You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be.
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Real Life — Military
- The personal creed of Dick Winters and every infantry officer, summing up infantry leadership: "Follow me!"
- The U.S. Marines' Rifleman's Creed:"This is my rifle. There are many others like it, but this one is mine.
My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.
Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy, who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...
My rifle and I know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...
My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will...
Before God I swear this creed: my rifle and myself are defenders of my country, we are the masters of our enemy, we are the saviors of my life.
So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen."
- "Semper Fi!", which is shortened from Semper Fidelis (Latin for "Always Faithful").
- "Forgiveness is between them and God. It's our job to arrange the meeting."
- "Once A Marine, Always A Marine."
- "To err is human; to forgive, divine. Neither is Marine Corps policy."
- "On bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps".
- "No better friend, no worse enemy."
- From 1st Recon: "Swift, silent, deadly."
- The Marines also have the more light hearted, "This is my rifle/ This is my gun./ One is for killing/ The other's for fun." Three guesses what the "gun" is.
- "Warrior by day, lover by night, drunkard by choice, Marine by the grace of God."
- "If the Army and the Navy ever gaze on Heaven's scenes, they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines." Boy, these guys have a lot of creeds.
- That one gets bonus points for being a lyric in the Marine Corps Hymn.
- A much more understated one from the Marines: every Marine a rifleman. And it's true. Unlike any of the other American service branches, the Marines make everyone in their uniform go through full basic and qualify as an infantryman. That includes the lawyers who work for JAG, the musicians who play for the band, the doctors, everyone. They all went through Training from Hell to become combat soldiers, even if what they do has nothing to do with combat.
- The saying is "You join the Army to learn a specialization. You join the Navy to hang out in Pattaya. You join the Air Force to go to computing college. You join the Marine Corps to fight." note
- In their training, every Marine must memorize and be able to recite verbatim "The mission of the Marine rifle squad is to LOCATE, CLOSE WITH, and DESTROY the enemy by fire and maneuver, or to repel his assault by fire and close combat." — even the doctrine can be a badass creed.
- Also: "Hard things we can do right away. Impossible things may take a bit longer."
- 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division: "Retreat, Hell!" (as in: "Retreat? Like Hell we will!")
- The US Navy's Sailor's Creed:"I am a United States Sailor.
I will support the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me.
I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who came before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world.
I proudly serve my country's naval combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment.
I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all."
- They have a pair of unofficial mottoes: "Strength and Honor" and Non sibi sed patriae ("Not for self but for country")
- US Navy Operations Specialist motto: "In God We Trust, All Others We Track"
- The Office of Naval Research has a wing devoted to bringing railguns◊ out of the realm of science fiction. Their motto: Velocitas Eradico ("Speed Destroys")
- From a US Navy recruitment campaign: "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of all who threaten it."
- US Navy SEALs don't advertise, but they are fond of saying "The only easy day was yesterday."
- From Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen: "On time! On target! Never quit!" Their job? Providing More Dakka and Gunship Rescue when the SEALs need both.
- A more formalised creed: "I will close and engage the enemy with the power of my craft. I will never quit, and I will leave no one behind."
- Navy salvage divers, although not meant for combat, can still pull of some pretty badass things.A Navy Diver is not a fighting man, he is a salvage expert. If it's lost underwater, he finds it. If it's sunk, he brings it up. If it's in the way, he moves it.
- The US Coast Guard's Coast Guard Ethos:"I am a Coast Guardsman.
I serve the people of the United States.
I will protect them.
I will defend them.
I will save them.
I am their shield.
For them I am always ready.
I live the Coast Guard core values.
I am proud to be a Coast Guardsman.
We are the United States Coast Guard."
- The official motto is Semper Paratus ("Always Ready")—for drug smugglers, for hurricanes, for burning oil slicks, for swimming in seas one degree above ice, etc.
- How long have you been in the Coast Guard?All me bloomin' life, shipmate!
Me father was King Neptune, me mother was a mermaid
I was born on de crest of a wave, and rocked in de cradle of the deep!
Me eyes is stars, me teeth is spars, me hair is hemp and seaweed
and when I spits *spit* I spits tar!
I's tough, I is, I am, I are, shipmate!
- There's also the unofficial mottoes lampshading the Coast Guard's frequent lack of funding: "Do more with less," Semper Gumby (always flexible), "Adapt, improvise, and overcome"
- More to the point, considering what they do: "You have to go out. You don't have to come back."*
- The US Army's U.S. Soldier's Creed* :"I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.*
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier."
Hooah (Common, though not part of the creed itself)
- The Army motto, from the seal: "This We'll Defend."
- There's the very first one that they ever used: "Don't Tread On Me."
