood at play.
    • Charles Law Watkins, The Boys who never grew up, To the Foreign Legion, written on the Somme (Dec., 1916).
  • The more we work, the more we may,
    It makes no difference to our pay.
    • We are the Royal Sappers. War Song, popular in England. (1915).
  • Our youth has stormed the hosts of hell and won;
    Yet we who pay the price of their oblation
    Know that the greater war is just begun
    Which makes humanity the nations' Nation.
  • Where are the boys of the old Brigade,
    Who fought with us side by side?
  • Oh, a strange hand writes for our dear son—O, stricken mother's soul!
    All swims before her eyes—flashes with black—she catches the main words only;
    Sentences broken—gun-shot wound in the breast, cavalry skirmish, taken to hospital;
    At present low, but will soon be better.
  • Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
    As his corse to the rampart we hurried.
    • Charles Wolfe, The Burial of Sir John Moore at Carunna, Stanza 1.

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)

  • If I should die, think only this of me:
    That there's some corner of a foreign field
    That is for ever England.
    • Rupert Brooke, "The Soldier", lines 1–3, Rupert Brooke: The Complete Poems, 2d ed., p. 150 (1942, reprinted 1977).
  • Soldiers! When it is announced that a respected and beloved leader has died for our freedom in the course of the battle, do not grieve, do not lose hope! Observe that anyone who dies for his country is a fortunate man, but death takes what it wants, indiscriminately, in peace-time as well as in war. It is better to die with freedom than without it.

    Our fathers who have maintained our country in freedom for us have offered us their life in sacrifice; so let them be an example to you!

    Soldier, trader, peasant, young and old, man and woman, be united! Defend your country by helping each other! According to ancient custom, the women will stand in defence of their country by giving encouragement to the soldier and by caring for the wounded. Although Italy is doing everything possible to disunite us, whether Christian or Muslim we will unitedly resist.

    shelter and our shield is God. May our attackers' new weapons not deflect you from your thoughts which are dedicated to your defence of Ethiopia's freedom.

