United States Armed Forces

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American soldiers are warriors for freedom. ~ Black Rain
The American fighting man and woman has served the ideals that everyone, not just those lucky enough to be born between two oceans and imaginary fences, was born with the God-given rights to live, to live with representative governments, and to pursue their own happiness, regardless of culture, color, race, religion, and so forth. ~ Black Rain
American soldiers have always comprised an army out to set others free. ~ Black Rain
The world is a safer and a better place when the United States is the strongest military power in the world. ~ Marco Rubio
America still fields what is arguably the most disciplined, humane military force in history, a model of restraint compared with ancient armies that wallowed in the spoils of war or even more-modern armies that heedlessly killed civilians and prisoners. ~ Newsweek
You don't need to be 'straight' to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight. ~ Barry Goldwater
The battles waged by our troops are part of a broader struggle between two dramatically different systems. Under one, a small band of fanatics demands total obedience to an oppressive ideology, condemns women to subservience, and marks unbelievers for murder. The other system is based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God. ~ George W. Bush
Soldiers and the democratic fallen, now occupy a prominent place in a long tradition of American liberators, extending from the American Revolution... The Civil War was a touchstone in this legacy. Academic historians write that it was about sectionalism... Lincoln knew what lay at its core... Slavery 'constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war'... Soldiers fought to preserve the Union, but also to end human bondage. ~ Joseph M. Skelly
What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength our gallant and disciplined army? These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of those may be turned against our liberties, without making us weaker or stronger for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty. ~ Abraham Lincoln
When I called our troops into action, I did so with complete confidence in their courage and skill. And tonight, thanks to them, we are winning. ~ George W. Bush
The men and women of our armed forces have delivered a message now clear to every enemy of the United States. Even 7,000 miles away, across oceans and continents, on mountaintops and in caves; you will not escape the justice of this nation. ~ George W. Bush
If the star-spangled banner floats only over free American citizens in every quarter of the land, and our country has before it a long and glorious career of justice, liberty, and civilization, we are indebted to the unselfish devotion of the noble army. ~ Frederick Douglass
We have the finest force the world has ever known, because we have the best people. ~ Ashton Carter
I must speak of the services of the men and women who rallied to the colors of the republic... America realizes and appreciates the services rendered, the sacrifices made, and the sufferings endured... All were brave. All were self-sacrificing... The four million defenders on land and sea were worthy of the best traditions of a people... They commanded our pride. They have our gratitude, which must have genuine expression. ~ Warren G. Harding
Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. ~ Abraham Lincoln
We have sent men and women from the armed forces of the United States to other parts of the world throughout the past century to put down oppression. We defeated fascism... We were willing to do it, glad to do it... All in the interest of preserving the rights of people, and when all those conflicts were over? What did we do? Did we stay and conquer? Did we say, ‍'‍Okay, we defeated Germany. Now Germany belongs to us? We defeated Japan, so Japan belongs to us‍'‍? No... We built them up. We gave them democratic systems which they have embraced... Did we ask for any land? No. The only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead, and that is the kind of nation we are. ~ Colin Powell
In America, there’s a reverence for soldiers. One is constantly reminded of their courage, their sacrifice. Soldiers have an implied halo of selflessness, they move with a dignified bearing. Flight attendants upgrade uniformed soldiers to first class, restaurants offer veteran discounts, strangers shake their hands. ~ Anonymous
These are our kids... They're good kids... Joining the army or the Marine Corps does not make you into a crypto-alcoholic Nazi, it makes you into a child of America who is doing a job for his country. ~ Tom Clancy
The military has always been a very introspective organization. One of the reasons why the army is so progressive is its always examining itself. The army is always looking for better ways to do its job... The army led America in integration... The army recognized early on that, you know, black people are pretty much the same as white people; they just tend to be a little bit darker. They make just as good soldiers. ~ Tom Clancy
Soldiers. You are about to return to your homes and your friends... I am greatly obliged to you, and to all who have come forward at the call of their country. I wish it might be more generally and universally understood what the country is now engaged in. We have, as all will agree, a free government, where every man has a right to be equal with every other man. ~ Abraham Lincoln
Your sons and daughters have served you well and faithfully with the calm, deliberated determined fighting spirit of the American soldier, based upon a tradition of historical truth as against the fanaticism of an enemy supported only by mythological fiction. Their spiritual strength and power has brought us through to victory. ~ Douglas MacArthur
Far from being the Great Satan, I would say that we are the Great Protector. We have sent men and women from the armed forces of the United States to other parts of the world throughout the past century to put down oppression. We defeated fascism. ~ Colin Powell
America and our allies are fighting a new kind of war against a different kind of enemy. This conflict places great demands on the men and women of our armed forces, including our Guard and Reserve. They've met every test; they've risen to every challenge. ~ George W. Bush
American soldiers can't fix what ails the Middle East. Sure, they can overthrow dictators. They can kill terrorists and push them out of territory. But eliminating the appeal of a fascistic ideology is something else entirely. ~ Michael Totten
All the races, religions, and nationalities of the world were represented in the armed forces of this nation, as they were in the body of our population. No man's patriotism was impugned or service questioned because of his racial origin, his political opinion, or his religious convictions. Immigrants and sons of immigrants... fought side by side with those who descended from the countries which were our allies, with the sons of equatorial Africa, and with the red men of our own aboriginal population, all of them equally proud of the name Americans. ~ Calvin Coolidge
The essence of U.S. military predominance in the world is, ultimately, the fact that it can, at will, drop bombs, with only a few hours' notice, at absolutely any point on the surface of the planet. No other government has ever had anything remotely like this sort of capability. ~ David Graeber
America's military superiority remains unrivaled; full stop... The U.S. dominates across land, sea, air and space. ~ Ian Bremmer
When we put our differences aside and we declared war on the people that harmed us... It made me feel amazing. It made me feel patriotic, it made me feel strong, it made me love this country in a way that in all my years I'd never really loved... That's the America we all dream of. That's the America that we all want, this America that's strong, and powerful and strikes back when necessary. The sleeping giant that we were taught about in our history books, ready to just to just be the super-power that we need to be and having the best army in the world. ~ Steven Williams
If there has ever been an engine for peace in the world, it is the United States military. ~ Rush Limbaugh