- The Infantryman's Creed:"I am the Infantry. I am my country's strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight — wherever, whenever. I carry America's faith and honor against her enemies. I am the Queen of Battle. I am what my country expects me to be — the best trained soldier in the world. In the race for victory, I am swift, determined, and courageous, armed with a fierce will to win. Never will I fail my country's trust. Always I fight on — through the foe, to the objective, to triumph over all. If necessary, I fight to my death. By my steadfast courage, I have won 200 years of freedom. I yield not to weakness, to hunger, to cowardice, to fatigue, to superior odds, for I am mentally tough,physically strong, and morally straight. I forsake not my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME!"
- US Army Combat Arms training:"Men? We're not men, we're animals, and you made us this way! We don't eat; we don't sleep; all we do is dress-right-dress-right-dress! Straight between the second and third ribs — kill!" Also said in response to being called 'soldiers' or 'ladies'.
- 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment: Allons ("Let's Go")
- 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment: Toujours Prêt ("Always Ready")
- US Army Corps of Engineers: Essayons ("Let Us Try")
- Also "Rangers lead the way... after Engineers clear it."
- Special Forces (the "Green Berets"): De oppresso liber ("To Liberate the Oppressed")
- 10th Mountain Division: "Climb to Glory". Nowadays, their specialty is airborne assault.
- 3rd Infantry Division: Nous Resterons La ("We're staying here"). Said in response to an ally's suggestion that the division should retreat during the Battle of the Marne. After the battle, the 3rd would be known as "The Rock of the Marne."
- 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment "Night Stalkers" have two: "Night Stalkers Don't Quit" and "Death Waits in in the Dark".
- Also "We Own The Night."
- US Army Rangers: "Rangers Lead The Way!"
- 75th Ranger Regiment: Sua Sponte ("Of Their Own Accord")
- The Ranger's Creed:Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of my Ranger Regiment.
Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move further, faster and fight harder than any other soldier.
Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one-hundred-percent and then some.
Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.
Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.
Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.
Rangers Lead The Way!!!
- 101st Airborne Division: "Rendezvous With Destiny"
- Military Police Corps: "Of the troops, For the troops. Assist, Protect, Defend."
- The Army motto, from the seal: "This We'll Defend."
- The Code of Conduct governing American military personnel as POWs:"I am an American fighting man. I serve in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense. I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command I will never surrender my men while they still have the means to resist. If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause. I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America."
- The U.S. Air Force's Airman's Creed:I am an American Airman.
I am a Warrior.
I have answered my Nation's call.
I am an American Airman.
My mission is to Fly, Fight, and Win.
I am faithful to a Proud Heritage,
A Tradition of Honor,
And a Legacy of Valor.
I am an American Airman,
Guardian of Freedom and Justice,
My nation's sword and shield,
Its sentry and avenger.
I defend my country with my life.
I am an American Airman;
Wingman, Leader, Warrior.
I will never leave an Airman behind,
I will never falter,
And I will not fail.
- Their motto: "Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win"
- Pararescue: "That Others May Live."
- The whole thing: "It is my duty as a Pararescueman to save life and to aid the injured. I will be prepared at all times to perform my assigned duties quickly and efficiently, placing these duties before personal desires and comforts. These things I do, that others may live."
- USAF 7th Bomb Wing: Mors Ab Alto ("Death from Above")
- 22d Air Refueling Wing: Ducemus ("We Lead")
- 8th Fighter Wing: Attaquez Et Conquerez ("Attack and Conquer")
- National Security Agency unofficial motto: "In God we Trust. All Others we monitor."
- CIA's counterintelligence division has a variant: "In God we trust, all others we polygraph."
- From the US Merchant Marine: acta, non verba ("act, don't talk")
- Informally, various US special operations units have had their personnel adopt this adaptation of a well-known psalm:Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I am the baddest motherfucker in the whole damn valley.
- A SR-71 base in Kadena, Japan had a different variation on this at their entrance:Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing.
- A SR-71 base in Kadena, Japan had a different variation on this at their entrance:
- Soviet and then Russian Marines: "Where we are, there's victory."
- Also "We're few in number, but we wear telnyashkas!" (telnyashka being a striped sailor shirt)
- Soviet and then Russian Airborne Forces: "Nobody but us!"
- Soviet war cry in World War II: "For the Motherland! For Stalin!"
- In 1942, when the situation was arguably even worse than in the beginning, the order was issued, outlining the necessity to stand fast and hold the enemy at any cost. Its unofficial name: "Not a step back!".
- The 11th and 12th Century Crusaders: Deus le vult ("God wills it"). Since they regularly pulled off victories that should have been impossible, they may have felt this was justified.