    Your King who speaks to you today will at that time be in your midst, prepared to shed his blood for the liberty of Ethiopia.
    • Haile Selassie I, emperor of Ethiopia, address to the Ethiopian Parliament, July 18, 1935. "My Life and Ethiopia's Progress", 1892–1937, trans. Edward Ullendorff, p. 220 (1976).
  • The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    • Attributed to Stonewall Jackson. Hunter McGuire, Stonewall Jackson: An Address (1897), p. 16.
  • Oh, it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' 'Tommy, go away';
    But it's 'Thank you, Mister Atkins', when the band begins to play—
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    Oh, it's 'Thank you, Mister Atkins,' when the band begins to play.
    • Rudyard Kipling, "Tommy", stanza 1, chorus, The Collected Works of Rudyard Kipling: Departmental Ditties and Barrack-Room Ballads, vol. 25, p. 168 (1941, reprinted 1970).
  • Honor to the Soldier, and Sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country's cause. Honor also to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field, and serves, as he best can, the same cause—honor to him, only less than to him, who braves, for the common good, the storms of heaven and the storms of battle.
    • Abraham Lincoln, letter to George Opdyke and others, December 2, 1863; in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953), vol. 7, p. 32.
  • This extraordinary war in which we are engaged falls heavily upon all classes of people, but the most heavily upon the soldier. For it has been said, all that a man hath will he give for his life; and while all contribute of their substance the soldier puts his life at stake, and often yields it up in his country's cause. The highest merit, then, is due to the soldier.
    • Abraham Lincoln, remarks at closing of sanitary fair, Washington, D.C., March 18, 1864; in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953), vol. 7, p. 253–54.
  • I have every confidence in the ultimate success of our joint cause; but success in modern war requires something more than courage and a willingness to die: it requires careful preparation. This means the furnishing of sufficient troops and sufficient material to meet the known strength of a potential enemy. No general can make something out of nothing. My success or failure will depend primarily upon the resources which the respective governments place at my disposal. My faith in them is complete. In any event I shall do my best. I shall keep the soldier's faith.
    • Douglas MacArthur, first public statement upon arriving in Australia, March 1942. A Soldier Speaks, Public Papers and Speeches of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, ed. Vorin E. Whan, Jr., p. 115 (1965).
  • Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.
    • Douglas MacArthur, address to a joint session of Congress, April 19, 1951, Congressional Record, vol. 97, p. 4125. According to The Home Book of Quotations, ed. Burton Stevenson, 9th ed., p. 2298h, col. 2 (1964), this is a line from a soldier's parody of a nineteenth century gospel hymn, "Kind Words Can Never Die". The parody was known at West Point where MacArthur was graduated in 1903. However, since the earliest printed version of the song "Old Soldiers Never Die" is found in the London publication, Tommy's Tunes, compiled by Frederick T. Nettleingham, p. 58 (1917), there is also the theory that the origin of the parody was English. That version's line read: "Old soldiers never die, they always fade away". Several other variations have been used by English authors: "They simply fade away", Frank Richards, Old Soldiers Never Die, chapter 23, p. 324 (1933); and "they only fade away", James Ronald, Old Soldiers Never Die, p. 7 (1942).
  • The soldier, above all other men, is required to perform the highest act of religious teaching—sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when He created man in his own image. No physical courage and no brute instincts can take the place of the divine annunciation and spiritual uplift which will alone sustain him.
    • Douglas MacArthur, speech at the annual reunion of veterans of the Rainbow (42d) Infantry Division of World War I, Washington, D.C., July 14, 1935. MacArthur, A Soldier Speaks, p. 69 (1965).
  • An atheist could not be as great a military leader as one who is not an atheist.
    • Thomas H. Moorer, as reported by The Washington Post, April 29, 1970, p. C1. Admiral Moorer, then chairman-designate of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified in U.S. District Court supporting the policy of compulsory chapel attendance at the service academies.
  • It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.
    • Attributed to General George S. Patton, speech at the Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston Massachusetts, June 7, 1945. These words were reported by William Blair in The New York Times, June 8, 1945, p. 6, and by Stephen Lynch in the Boston Herald, June 8, 1945, p. 1, 16 (where "the" appears as "these"). Other newspapers of that day have variant wordings. The speech was extemporaneous and is not included in his published papers. Biographers of Patton have used variant wordings of this quotation, and Mike Wallace as narrator of the 1965 David Wolper television production, General George Patton, quoted this as, "Let me not mourn for the men who have died fighting, but rather let me be glad that such heroes have lived". Patton had expressed himself in similar words at a memorial service at an Allied cemetery near Palermo, Italy, November 11, 1943: "I consider it no sacrifice to die for my country. In my mind we came here to thank God that men like these have lived rather than to regret that they have died". Harry H. Semmes, Portrait of Patton, p. 176 (1955).
  • Our God and Souldiers we alike adore,
    Ev'n at the Brink of danger; not before:
    After deliverance, both alike required;
    Our God's forgotten, and our Souldiers slighted.
    • Francis Quarles, "Of Common Devotion", The Complete Works in Prose and Verse of Francis Quarles, ed. Alexander B. Grosart, vol. 2, p. 205 (1880). President John F. Kennedy quoted this in remarks to members of the First Armored Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia, November 26, 1962: "Many years ago, according to the story, there was found in a sentry box in Gibraltar a poem which said:
      <God and the soldier, all men adore
      In time of danger and not before
      When the danger is passed and all things righted,
      God is forgotten and the soldier slighted.
      This country does not forget God or the soldier. Upon both we now depend. Thank you". Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1962, p. 840. The First Armored Division had been deployed during the Cuban crisis.
  • So, as you go into battle, remember your ancestors and remember your descendants.
    • Tacitus, Agricola, an English Version of a Roman Tale, trans. G. J. Acheson, chapter 4, paragraph 22, final sentence, p. 72 (1938).
  • These endured all and gave all that justice among nations might prevail and that mankind might enjoy freedom and inherit peace.
    • Author unknown. Normandy Chapel, inscription on the exterior of the lintel of the chapel. American Battle Monuments Commission, Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, p. 16 (1975, rev. 1984). This World War II memorial inscription is very similar to the World War I memorial inscription at Oise-Aisne Cemetery: These endured all and gave that honor and justice might prevail and that the world might enjoy freedom and inherit peace. American Battle Monuments Commission, Oise-Aisne American Cemetery and Memorial, p. 9 (1978).
  • Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.
    • Author unknown. Inscription on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery.

“Overcoming the Fear of Lethal Injury: Evaluating Suicidal Behavior in the Military through the Lens of the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide” (2010 Apr)


Edward A. Selby, Michael D. Anestis, Theodore W. Bender, Jessica D. Ribeiro, Matthew K. Nock, M. David Rudd, Craig J. Bryan, Ingrid C. Lim, Monty T. Baker, Peter M. Gutierrez, and Thomas E. Joiner, Jr.; “Overcoming the Fear of Lethal Injury: Evaluating Suicidal Behavior in the Military through the Lens of the Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide”, Clin Psychol Rev, 2010 Apr; 30(3): 298–307.

