My favorites, about the military:

  • I tell you, Wellington is a bad general, the English are bad soldiers; we will settle the matter by lunch time. (Bonaparte the morning of the Battle of Waterloo)
  • They were never defeated; they were only killed (the French Foreign Legion)
  • Elevate those guns a little lower (Andrew Jackson)
  • There never is a convenient place to fight a war when the other man starts it (Admiral Arleigh Burke) (Marcus Lutrell, Lone Survivor)
  • In my short ten year career, I’ve been shot, stabbed, blown up, helicopter crashed, drowned three times, had a stroke underwater, captured by the enemy, and buried 45 of my closest friends (Marcus Lutrell, Lone Survivor)
  • You can’t negotiate with someone who is trying to cut your head off (Marcus Lutrell, Lone Survivor)
  • I was paralyzed from the waist down (he and 3 SEALs had fought off 150 Taliban for hours—he was the Lone Survivor) and I thought, What am I going to do now? (Marcus Lutrell, Lone Survivor)
  • We aren’t heroes out their in the military. We’re just Patriots. (Marcus Lutrell, Lone Survivor)
  • I sat there and felt sorry for myself for one minute, then I had to keep going (Marcus Lutrell, Lone Survivor)
  • Any government that thinks war is somehow fair and subject to rules like a baseball game probably should not get into one. Because nothing’s fair in war, and occasionally the wrong people do get killed. (I confess–this is from the book) (Marcus Lutrell, Lone Survivor)
  • Once you send me over there, take the leash off of me, I’m going to create so much hell, do everything I can to annihilate everything in front of me so that they are never going to attack us again (Marcus Lutrell, Lone Survivor)
  • We’re getting it done. (Marcus Lutrell, Lone Survivor)
  • In peace, sons bury their fathers; in war, fathers bury their sons.–Herodotus
  • “So the important thing in a military operation is victory, not persistence.” –Sun Tzu (author of the Art of War)


  • “Battles are lost or won in 15 minutes” –Napoleon Bonaparte
  • “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” –General George Patton
  • “It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions” –Daniel Defoe
  •  “You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.” –Sen. Barry Goldwater
  •  “The wise learn many things from their enemies.” –Aristophanes
  •  Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy if possible. –Stonewall Jackson
  •  In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign. Secondly, a just cause. Thirdly, a rightful intention. –Thomas Aquinas
  •  In the Soviet army it takes more courage to retreat than advance. –Joseph Stalin
  •  In war there is no substitute for victory. –Douglas MacArthur
  •  He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command. –Niccolo Machiavelli



  1. Hi, my daughter (high school senior, Boulder, CO) is deep in the application process for both the USNA and USMA. We just found your blog/website and have been reading all the sections.
    May we ask you some questions ?

    Is your daughter still in the USNA, or has she graduated ?

    Does your daughter have a blog, or insights into her time at the USNA ?
    In particular, what she has experienced vs what she thought she would
    experience ?

    What key components/preparation should a candidate prepare for
    prior to the Congressional interview ?

    Thank you for this insightful and timely website.




    • Hi Karen

      Congrats on your daughter’s patriotism and commitment to our country. I am sure you are very proud of her!

      My daughter has graduated from USNA. Newly-commissioned officers go through three job categories after they graduate, before they decide to continue with the Navy or not. My daughter (Meaghan) selected Surface Warfare Officer so her first was on a cruiser and the second on an LPD. She’s in her third and final job, which is in DC. She loves it! Here’s her blog. She doesn’t post too often, but she’s always more than happy to talk to upcoming Mids. Leave her a comment and I know she’ll get back to you.

      Good luck! What an exciting journey you have in front of you. One piece of advice: The application is long and tedious and trying–for a reason. Don’t let it frustrate you or her.


  2. Hello! You have a very informative, passionately written blog. I have a question for which I cannot find answers. First, I am a mom of a high school senior who is an official candidate for USNA. He is currently completing the application process. He is working on the essay, will have his CFA this week, and waiting for DodMerb to fulfill. He is currently working on completing the senator, congressional and VP requests for nominations. I am helping him write the resume, one part of the requirements. I wish to know the key sections he should elaborate on so that he can keep it organized. I gave him these in this order: Academics, Leadership, Athletics, Activities/Clubs/Community (Volunteer) Service, Interests/Goals. Within Academics, Leadership and Athletics he is listing Awards. Does this sound appropriate? Thank you for your help!


    • Hi Grace–sorry I seemed to have missed this comment. Is everything going well? Best of luck!


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