- The motto of certifiable badass, Richard the Lionheart: Dieu et Mon Droit. It is translated many ways, one of which is "God and my right hand". Basically, all I need is my right hand and God. Sometimes translated as "God and my right", meaning that the speaker has a God given right to rule. It is the current motto of the British Royal Family.
- William III's slogan of the Glorious Revolution of 1689 (in England): "For the Protestant Religion and the Liberty of England I Will Maintain."
- The Royal Navy has gone through a fair few of these:
- The Royal Navy of England has ever been her greatest defence and ornament - its ancient and natural strength, the floating bulwarks of our island.
- Hearts of oak are our ships, hearts of oak are our men.
- Which is a line from the Royal Navy's official march, dating back to the 18th century.
- Britain's best bulwarks are her wooden walls.
- The current one is Si vis pacem, para bellum ("If you wish for peace, prepare for war")
- SBS (the SAS but on the sea): "By Strength and Guile"
- The Sea Cadet Corps: "Ready, Aye Ready"
- SAS: "Who Dares, Wins."
- The DC comic book Hitman by Garth Ennis actually used Who Dares Wins as the title of one of its trade paperbacks, where a squad of British SAS soldiers is hired to kill the titular character and his friend (because of a friendly fire incident in the Gulf War).
- This creed has been parodied multiple times, notably in the title of a staff training video from The Office.
- The RAF: "Rise Above The Rest". Simple and to the point.
- Another RAF one: Per Ardua Ad Astra ("Through Adversity to the Stars")
- The Royal Air Force Regiment: Per Ardua ("Through Adversity")
- 617 Squadron "The Dambusters": Après Moi Le Déluge ("After Me the Flood")
- Air Training Corps (ATC): "Venture Adventure"
- The British Army: "Be The Best". A centuries-old reputation for professionalism and individual quality of soldiers suggests they live up to it.
- The Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding): Virtutis Fortuna Comes ("Fortune Favours The Bold"). Considering the Duke, quite a badass himself, once said of them "I don't know what effect these men will have upon the enemy, but by God, they frighten me", it's safe to say they were pretty bold.
- The Rifles: Celer et Audax ("Swift and Bold"). Since they almost always march at 140 paces per minute, 20 more than the rest of the British Army, they may have a point.
- Originally from the 95th Rifle Regiment of The Napoleonic Wars: "First on the field, and last off it."
- The Parachute Regiment: Utrinque Paratus ("Ready For Anything")
- Royal Irish Rangers: Faugh A Ballagh ("Clear the way")
- Royal Regiment of Artillery and Royal Engineers: Ubique ("Everywhere") and Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt ("Where Duty and Glory lead")
- Royal Tank Regiment: "Fear Naught". As the principle British MBT of recent decades is the Challenger, they really do have just about nothing to fear
- King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry: Cede Nullis ("Yield to none")
- Queen's Royal Lancers: "Death or Glory"
- The Prince of Wale's own Regiment of Yorkshire and the King's Regiment (Liverpool): Nec aspera terrent ("Difficulties be damned")
- Durham Light Infantry: "Faithful"
- The Worcestershire Regiment: "Firm"
- Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders: Sans Peur, Ne Obliviscaris ("Without fear, do not forget")
- 15th/19th The King's Royal Hussars: Merebimur ("We shall be worthy")
- 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars: Pristinae virtutis memores ("Mindful of former valour")
- The Coldstream Guards: Nulli Secundus ("Second to None")Explanation(long)
- Army Cadet Force (ACF): "To inspire, to achieve"
- The Royal Gurkha Rifles: Kaatar Hunnu Bhanda Marnu Ramro ("Better to die than be a coward")
- The Special Air Service: "Who dares, wins."
- The motto of the Royal Marines is wonderfully simple and understated: Per Mare, Per Terram ("By Sea, By Land"). Referring to where you will be fucked up from.
- Also, unofficially "first in, last out", which has proven accurate because of both their amphibious role and lately their role as one of the British "spearhead" units that rotate 24 hour worldwide notice to move between them, the Paras and the Rifles.
- Your mind is a weapon. A blanket against cold. A shield against fear. It can beat heat, overcome hunger, eradicate pain. You can train your body, turn soft flesh into hard muscle. But if you want to know what it takes to earn the green beret...start with what's under it.
- The British army has had a bit of advice for more than a century. "Officers don't duck." The reason? "It doesn't help and the men don't like it."
- From the Canadian Forces:
- Canada's Black Watch uses the classic Nemo Me Impune Lacessit ("No one provokes me with impunity")
- It's worth noting that this is because the Black Watch are a Scots regiment, and this is the motto of Scotland itself - most frequently rendered as "Wha daur meddle wi' me?"