The United States Armed Forces are the national military forces of the United States of America, a country in the continent of North America. Established in the late 18th century, it consists of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard. The President of the United States is the military's overall head, and helps form military policy with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), a federal executive department, acting as the principal organ by which military policy and warfare are carried out.

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Quotes[edit]

A[edit]

  • We have large armies, well disciplined and appointed, with commanders inferior to none in military skill, and superior in activity and zeal. We are furnished with arsenals and stores beyond our most sanguine expectations.
  • You have now in the field armies sufficient to repel the whole force of your enemies and their base and mercenary auxiliaries. The hearts of your soldiers beat high with the spirit of freedom; they are animated with the justice of their cause, and while they grasp their swords can look up to Heaven for assistance. Your adversaries are composed of wretches who laugh at the rights of humanity, who turn religion into derision, and would, for higher wages, direct their swords against their leaders or their country. Go on, then, in your generous enterprise, with gratitude to Heaven for past, success, and confidence of it in the future. For my own part, I ask no greater blessing than to share with you the common danger and common glory.
  • In America, there’s a reverence for soldiers. One is constantly reminded of their courage, their sacrifice. Soldiers have an implied halo of selflessness, they move with a dignified bearing. Flight attendants upgrade uniformed soldiers to first class, restaurants offer veteran discounts, strangers shake their hands and say, 'Thank you for your service'.
  • The army goes rolling along!
    • "Army Goes Rolling Along"

B[edit]

  • [T]he best way for the United States to prepare for the future is to husband its economic strength and respond militarily only if a serious threat develops. Otherwise, Washington should seek to accommodate, rather than combat.
  • I`m a registered Democrat. I tend to vote Democrat. It`s an odd thing to be a Democrat who works with the military, which is overwhelming Republican. I`m comfortable in that; in that milieu because I like to be the skeptic in the room. I like to be the contrarian. And if you`re going to be a contrarian in the military environment, you`re probably going to have to be a Democrat. But that`s the family background I come out of. I had a grandfather who ran as a Progressive.
  • May thy service united ne'er sever, but hold to the colors so true! The Army and Navy forever! Three cheers for the red, white, and blue!
  • Let tyrants shake their iron rod, and slavery clank her galling chains. We fear them not, we trust in God...

    God forever reigns. The foe comes on with haughty stride. Our troops advance with martial noise. Their veterans flee before our youth, and generals yield to beardless boys.

  • One of the most important things the United States did in the aftermath of World War II was to help returning veterans.
  • America's military superiority remains unrivaled; full stop...

    The U.S. dominates across land, sea, air and space. America's Middle East misadventures gave the U.S. military a black eye, but the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan speak more to the changing nature of warfare than declining U.S. military superiority. Terrorists and guerrilla fighters give conventional military powers fits by design. The U.S. must ultimately learn to scale down to better meet those challenges. Nevertheless, while conventional military strength might not deter terrorists, it still does a terrific job of deterring hostile nations.

