How Well Do You Know These Famous Navy Quotes?

Zoe Samuel

I have not yet begun to fight.

John Paul Jones spoke these words on September 23, 1779, during his engagement with the HMS Serapis.

A ship is referred to as she because it costs so much to keep one in paint and powder.

Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz made this slightly droll remark at a time there wasn't much in the way of diverse hiring in the Navy.

Damn the torpedoes, Full speed ahead!

Farragut gave this famous order in 1864 during the Battle of Mobile Bay in the Civil War. Farragut was the son of one of the Revolutionary War's greatest admirals.

We have met the enemy and they are ours.

Born in Rhode Island in 1785, shortly after the birth of his nation, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry was an American war hero of the Second Barbary War.

The difference between a good and great officer is about 10 seconds.

Burke commanded the Atlantic Fleet in World War Two and was one of the most significant US military leaders of the war.

A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace.

Teddy Roosevelt's military background was very important in his vision of how American power should be used globally.

A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things.

Hopper is one of the most significant figures in the creation of computer programming, as well as being a woman of color who made it to the highest rank after the Navy initially rejected her repeatedly.

The highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country

Patton was so good with a sword that he represented the US in the 1912 Olympics. The quote can easily relate to Navy service!

He walked straight out of college into the waiting arms of the Navy.

Cryptonomicon is a 1999 novel by Neal Stephenson with two timelines, one of which takes place in World War Two.

Let every man look well to his aim!

Hull fought in the Revolutionary War and commanded "Old Ironsides" itself, the USS Constitution.

I'm a SEAL in Uncle Sam's Navy. When I'm working, I have a team of guys who could kick James Bond's ass watching my back, covering my six at all times.

Sara Jane Stone is a popular writer of military romance!

There are no great men. There are only great challenges which ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet.

William F. Halsey fought in the Pacific and later commanded the Third Fleet during World War Two.

We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.

This is the opening to "My Father's Son" and is only attributed to Orwell, but is likely his work.

Without a Respectable Navy, alas America!

Captain John Paul Jones' ship Ranger was the first American vessel to be formally saluted by the French navy.

Take her down!

Gilmore said these heroic words after his sub was shot by the Japanese vessel Hayasaki in 1943. He knew that he did not have time, with his injuries, to get below, and made the supreme sacrifice to save his men.

Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious.

Washington made the case that America needed a navy despite its protective massive oceans. He was later proven right when the U.S. Navy secured the borders against various incursions.

You may fire when you are ready, Gridley.

Dewey was a great military commander who spoke these words at the pivotal Battle of Manila Bay in World War Two.

Baseball in the Navy always was much more fun than it had been in the major leagues.

This MLB pitcher had strong opinions about professional vs military games! World War Two put a four-year dent into his career, but he didn't stop playing.

It is not that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.

Drake sailed as a privateer for Queen Elizabeth I and introduced the potato and tobacco to Britain. The former is still very popular, the latter now less so.

Our ships are our natural bulwarks.

Teddy Roosevelt was a military man before he was a president. He wasn't meant to be president, getting the VP position to shut him up so he wouldn't use his popularity against his own party - but McKinley's death put him into the top seat.

Being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned.

Dr. Johnson did not like being on the sea and he didn't mind who knew it.

England expects that every man will do his duty.

Nelson said this during the vital sea battle that secured Britain against the imperial navy of Napoleonic France, setting the stage for Wellington to ultimately defeat Napoleon.

We must be very careful not to assign this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations.

Churchill said this about Dunkirk, when the British army was evacuated just in time to escape being massacred by Nazi forces. They regrouped, came back on D-Day, and kicked the Nazis' tails.

The US Navy has several people on every ship that can navigate by the stars. They don't fool with that.

Nye made this comment in talking about celestial navigation, a skill that naturally is not lost in the Navy no matter the technical advances they enjoy.

The Navy has both a tradition and a future and we look with pride and confidence in both directions.

Arleigh Burke is a major deal in US naval history, hence having a fancy ship named for him in 1991 during his lifetime.

The Navy is very old and very wise.

Kipling was a British writer who grew up in colonized India and is noted for his "Just So" stories.

The Navy credits me with more kills as a sniper than any other American service member, past or present.

Chris Kyle is one of the best snipers in history. He was sadly killed on the way to a shooting range after he came home, by a friend of a friend who had a mental break.

The United States Navy is the envy of every other navy in the world. They don't want to be like us--they want to be us.

Admiral Leighton W. Smith Jr. commanded during the Balkan War, when the US military was part of a NATO intervention that stopped the genocide against Muslims in Yugoslavia.

The ship was named the Bounty: I was appointed to command her on the 16th of August 1787.

Bligh was a notoriously sadistic captain whose crew eventually rebelled and put him in a boat. By an amazing bit of seamanship, he made it home but was court-martialed for his barbarous ways.

God grant me the courage not to give up what I think is right even though I think it is hopeless.

Nimitz commanded the Pacific leet during the Second World War.

The devil is in the details, and everything we do in the military is a detail.

Admiral Hyman George Rickover was a nuclear propulsion specialist who made the nuclear submarines much safer.

The soldier who fights to death never dies, but the soldier who fights for existence never truly exists.

Admiral Yi Sun Shin was a Korean war hero during the Joseon Dynasty of the 1500s who held the Japanese navy at bay.

The major deterrent [to war] is in a man's mind.

Burke served under the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations and has an AEGIS destroyer class named for him.

Any man facing a major decision acts, consciously or otherwise, upon the training and beliefs of a lifetime.

King was the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, during the Second World War, and as such is one of America's great military leaders.

We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall never surrender.

Churchill made this famous speech in response to a catastrophic military defeat at Dunkirk. It stiffened the spine of Britain and empowered the nation to fight back and eventually destroy the Nazi menace.

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About This Quiz

The U.S. Navy is the part of a nation's armed forces that floats on the 70% of our planetary home's surface that is covered by water. A navy can also be non-military, as a merchant navy is the sum total of a nation's traveling fleets - the ones that carry trade goods from port to port and make our modern way of life possible. It can also include fishing vessels, which keep our people fed. Sometimes a ship may belong to one country but register itself elsewhere in order to get around certain tax or legal regulations - but the people who built it it will know that really, it always belongs to the place it came from.

Much has been written about the seafaring life. After all, many a man and woman has run away to join the navy. Some of them head out to the sea to make their fortune. Others do it in order to serve their country and protect it against enemies foreign and domestic. Still more go simply to get the heck out from whatever little town they would happily never see again. The good news is that many of them had something interesting to say about it. Let's see how well you remember the things they said!

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