- This particular Badass Creed is inscribed around the edge of Scottish-issue pound coins, along with various others from the other nations making up the UK on their respective versions.
- This particular Badass Creed was employed in Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado": Montresor reminds Fortunato of this, his family's motto, before bricking him into a niche as revenge for an insult.
- Their elite Special forces, the Joint Task Force 2 has Facta Non Verba AKA "Deeds, not words." Considering these guys are considered rather secretive special forces groups.
- While we're on the topic of the Canadian Military, let us not forget the motto of the Canadian Forces' Intelligence Branch: E Tenebris Lux ("From the Darkness, Light").
- The Canadian Army has Vigilamus pro te, officially translated as "We stand on guard for thee"note
- The Royal Canadian Airforce originally used the RAF's motto, but now uses a similar, equally badass, one: Sic Itur ad Astra (Such is the way to the stars)
- The Royal Canadian Navy has Parati vero parati (Ready aye ready).
- The Royal Canadian Regiment has Pro Patria (For Country)
- The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery have two: Ubique (Everywhere), and Quo fas et gloria ducunt (Whithernote right and glory lead).
- Canada's Black Watch uses the classic Nemo Me Impune Lacessit ("No one provokes me with impunity")
- The Deutsche Marine, the modern German Navy, has one so awesome that it is Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Wir. Dienen. Deutschland. (We. Serve. Germany.)
- That's actually the creed of the whole german armed forces, the Bundeswehr. Army, Navy and Air Force.
- During The French Revolution, at the outset of the Reign of Terror, when France was about to be invaded on all sides and faced Civil War by royalists, the government printed a rather popular poster and leaflet◊ around France that declared what it wants and what it will do "the enemies of the republic":
- SS motto: "Meine Ehre heisst Treue!". In English it's "My Honour is Loyalty".
- The code of bushido practiced by the samurai of ancient Japan."Death is lighter than a feather. Duty is heavier than a mountain."
- The Samurai Creed, written by an anonymous 13th century samurai:I have no parents; I make Heaven and Earth my parents.
I have no home; I make the Tan T'ien my home.
I have no life and death; I make the tides of breathing my life and death.
I have no divine power; I make honesty my divine power.
I have no means; I make understanding my means.
I have no magic secrets; I make character my magic secret.
I have no body; I make endurance my body.
I have no eyes; I make the flash of lightning my eyes.
I have no ears; I make sensibility my ears.
I have no limbs; I make promptness my limbs.
I have no strategy; I make unshadowed by thought my strategy
I have no designs; I make opportunity my design.
I have no miracles; I make right action my miracle.
I have no principles; I make adaptability my principles.
I have no tactics; I make emptiness and fullness my tactics.
I have no talents; I make ready wit my talent.
I have no friends; I make my mind my friend.
I have no enemy; I make carelessness my enemy.
I have no armor; I make Benevolence my armor.
I have no castle; I make Immovable Mind my castle.
I have no sword; I make No Mind my sword.
- The Samurai Creed, written by an anonymous 13th century samurai:
- Mossad: Proverbs 11:4: "Where there is no guidance a nation falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety."
- Formerly Proverbs 24:6: "Through misdirection/wise guidance, thou shalt do war."
- The unofficial motto of the Israeli anti-aircraft units (supposedly full of flight school dropouts): "If I don't get to fly, NO ONE gets to fly."
- Soviet (and Russian) anti-aircraft units have the same motto.
- The Badass Boast "Come and take them" of Leonidas at Thermopylae, when asked to give up his weapons, is currently the Badass Creed of the Greek First Army Corps, and is also the motto of United States Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT).
- In a similar vein, the epitaph above a World War I trench where the Devonshire Regiment fought a particularly fierce battle, and which was subsequently used as a mass grave for them:The Devonshires held this trench.
The Devonshires hold it still.
- In a similar vein, the epitaph above a World War I trench where the Devonshire Regiment fought a particularly fierce battle, and which was subsequently used as a mass grave for them:
- Sri Lankan Special Forces: "Determined, Dared and Done"
- Mottos of the Singapore Armed Forces Singapore Guards: "Ready to Strike", Commando Formation: "Honour & Glory", Singapore Combat Engineers: "Advance and Overcome", Naval Diving Unit: "Nothing Stands In Our Way"
- As a former British colony, Singapore's Special Operations Force's (SOF) creed also answers the SAS' creed: "We Dare".
- The Singapore Guards Formation does have a whole creedWE are GUARDSMAN WARRIORS.
Resolute in loyalty, Steadfast in commitment.
We fight for our country, our Home and our Family.
Land warriors from Air and Sea,
Unfailing in Toughness,
Valiant in our Actions.
We destroy all foes who challenge our Mission.
We are ELITE warriors,
With Daring Initiative,
We Rule the Day,
And we Rule the Night!