  • Military service is likely to be a positive occupational experience for most individuals, instilling feelings of honor, accomplishment, contributing to society, and having a sense of mission. Many military personnel may feel like they are part of a greater cause for their country and that they are helping to protect their family. In fact, feelings of pride about serving in the military have been found to exhibit significant negative correlations with a variety of negative outcomes (e.g., depression) in individuals involved in peacekeeping missions (Orsillo et al., 1998). Veterans of World War II and the Korean War reported that combat experience taught them how to cope with adversity and be self-disciplined, and it also instilled feelings of greater independence and broader perspectives on life (Elder & Clipp, 1989).
    One review found that most veterans of war and peacekeeping reported more positive than negative effects of theater experience, and that those who viewed the combat as having an overall positive meaning (i.e., a good cause) also reported better psychological adjustment (Schok et al., 2008). There is also evidence that many Vietnam veterans reported high levels of life satisfaction and attainment (Vogt et al., 2004), including occupational attainment. Yet, this same study also found that these positive effects of military service were attenuated by exposure to combat, wartime atrocities, perceived threats, and malevolent environments.
  • For many individuals who experience feelings of positive contribution while serving in the military, a return from combat or discharge from the military may result in experiencing feelings of loss of purpose or perceived burdensomeness. While on the front lines or in the military, the individual may have felt a greater purpose; but, once discharged, the individual may feel like he or she has nothing more to contribute, or that he or she is a drain on society because of disabling injuries or other adjustment difficulties (Brenner et al., 2008). One study found that excessive motivation to excel in the Army was an important risk factor for completed suicide among soldiers who experienced combat (Bodner, Ben-Artzi, & Kaplan, 2006), suggesting that perhaps these same individuals were experiencing greater feelings of failure or perceived burdensomeness at the time of their deaths.
    Perceptions of burdensomeness may be particularly increased if one abandons or is expelled from the military. One study of veteran Finnish peacekeepers found that those who did not complete their service commitment due to premature repatriation had increased suicide risk relative to those who completed their service (Ponteva et al., 2000). In another study, a psychological autopsy of soldiers who died by suicide found that involuntary repatriation was a significant risk factor for completed suicide (Thoresen et al., 2006). In a related note, military personnel who develop mental disorders have significantly higher than average rates of attrition from the military (Hoge et al., 2002). There is also some evidence that legal problems, misconduct, unauthorized absences, and substance use problems may mediate the relationship between psychological illness and early attrition from the military (Hoge et al., 2005).
  • One study found that military personnel are more likely to report “attitudinal barriers,” such as concerns about being seen as weak or that unit leadership would treat them differently, to seeking out mental health services, rather than “structural barriers,” such as the cost of health care (Hoge et al., 2004). Military personnel experiencing symptoms of PTSD may also experience increased feelings of being a burden on the military. One study of OIF veterans found that those with PTSD (approximately 16% of the sample) reported more sick call visits, more missed workdays, and more problems with physical health (Hoge et al., 2007). Furthermore, approximately one third of the homeless population consists of military veterans (Gamache, Rosenheck, & Tessler, 2003), a situation that may further increase perceived burdensomeness on family and/or society.
  • Military experience may increase suicidal behavior, primarily due to the painful and provocative situations resulting from combat, which may increase acquired capability and enhance one’s ability to inflict lethal self-injury. Combat exposure may also result in feelings of thwarted belongingness and increased feelings of being a burden on others. When all three of these components are present, an individual’s suicide risk is likely to be high. Suicide in the military is a complex phenomenon, but using the IPTS framework may help improve the situation for some of our nation’s most valuable resources and the families of those who serve.


They're saps! Because they risk their lives for strangers.
Michael: Now that's Pop talking.
Sonny: You're goddamn right that's Pop talking.
Michael: They risk, they risk their lives for their country.
Sonny: Your country ain't your blood. You remember that.
  • Jenny: You keep insisting you're not a soldier, but look at you, drawing up strategies like a proper general.
The Doctor: No, no. I'm trying to stop the fighting.
Jenny: Isn't every soldier?
The Doctor: I told you. Nothing but a soldier.
Donna: She's trying to help.

See also

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