  • If your country needs you, you should be right there, that is the way I felt when I was young, and that's the way I feel today.
    • Frank Buckles, on service in the U.S. Army, as quoted in The Knoxville News.
  • When I called our troops into action, I did so with complete confidence in their courage and skill. And tonight, thanks to them, we are winning the war...

    The men and women of our armed forces have delivered a message now clear to every enemy of the United States. Even 7,000 miles away, across oceans and continents, on mountaintops and in caves; you will not escape the justice of this nation.

  • To all the men and women of the United States Armed Forces...

    The peace of a troubled world and the hopes of an oppressed people now depend on you. That trust is well placed. The enemies you confront will come to know your skill and bravery. The people you liberate will witness the honorable and decent spirit of the American military. In this conflict, America faces an enemy who has no regard for conventions of war or rules of morality...

    I know that the families of our military are praying that all those who serve will return safely and soon. Millions of Americans are praying with you for the safety of your loved ones and for the protection of the innocent. For your sacrifice, you have the gratitude and respect of the American people. And you can know that our forces will be coming home as soon as their work is done...

    The dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others and we will prevail...

    God bless our country and all who defend her.

  • America and our allies are fighting a new kind of war against a different kind of enemy. This conflict places great demands on the men and women of our armed forces, including our Guard and Reserve. They've met every test; they've risen to every challenge. The war also places demands on those of us in government. We took an oath to protect our country. We have a solemn responsibility to support the service men and women who defend us in the field of battle.
  • Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.
  • The battles waged by our troops are part of a broader struggle between two dramatically different systems. Under one, a small band of fanatics demands total obedience to an oppressive ideology, condemns women to subservience, and marks unbelievers for murder. The other system is based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God and that liberty and justice light the path to peace. This is the belief that gave birth to our nation. And in the long run, advancing this belief is the only practical way to protect our citizens.
  • I miss being the commander in chief, and that's an easy question to answer. I love our military...

    I love the military of the United States, and we are a lucky nation to have people who volunteer to serve.

C[edit]

  • We stand watch...

    Stand alert...

    We're doing something right. We have the finest force the world has ever known, because we have the best people. Now, it's an all-volunteer force so I have to compete with the rest of the economy for the best Americans and I have to think ahead. How do I compete? How do I make us an attractive place to be? So, I need to be constantly looking forward to the future...

    So, there is some reform to be done. But, in the people area it's a matter of keeping a wonderful strength, which is the all-volunteer force, strong in what is a competitive labor market...

    In this institution, it's important that we be apart from the political process. That's our tradition in the United States.

  • [A]s the government of the United States is 'Of the people, for the people, and by the people,' it is quite in order to invite citizens who control in military matters of the nation, as they do in other important national affairs, to 'know thyself.'
  • The military has always been a very introspective organization...

    One of the reasons why the army is so progressive is its always examining itself. The army is always looking for better ways to do its job...

    The army led America in integration...

    The army recognized early on that, you know, black people are pretty much the same as white people; they just tend to be a little bit darker. They make just as good soldiers...

    These are our kids...

    They're good kids...

    Joining the army or the Marine Corps does not make you into a crypto-alcoholic Nazi, it makes you into a child of America who is doing a job for his country...

    They're our kids.

  • Americans think of themselves collectively as a huge rescue squad on twenty-four-hour call to any spot on the globe where dispute and conflict may erupt.
  • Muslims served in the U.S. military under the command of General George Washington, who was Commander in Chief of the Continental Army during the American War for Independence. Rosters of soldiers serving in Washington's Army lists names like Bampett Muhammad, who fought for the Virginia Line between the years 1775 and 1783. Another one of Washington's soldiers, Yusuf Ben Ali, was a North African Arab who worked as an aide to General Thomas Sumter of South Carolina. Peter Buckminster, who fought in Boston, is perhaps Washington's most distinguished Muslim American soldier. Buckminster fired the gun that killed British Major General John Pitcairn at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Years after this famous battle, Peter changed his last name to 'Salaam', the Arabic word meaning 'peace'. Peter Salaam later reenlisted in the Continental Army to serve in the Battle of Saratoga and the Battle of Stony Point. If Washington had a problem with Muslims serving in his Army, he would not have allowed Muhammad, Ali and Salaam to represent and serve non-Muslim Americans. By giving these Muslims the honor of serving America, Washington made it clear that a person did not have to be of a certain religion or have a particular ethnic background to be an American patriot...

    Muslims played historic roles during the Civil War, a turning point in American history...