Ready to Strike!
- As does the Naval Diving Unit, Singapore's equivalent of the US Navy SEA LsI will swim faster, run further and fight harder from the sea, air and land.
I will fight with all my might and bravely overcome the enemies in defence of my land.
I will be bold and daring with an unwavering 'will-do' attitude.
I will carry out my duty with HONOUR and INTEGRITY.
I will care for my team mates and I will never leave a fallen comrade behind.
Loyalty, Courage, Integrity and TEAM SPIRIT distinguish me.
I am a Naval Diver, Frogman from the Sea.
NOTHING STAND IN OUR WAY!
- The Dahomey Amazons, an all-female army that kicked ass for almost three centuries:"We are men not women.
Those coming back from war without having conquered must die.
If we beat a retreat our life is at the king's mercy.
Whatever town is to be attacked we must overcome it or we bury ourselves in its ruins.
[Current ruler] is the king of kings.
As long as he lives we have nothing to fear."
- The 1st Sount Ranger Regiment, the Philippine Army's primary special forces unit, has a very blunt and simple motto: "We Strike". It has better impact in Filipino, though.
- Its airborne equivalent, the The 1st Special Forces Regiment (Airborne), has "Strike Anywhere". Philippine special forces men are apparently men of few words.
- The Philippine Constabulary and The Army 1st infantry division(TABAK), Back when constables were still attached to the unit Had a saying "Always Outnumbered! Never Outfought!"the chinese learned this the hard way
- The Rats of Tobruk, the Australian soldiers who held Tobruk for eight months against Rommel during World War II: "No surrender".
- Inspired by the Maori, the New Zealand Army got a Haka composed specifically for them. Tu Taua a Tumatauenga.
- The New Zealand Army as a whole has a Badass Creed: Ngāti Tumatauenga ("The Tribe of the God of War")
- 487 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force: Ki Te Mutunga (Maori for "Staying Until it Ends")
- The battle cry of the Almogavars, a group of Spanish mercenaries that were around during the 13th and 14th centuries, which translated as:Listen! listen! Wake up, O iron! Help us God!...Just seeing us coming the villages are already ablaze. Just seeing us passing the crows are wiping their beaks. War and plunder, there are no greater pleasures. Forward Almogavars! Let them call the gravediggers! The voice of the somatent is calling us to war. Weariness, rains, snow and heat we shall endure. And if sleep overtakes us, we will use the earth as our bed. And if we get hungry, we shall eat raw meat. Wake up, O iron! Forward! Fast as the lightning let us fall over their camp! Forward Almogavars! Let us go there to make flesh, the wild beasts are hungry!
- In Finland, there was "One Finn stands for ten Russians!" which was in wide use during World War II. Famously featured on The Unknown Soldier.
- Hilarious in Hindsight, as the Russian invasion of Finland was stalled by excessive casualties. 2.5 Russians died for every fallen Finn.
- Even more badass is The Jäger March, written by one of the Jägers in World War I. Goes something like this:Deep is our blow, our wrath invincible
we have no mercy, no homeland
Our fortunes are at the tip of our swords
our hearts may not give in
Our war cry rings, enchanting the country
which is severing its chains
Our defiance may not tire
until the nation of Finland is free.
- Here's it in Finnish::Syvä iskumme on, viha voittamaton,
meil' armoa ei kotimaata.
Koko onnemme kalpamme kärjessä on,
ei rintamme heltyä saata.
Sotahuutomme hurmaten maalle soi,
mi katkovi kahleitansa.
::Ei ennen uhmamme uupua voi,
kuin vapaa on Suomen kansa.
- "No friend is left behind." This motto was used during the Winter and the Continuation Wars. It applied both in life and in death - Finns never used any mass graves, all the dead were sent back to their hometowns. No friend was left behind, not even a dead one.
- "One Shot, One Kill" - Almost every sniper who has ever lived works to uphold this.
- The Austrian Jagdkommando: Numquam Retro ("Never back")
- The 17th century Polish Winged Hussars: "Kill First, calculate later."
- The Royal Motto of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden: "With God and Victorius Arms." There is also his "War-Psalm" called "Förfäras ej du lilla hop" (Fear not ye little herd):Fear not ye little herd
Although the noise and clamour of thine enemies
from all directions, echo!
They rejoice at your Destruction
but their Mirth will not last long
for your courage will not falter.
Your cause is Gods, answer the call
give yourself over to him, and no harm will befall you
the prophecy of Gideon will come true
and the word and people of the lord
will manfully defend it.
In the name of Jesus our hope is high
that the violence and cunning of the Heathens
will be their own downfall
let them suffer humiliation
God is with us and we with him
victory belongs to us!
- Genghis Khan: "I am the punishment of God...If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."
- The same quote has also been attributed to Attila The Hun.
- Chilean Army Engineers: "Obstacles exist to be overcome"
- Old but good: Louis XIV of France had Ultima Ratio Regum ("last argument of kings") cast on the cannons of his armies.
- The Paris Fire Brigade (a French army unit, despite the name): Sauver ou périr ("Save or perish")
- The French Foreign Legion: "You are in the Legion to die and we will send you where you can die."
- Also La Legion meurt, elle ne se rend pas ("The Legion dies, it does not surrender")
- And unofficial, Marche ou crève! ("March or die!"). It seems these FFL guys are pretty fatalistic.
- And officially, Legio Patria Nostra. This can be translated as either "The Legion is my Country" or "The Legion is my Father".
- The French 13th Parachute Dragoons Unit, the elite reconnaissance unit of France, has "Au-delà du possible" ("Above and beyond the possible")
- Italian forces, despite having been thought as little more of comic relief during WW2 (mostly because of inept high officers or insufficient logistical structure), have a long story of desperate battles where they were defeated to the last man, or where they snatched away victory with daring awesomeness, crazy manly bravery, or innovative thinking. They have their share of badass creeds:
- The Carabinieri (one of the four Italian armed forces): Nei secoli fedele ("Faithful through the centuries").
- The Aeronautica Militare (another of the four armed Forces): Virtute Siderum Tenus (Latin for: "With bravery, [we go] until we'll reach the stars" or "With bravery, the stars are our only limit")
- The two Mountain Brigades, the Alpini: Di qui non si passa! ("From here, none shall pass!" - a reference to the Alpini's role in guarding the Alps, the only way to reach Italy overland)
- The Folgore ("Thunderbolt") Airborne Brigade: Come folgore dal cielo, come nembo di tempesta ("Like lightning from the skies, like storming clouds").
- Each warrior society of the Sioux Nations had their own Badass Creed. The Kit Fox one loses nothing in the translation to English...I am a Fox.
I am supposed to die.
If there is anything difficult, if there is anything dangerous,
That is mine to do.
- The motto of the Elliots, a Scottish reiver clan, is simply "Wha' daur meddle wi' me?" (Who dares meddle with me?)
- Spartans going off to battle were told to return "...with your shield or on it." The idea is that someone who ran from battle would drop their shield to run faster, so returning with the shield meant they fought bravely and survived. Returning on it, means they were killed and are carried home on the shield by their comrades.
- The motto of the Chasseurs Ardennais, a Belgian unit whose, despite being outgunned and outnumbered, stalled the German invasion of Belgium until they were out of ammo : Résiste et mords ! ("Resist and Bite !). They got their nickname, Les Loups Verts ("The Green Wolfs"), from Rommel itself.
- Anarchist militiat leader Durruti's overlaps with badass boast:
- "It is possible that only a hundred of us will survive, but with that hundred we shall enter Saragossa, beat Fascism and proclaim libertarian communism. I will be the first to enter Saragossa; I will proclaim the free commune. We shall subordinate ourselves neither at Madrid nor Barcelona, neither to Azaña nor Companys. If they wish, they can live in peace with us; if not, we shall go to Madrid We shall show you, bolsheviks, how to make a revolution."
- The Dutch Korps Mariniers' (The Marines): "Je moet het maar kunnen." Translated: "You have to be able to do it."
- The motto of the Royal Army Medical Corps counts, even if it's not particularly aggressive: "In Arduis Fidelis". note
Real Life — Civilian
- The English word, "Creed", comes from latin "Credo" — "I believe". Among modern times, it refers to a statement of religious belief, namely the Nicene Creed, and its smaller brother the Apostle's Creed, which express the Trinitarian teaching of Christianity.
- "Am Yisrael Chai!" - "The children of Israel still liveth!". Can be anything; a boast, a threat, a prayer, though generally it means "we're still here, despite everything the world throws at us". Famously shouted by the Jewish chaplain of the British 2nd Army as he concluded his service for the Jewish prisoners of the newly-liberated Bergen-Belsen.
- "The Mountie always gets his man."
- Also, "One riot, one Mountie".
- And that one was either appropriated from or by the Texas Rangers: "One Riot, One Ranger."
- Note that the actual motto of the RCMP is Maintiens le droit ("Maintain that which is right"), which is also a pretty badass creed in and of itself.
- Also, "One riot, one Mountie".
- NASA: Failure is not an option.
- Parodied with Adam Savage's motto, "Failure is always an option".
- Officially: For the Benefit of All. Despite its badassery NASA never used it except in the most obscure material, and even then it is usually tacked with "mankind" or "people" to make it less prideful.