    Think about the following question. Whose side would George Washington be on? The Muslim citizens serving in the U.S. military, or the mob of bigots who threaten American citizens with violence at their place of worship?

  • All the races, religions, and nationalities of the world were represented in the armed forces of this nation, as they were in the body of our population. No man's patriotism was impugned or service questioned because of his racial origin, his political opinion, or his religious convictions. Immigrants and sons of immigrants from the central European countries fought side by side with those who descended from the countries which were our allies, with the sons of equatorial Africa, and with the red men of our own aboriginal population, all of them equally proud of the name Americans.
  • We live in fame or go down in flame!
    Hey! Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force!
    • Robert MacArthur Crawford, The U.S. Air Force (1947)

D[edit]

  • We will begin the long process of rebuilding the world's greatest military, we will level the playing field in international trade and revitalize American industry, we will give our friends reason to trust us again. Our enemies will have reason to fear us again, and our citizens will have reason to believe again. No, you don't know America, and you don't want to find out the hard way...

    Pray for our troops.

  • Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters 'U.S.'; let him get an edge on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship.
    • Frederick Douglass, whose sons Charles and Lewis served in the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (1862)
  • If he knows enough to shoulder a musket and fight for the flag, fight for the government, he knows enough to vote...

    There is something too mean in looking upon the Negro, when you are in trouble, as a citizen, and when you are free from trouble, as an alien. When this nation was in trouble, in its early struggles, it looked upon the Negro as a citizen. In 1776 he was a citizen. At the time of the formation of the Constitution the Negro had the right to vote in eleven States out of the old thirteen. In your trouble you have made us citizens. In 1812 General Jackson addressed us as citizens; 'fellow-citizens'. He wanted us to fight. We were citizens then! And now, when you come to frame a conscription bill, the Negro is a citizen again. He has been a citizen just three times in the history of this government, and it has always been in time of trouble. In time of trouble we are citizens. Shall we be citizens in war, and aliens in peace? Would that be just?

  • We are not here to applaud manly courage, save as it has been displayed in a noble cause. We must never forget that victory to the rebellion meant death to the republic. We must never forget that the loyal soldiers who rest beneath this sod flung themselves between the nation and the nation destroyers. If today we have a country not boiling in an agony of blood, like France, if now we have a united country, no longer cursed by the hell-black system of human bondage, if the American name is no longer a by-word and a hissing to a mocking earth, if the star-spangled banner floats only over free American citizens in every quarter of the land, and our country has before it a long and glorious career of justice, liberty, and civilization, we are indebted to the unselfish devotion of the noble army who rest in these honored graves all around us.

E[edit]

  • Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!
    You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
    In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
    Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.
    But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!
    I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle.
    We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

G[edit]

  • The U.S. military, unlike any other, maintains a doctrine of global power projection: that it should have the ability, through roughly 800 overseas military bases, to intervene with deadly force absolutely anywhere on the planet. In a way, though, land forces are secondary; at least since World War II, the key to U.S. military doctrine has always been a reliance on air power. The United States has fought no war in which it did not control the skies, and it has relied on aerial bombardment far more systematically than any other military-in its recent occupation of Iraq, for instance, even going so far as to bomb residential neighborhoods of cities ostensibly under its own control. The essence of U.S. military predominance in the world is, ultimately, the fact that it can, at will, drop bombs, with only a few hours' notice, at absolutely any point on the surface of the planet. No other government has ever had anything remotely like this sort of capability. In fact, a case could well be made that it is this very power that holds the entire world monetary system, organized around the dollar, together.
  • Everyone knows that gays have served honorably in the military since at least the time of Julius Caesar.
    • Barry Goldwater, statement of 10 June 1993, as quoted in "Goldwater Backs Gay Troops" in The New York Times (11 June 1993); also quoted in Barry Goldwater (1995), by Robert Alan Goldberg, p. 332
  • You don't need to be 'straight' to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.
    • Barry Goldwater, as quoted in Barry Goldwater (1995), by Robert Alan Goldberg, p. 332
  • War has made us a nation of great power and intelligence. We have but little to do to preserve peace, happiness and prosperity at home, and the respect of other nations. Our experience ought to teach us the necessity of the first; our power secures the latter.

H[edit]

  • Anchors Aweigh, my boys! Anchors Aweigh! Farewell...

    Sail on to victory and sink their bones to Davy Jones', hurray!