- Unofficially: Ad Astra Per Aspera ("Through Hardships to the Stars").
- The United States Postal Service: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." note
- Three thousand years ago, this was the motto of the courier service of the Persian Empire.
- "They say neither snow nor sleet will stop the Postman. Who the hell do you think gets him to his rounds?? New. York. City. F—-in'. Transit. Going YOUR way."
- "Come hell or high water, the mail must go through!" Certainly not official, but much more badass.
- Three thousand years ago, this was the motto of the courier service of the Persian Empire.
- While the mottos of Canada and most of the provinces are sweeping and boastful (Canada: A Mari Usque Ad Mare, rendered in English as "From Sea to Shining Sea"; British Columbia: Splendor Sine Occasu, best translated as "Splendor Undiminishing") Quebec's motto is the chilling Je me souviens: "I Remember".
- Which leads to another Canadian motto: "Get over it already."
- Which is reminiscent of the former Confederate boast "The South shall rise again," and the less known Yankee rejoinder: "And the North shall slap you down Again!"
- And essentially identical to the American Southern motto/bumper sticker "Fergit, hell!"
- The Mafia, on the topic of assassination: "Only blood can wash away blood."
- Omerta: "If I live, I'll kill you. If I die, I forgive you". Legend says this were the words that a wounded man uttered to his assailant.
- "Never say die, say kill!"
- The code of combat between masters of Irish stick-fighting includes the standard stuff - never back down, announce the name of your clan without fear, and so on - but the real chilling line is how a shillelagh fighter explains his intent to avoid mortal injury."The only fear I have is the fear of killing you."
- The Irish National Anthem, Amhrán na bFhian ("A Soldier's Song") has some kickass moments, like in the chorus:"Tonight we man the breach
For Ireland's cause, live or die
'Mid cannon's roar and rifle's peal
We'll sing a soldier's song".
- It sounds arguably cooler in Irish (Gaeilge), since the language sounds like something a fantasy race would speak (if you can pronounce it):Anocht a théam sa bhearna baoil,
Le gean ar Ghaeil, chun báis nó saoil,
Le gunna scréach faoi lámhach na bpiléar,
Seo libh canaídh amhrán na bhfiann.
- A common Irish Republican catchphrase is "Tiocfaidh ar Lá!" which means "Our day will come!" as Gaeilge.
- It sounds arguably cooler in Irish (Gaeilge), since the language sounds like something a fantasy race would speak (if you can pronounce it):
- Gott zur Ehr, dem Nächsten zur Wehr. Traditional motto of German firefighters, meaning: "To the glory of God and the protection of our neighbours".
- Tsuyoku naritai! is Japanese for "I want to become stronger", something Eliezer Yudkowsky considers a motto for aspiring rationalists.Tsuyoku naritai is Japanese. Tsuyoku is "strong"; naru is "becoming" and the form naritai is "want to become". Together it means "I want to become stronger" and it expresses a sentiment embodied more intensely in Japanese works than in any Western literature I've read. You might say it when expressing your determination to become a professional Go player - or after you lose an important match, but you haven't given up - or after you win an important match, but you're not a ninth-dan player yet - or after you've become the greatest Go player of all time, but you still think you can do better. That is tsuyoku naritai, the will to transcendence.
- The All Blacks Haka."All Blacks, let me become one with the land! This is our land that rumbles! Its my time! Its my moment! This defines us as the All Blacks! Its my time! Its my moment! Our dominance, Our supremacy will triumph! And be placed on high Silver fern! All Blacks! Silver fern! All Blacks!"
- A simple, yet poignant one for actors since at least the time of William Shakespeare: The Show Must Go On.
- It is also a Pretentious Latin Motto, but the motto of the New South Wales Police Force is culpam poena premit comes, which translates to "Punishment closely follows guilt," also quite accurately translated as "Vengeance follows guilt swiftly."
- "We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us."
- "Anonymous: Because none of us is as cruel as all of us."
- The Habsburgs used for centuries the A.E.I.O.U acronym as a motto, first introduced in the 15th century. There were several interpretations but most of them as badass as anything:
- Alles Erdreich ist Oesterreich untertan (German: All the world is subject to Austria)
- Austria est imperio optime unita (Latin: Austria is the empire best united)
- Austria erit in orbe ultima (Latin: Austria will be the last [surviving] in the world)
- Austriae est imperare orbi universo (Latin: It is Austria's destiny to rule the whole world)
- Noble bloodlines and families tend to have badass mottoes in general. Friend of mine comes from a relatively minor line whose motto (ripped from Virgil, apparently) is Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos ("Forgive the weak, vanquish the proud"). Pretty metal no matter how you choose to interpret it.