    • John Hagan, "Anchors Aweigh" (1997)
  • I must speak of the services of the men and women who rallied to the colors of the Republic in the World War. America realizes and appreciates the services rendered, the sacrifices made, and the sufferings endured. There shall be no distinctions between those who knew the perils and glories of the battlefront or the dangers of the sea, and those who were compelled to serve behind the lines, or those who constituted the great reserve of a grand army which awaited the call in camps at home. All were brave. All were self-sacrificing. All were sharers of those ideals which sent our boys twice armed to war...

    Worthy sons and daughters these. Fit successors to those who christened our banners in the immortal beginning. Worthy sons of those who saved the Union and nationality when civil war wiped out the ambiguity from the Constitution. Ready sons of those who drew the sword for humanity's sake the first time in the world in 1898. The four million defenders on land and sea were worthy of the best traditions of a people never warlike in peace and never pacifist in war. They commanded our pride. They have our gratitude, which must have genuine expression. It's not only a duty; it's a privilege to see that the sacrifices made shall be requited, and that those still suffering from casualties and visibilities shall be abundantly aided and restored to the highest capabilities of citizenship and its enjoyments.

  • Unlike with other armies of the world who pledge to defend their monarch or their homeland, our oath of service links our military to the protection and defense of the Constitution and the obedience to the President under the condition of adherence to orders. In effect, through that oath the U.S. military defends our people's security while also defending ideas, ideals and the rule of law. Throughout a career, every soldier, from private to general, undergoes training in history, legal processes and values. That training complements what we do on rifle ranges or in field exercises. Soldiers have terrific skills, and they are thinking protectors of the American way of life. I was in combat for more than three years of my career; during that time, I saw some horrible things and many of those revisit me in dreams. There is evil in man, and in battle. But in the U.S. military; while there have been occasion where soldiers needed to be disciplined for violating the laws or the regulations -- overwhelmingly and consistently the actions of my brothers and sisters in arms has made me very proud...

    I know our soldiers, and I know our military heritage and the American way of war through study and experience. When well-led and well trained, Americans who wear our country's cloth are pure in spirit and decisive in purpose. They will go where they are sent, fight where they go, and do everything to win where they fight. And they will do it like no other soldier on the globe, because that is who we are. The profession of arms demands much. Most of all, being a uniformed member of the military of the United States requires unmatched skills, but also a strong character, a honed intellect, an understanding that there are limits to what civilians ask us to do. When the orders we receive from a civilian authority pass legal, ethical or moral boundaries, any soldier of any rank has the right and the duty to first question those orders to receive clarification, and if necessary disobey them if they cross the line. That's what makes us different...

    But no matter who is the President, that person never has the authority to 'order' members of the Armed Forces to violate the Uniformed Code of Military Justice, their ethos, their oath or the international law of land combat.

  • Mosul is the site of a very famous old Iraqi university. The American forces were refurbishing the place. They were going to tear down some of the outer walls, give this palace to the university. They'd also connected the university to the Internet and to the Web. Helped people contact scholars on the outside world. That was all the job of these very good- humored, very thoughtful officers who were really helping to rebuild the place...

    I felt a sense of annoyance that I had to go there myself to find any of that out.

  • You have sacrificed nearly ten thousand American lives–the flower of our youth. You have devastated provinces. You have slain uncounted thousands of the people you desire to benefit. You have established reconcentration camps. Your generals are coming home from their harvest bringing sheaves with them, in the shape of other thousands of sick and wounded and insane to drag out miserable lives, wrecked in body and mind. You make the American flag in the eyes of a numerous people the emblem of sacrilege in Christian churches, and of the burning of human dwellings, and of the horror of the water torture...

    Your practical statesmanship which disdains to take George Washington and Abraham Lincoln or the soldiers of the Revolution or of the Civil War as models, has looked in some cases to Spain for your example. I believe–nay, I know–that in general our officers and soldiers are humane. But in some cases they have carried on your warfare with a mixture of American ingenuity and Castilian cruelty...

    Your practical statesmanship has succeeded in converting a people who three years ago were ready to kiss the hem of the garment of the American and to welcome him as a liberator, who thronged after your men when they landed on those islands with benediction and gratitude, into sullen and irreconcilable enemies, possessed of a hatred which centuries can not eradicate.

J[edit]

  • A navy is essentially and necessarily aristocratic. True as may be the political principles for which we are now contending they can never be practically applied or even admitted on board ship, out of port, or off soundings. This may seem a hardship, but it is nevertheless the simplest of truths. Whilst the ships sent forth by the Congress may and must fight for the principles of human rights and republican freedom, the ships themselves must be ruled and commanded at sea under a system of absolute despotism.

K[edit]

L[edit]

  • Sixty years ago, at dawn on June 25, the Korean War broke out when Communist North Korea invaded the Republic of Korea. In response, 16 member countries of the United Nations, including the United States, joined with the Republic of Korea to defend freedom. Over the next three years of fighting, about 37,000 Americans lost their lives. They fought for the freedom of Koreans they did not even know, and thanks to their sacrifices, the peace and democracy of the republic were protected...

    On the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, I remain grateful to America for having participated in the war. At that time, the Republic of Korea was one of the most impoverished countries, with an annual per capita income of less than $40. In 2009, my country became a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Development Assistance Committee, the first aid recipient to become a donor and in only one generation.

  • We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town...

    Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — twenty percent of the population?

    • Curtis LeMay, Strategic Air Warfare: An Interview with Generals (1988).
  • The law of nations knows of no distinction of color, and if an enemy of the United States should enslave and sell any captured persons of their army, it would be a case for the severest retaliation, if not redressed upon complaint.
  • Had I won the Nobel Peace Prize, what I would have done is awarded it to either the Bush administration for successfully disarming the nuclear program of North Korea and working diligently to do the same thing in Iran, or I would have awarded it to General Petraeus and the United States military. If there has ever been an engine for peace in the world, it is the United States military.
  • What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength our gallant and disciplined army? These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of those may be turned against our liberties, without making us weaker or stronger for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises.
    • Abraham Lincoln's speech at Edwardsville, Illinois (11 September 1858); quoted in Lincoln, Abraham; Mario Matthew Cuomo, Harold Holzer, G. S. Boritt, Lincoln on Democracy (Fordham University Press, September 1, 2004), 128. ISBN 978-0823223459.
      • Variant of the above quote: What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, our army and our navy. These are not our reliance against tyranny. All of those may be turned against us without making us weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us. Our defense is in the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism at your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage and you prepare your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of others, you have lost the genius of your own independence and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises among you.
  • It is worthy of note that while in this the Government's hour of trial large numbers of those in the Army and Navy who have been favored with the offices have resigned and proved false to the hand which had pampered them, not one common soldier or common sailor is known to have deserted his flag. Great honor is due to those officers who remained true despite the example of their treacherous associates; but the greatest honor and most important fact of all is the unanimous firmness of the common soldiers and common sailors. To the last man, so far as known, they have successfully resisted the traitorous efforts of those whose commands but an hour before they obeyed as absolute law. This is the patriotic instinct of plain people. They understand without an argument that the destroying the Government which was made by Washington means no good to them.
  • Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
  • Soldiers. You are about to return to your homes and your friends, after having, as I learn, performed in camp a comparatively short term of duty in this great contest. I am greatly obliged to you, and to all who have come forward at the call of their country. I wish it might be more generally and universally understood what the country is now engaged in. We have, as all will agree, a free government, where every man has a right to be equal with every other man.
    • Abraham Lincoln, speech to the One Hundred Sixty-fourth Ohio Regiment (18 August 1864), delivered at Washington, D.C.
  • Every form of human right is endangered if our enemies succeed. There is more involved in this contest than is realized by everyone. There is involved in this struggle the question whether your children and my children shall enjoy the privileges we have enjoyed. I say this in order to impress upon you, if you are not already so impressed, that no small matter should divert us from our great purpose. There may be some irregularities in the practical application of our system. It is fair that each man shall pay taxes in exact proportion to the value of his property; but if we should wait before collecting a tax to adjust the taxes upon each man in exact proportion with every other man, we should never collect any tax at all. There may be mistakes made sometimes; things may be done wrong while the officers of the government do all they can to prevent mistakes. But I beg of you, as citizens of this great republic, not to let your minds to carried off from the great work we have before us. This struggle is too large for you to be diverted from it by any small matter. When you return to your homes rise up to the height of a generation of men worthy of a free Government, and we will carry out the great work we have commenced. I return to you my sincere thanks, soldiers, for the honor you have done me this afternoon.
    • Abraham Lincoln, speech to the One Hundred Sixty-fourth Ohio Regiment (18 August 1864), delivered at Washington, D.C.

M[edit]

  • Your sons and daughters have served you well and faithfully with the calm, deliberated determined fighting spirit of the American soldier, based upon a tradition of historical truth as against the fanaticism of an enemy supported only by mythological fiction. Their spiritual strength and power has brought us through to victory. They are homeward bound; take care of them.
  • The Puerto Ricans forming the ranks of the gallant 65th Infantry on the battlefields of Korea...

    are writing a brilliant record of achievement in battle and I am proud indeed to have them in this command. I wish that we might have many more like them.

  • I don't mean to sound sappy, but the thing that I feel most overwhelmingly is just how humbling it is to be alongside the American troops that are here. The American troops that are here, I believe from what I've seen them do, that they can do any military mission that is assigned to them, and I believe that whatever the U.S. military tries to do, even in those hard places in southern Afghanistan, they will do. But, you can also tell when you're here, that even if everything goes perfectly on the military side, that may very well do that, that will only determine about 20% of the variables that need to be determined in terms of the success of this war effort. It really is up to the Afghan people. Americans will clear that space, it is humbling to see them in action. They're working so hard and they're so good at it, but whether or not the Afghans step up is gonna be whether or not there's something that you can really think of as a victory here.
  • It is a settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute. The United States, while they wish for war with no nation, will buy peace with none.
    • James Madison, letter to Wolcott Chauncy and William Shaler, summarizing the Treaty of 1815, which ended the Second Barbary War and, with it, the practice of the U.S. government paying tribute to pirate states, as quoted in History and Present Condition of Tripoli: With Some Accounts of the Other Barbary States" by Robert Greenhow, published by T.W. White, 1835, page 46.
  • From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli!
    We fight our country's battles in the air, on land, and sea!
    First to fight, for right and freedom!
    • Marines' Hymn
Joshua L. Chamberlain: This is a different kind of army. If you look back through history, you will see men fighting for pay, for women, for some other kind of loot. They fight for land, power, because a king leads them or, or just because they like killing. But we are here for something new. This has not happened much in the history of the world. We are an army out to set other men free. America should be free ground - all of it. Not divided by a line between slave state and free, all the way from here to the Pacific Ocean. No man has to bow. No man born to royalty. Here, we judge you by what you do, not by who your father was. Here, you can be something. Here, is the place to build a home. But it's not the land. There's always more land. It's the idea that we all have value - you and me. What we're fighting for, in the end, we're fighting for each other.
  • We are Americans first, Americans last, Americans always. Let us argue our differences. But remember we are not enemies, but comrades in a war against a real enemy, and take courage from the knowledge that our military superiority is matched only by the superiority of our ideals, and our unconquerable love for them...

    We're Americans, and we'll never surrender. They will.

  • It is the policy of the Department of Defense to conduct all of its activities in a manner which is free from racial discrimination, and which provides equal opportunity for all uniformed members and all civilian employees irrespective of their color.
  • Today, a major in the Army knows nothing but fighting terrorists and guerrillas, because he came into the Army after 9/11...

    But as we get into the higher-end threats, our skills have atrophied over 15 years.

  • In the navy, you can sail the seven seas!
    In the navy, you can put your mind at ease!
    Come on now, people, make a stand! In the navy, in the navy.
    Can't you see, we need a hand?
    In the navy! Come on, protect the motherland. In the navy!
    • "In The Navy" (17 January 1979), written by Jacques Morali and Victor Willis, Go West (1979), Casablanca Records. Performed by the The Village People.

N[edit]

  • America still fields what is arguably the most disciplined, humane military force in history, a model of restraint compared with ancient armies that wallowed in the spoils of war or even more-modern armies that heedlessly killed civilians and prisoners.

O[edit]

  • Wherever there's injustice, oppression, and suffering, America will show up six months late and bomb the country next to where it's happening.
  • The United States of America is the most powerful nation on Earth. Period. It's not even close. We spend more on our military than the next eight nations combined. Our troops are the finest fighting force in the history of the world. No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that's the path to ruin. Surveys show our standing around the world is high...

    When it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead; they call us...

    When you come after Americans, we go after you. It may take time, but we have long memories, and our reach has no limit.

P[edit]

  • I'm a Marine. I don't need to fly a little flag on my car to show I'm patriotic.
    • Josh Ray Person, as quoted in Generation Kill (2003), by Evan Wright, p. 68
  • There's a great deal of criticism about the United States, but there is one thing that nobody criticizes the United States. Nobody thinks the United States went to strike against Iraq in order to gain land or water or oil, nobody thinks America has any ambitions about real estate. As it happened in the 20th century, the American boys went to fight in two world wars, many of them lost their lives. The United States won the wars, won the land, but you gave back every piece of it. America didn't keep anything out of her victories for herself. You gave back Japan, an improved Japan, you gave Germany, an improved Germany, you've heard the Marshall Plan. And today, I do not believe there is any serious person on earth who thinks the United States, whether you agree or don't agree with this strike, has any egoistic or material purposes in the war against Iraq. The reason is, for this strike, that you cannot let the world run wild. And people who are coming from different corners of our life, attack and kill women and children and innocent people, just out of the blue. And I think the whole world is lucky that there is a United States that has the will and the power to handle the new danger that has arrived on the 21st century.
  • I love our flag, our Constitution and our country with a love that has no bounds. I defended all three for 35 years as a soldier and was willing to give my life in their defense.
  • Far from being the Great Satan, I would say that we are the Great Protector. We have sent men and women from the armed forces of the United States to other parts of the world throughout the past century to put down oppression. We defeated fascism. We defeated communism. We saved Europe in World War I and World War II. We were willing to do it, glad to do it. We went to Korea. We went to Vietnam. All in the interest of preserving the rights of people. And when all those conflicts were over, what did we do? Did we stay and conquer? Did we say, 'Okay, we defeated Germany. Now Germany belongs to us? We defeated Japan, so Japan belongs to us'? No. What did we do? We built them up. We gave them democratic systems which they have embraced totally to their soul. And did we ask for any land? No. The only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead, and that is the kind of nation we are.

R[edit]

  • American soldiers are warriors for freedom. While the motives of their political leaders vary and can be debated, by and large, throughout history the American fighting man and woman has served the ideals that everyone, not just those lucky enough to be born between two oceans and imaginary fences, was born with the God-given rights to live, to live with representative governments, and to pursue their own happiness, regardless of culture, color, race, religion, and so forth. American soldiers have always comprised an army out to set others free.
  • The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise: The United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor. We maintain our strength in order to deter and defend against aggression — to preserve freedom and peace.

S[edit]

  • The Continental Army had reached a degree of integration it would not achieve again for another 200 years.
Nathaniel Fick: You want logistics? Join the Army. Marines make do.
  • "Screwby" (2008), written by David Simon and Ed Burns, Generation Kill, Home Box Office
  • I had a childhood fascination with the Army...

    The Sikh concept of standing up for the weak and defending the defenseless is very much at the core of the Sikh psyche, and those are same ideals that the U.S. Army upholds.

  • Today's soldiers, and the democratic fallen, now occupy a prominent place in a long tradition of American liberators, extending from the American Revolution to Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The Civil War was a touchstone in this legacy. Academic historians write that it was about sectionalism, or economics, or politics. These may have been its sources, but Abraham Lincoln knew what lay at its core, and stated as much in his Second Inaugural Address, before the conflict, slavery 'constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war'. Union soldiers fought to preserve the Union, but also to end human bondage.

T[edit]

  • The Continental Army exhibited a degree of integration not reached by the American army again for 200 years, until after World War II.
  • American soldiers can't fix what ails the Middle East. Sure, they can overthrow dictators. They can kill terrorists and push them out of territory. But eliminating the appeal of a fascistic ideology is something else entirely. Replacing a totalitarian regime with some kind of functioning democracy in lands riven by ancient sectarian hatreds and hobbled by political and religious extremism is something else entirely.
  • There shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.

W[edit]

  • It's amazing, when we came together...

    When we put our differences aside and we declared war on the people that harmed us...

    When we got together to help the people and the families of the people that died...

    It made me feel amazing. It made me feel patriotic, it made me feel strong, it made me love this country in a way that in all my years I'd never really loved it. You know? Because that's the America we all dream of. That's the America that we all want, this America that's strong, and powerful and strikes back when necessary. The sleeping giant that we were taught about in our history books, ready to just to just be the super-power that we need to be and having the best army in the world and wow. Wow. A congress and a president that'll work together, and what have we become? Eleven years later? Eleven years later we don't have those answers that we wanted...

    We have most. We know who did it, we know why they did it. We know how they did it. There's conspiracy theories abound; the proof is pretty much there. But, we've done so much to gut ourselves. We've done so much to gut our freedoms...

    At the end of the day, the America that we could have been had we stayed on that path, the America that we could have been had we stayed together, had we worked hard to rebuild, to be better to be stronger, is a dream again. You know, and that's really sad...

    We're more divided than we've ever been, and that? That breaks my heart...

    You? If you're under the age of eighteen, you've never lived in an America like ours. You know? You've lived in a good country, don't get me wrong. You've lived in a fantastic country, one that's ailing right now, there's no arguing that. But, so close and yet? So far...

    I remember that American dream, and I just wonder. I wonder if America can ever be the same again. We'll see.

  • Republicanism did not die away. They remain to temper the scramble for private wealth and happiness and they continue to underlie for many of our ideals and aspirations: for our belief in equality and our dislike of pretension and privilege; our deep yearning for individual autonomy and freedom from all ties of dependency; our periodic hopes, expressed, for example, in the election of military heroes.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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