- "Somerville girls can take care of themselves." The unofficial motto of Somerville College, Oxford University. 'Somerville girls' include the first female Prime Ministers of India (Indira Gandhi) and Britain (Margaret Thatcher)(both of whom were 'wartime' PMs), the first-ever Indian woman lawyer (in 1892!), and several Nobel-winners, that's a deliberately-massive understatement.
- Firearms manufacturer Heckler & Koch used to use "In a world of compromise some men don't." This was later amended to "In a world of compromise some don't." Reasonably badass either way. They also used "When lives are at stake, leave nothing to chance."
- Speaking of firearms manufacturers, Colt had one of their own: "God created all men equal; Sam Colt made them so."
- FBI Hostage Rescue Team: Servare Vitas ("To Save Lives").
- A few of the USA states have some badass mottoes:
- New Hampshire's is probably the most famous: "Live Free or Die."
- West Virginia's is similar: Montani Semper Liberi ("Mountaineers are Always Free")
- Virginia's qualifies, too: Sic Semper Tyranis ("Thus always to tyrants"), especially if you also consider the state's seal (which appears on its flag): the figure of Virtus standing over the defeated figure of Tyranny◊
- Even more so when you remember that those were the words Booth said after killing Lincoln. Virginia has kept the same motto since 1776.
- North Carolina's qualifies, too. Esse Quam Videri ("To Be, Rather than to Seem")
- New York's might be familiar to readers of Marvel Comics: Excelsior or, as it's usually translated, "Ever Upward" (though more colloquially it just means "Higher"). That's a motto that New York City has taken to heart.
- Maryland's state motto also qualifies. It translates to "Manly deeds, womanly words," but that's out-of-date. A more modern translation is "Strong deeds, gentle words." Meaning Marylanders are very polite people - who also get things done.
- The city of San Francisco has a pretty good one too: oro en paz, fiero en guerra ("gold in peace, iron in war").
- Small, but still used. In the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, when the militias from Lexington and Concord asked Acton's (who had bayonets) to lead the charge on the Old North Bridge, Captain Isaac Davis was heard to say "I haven't a man who is afraid to go." (There are different recorded versions, but they're all just as powerful.)
- From Canada and its provinces:
- The motto of Ontarionote is Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet, "Loyal she began, loyal she remains".
- In a similar vein, Quebecnote has Je me souviens, credited to Sir Étienne-Paschal Taché, one of the Fathers of Confederation, who once stated "We will never forget our allegiance till the last cannon which is shot on this continent in defence of Great Britain is fired by the hand of a French-Canadian".
- It is also the motto of the Royal 22e Régimentnote , the francophone regiment of the three Regular Force infantry regiments, who are based in, and recruit primarily from, Quebec.
- Nova Scotia's motto is Munit Haec et Altera Vincit, "One defends and the other conquers".
- New Brunswick's motto is Spem reduxit, "Hope restored".
- Manitoba and Alberta take their mottos from the national anthem. Manitoba's motto is Gloriosus et Liber, "Glorious and Free"note , while Alberta's motto is Fortis et liber, "Strong and free"note .
- Saskatchewan's motto is Multis e Gentibus Vires, "Strength from Many Peoples".
- Newfoundland and Labrador'snote motto is Quaerite prime regnum Dei, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God".
- Nunavut is the only territory with an official motto, Nunavut Sannginivut, which is Inuktitut for "Our land, our strength".
- The various branches of the Scouts have a number of mottoes but the one most fitting is the Scout Promise (called the "Scout Oath" by some organisations, most notably the "Boyscouts of America"), different branches of the movement have different variations, but the original was (given while making the scouting salute* );On my honour I promise that—
- "Once an Eagle, always an Eagle"
- The Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, depending on where you are, are even more hard core about honour, honesty, trust and sisterhood. The Girl Guides of Canada have the Guiding Promise, as an example:I promise to do my best,
To be true to myself, my beliefs and Canada.
I will take action for a better world
And respect the Guiding Law.
- Several Las Vegas Security departments have the unofficial motto "First In, Last Out", pointing out that they are there dealing with stuff before the police, fire department, or paramedics. And are often the last to leave after tying up all the loose ends.
- Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, labor activist (primarily anti-child labor), suffragette, anarchist, general hellraiser, and "The most dangerous woman in America" charged in with the motto:"Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living!"
- Other Labor Slogans are also pretty badass"An injury to one is an injury to all."
"kick the Bosses in the ass, power to the working class."
"When worker's rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back."
- Other Labor Slogans are also pretty badass
- Scotland, as you might expect, also has one: Nemo me impune lacessit ("Nobody injures me with impunity"). It has a rather more direct, official translation into Scots: "Who daur meddle wi' me?" Its unofficial translation, much beloved of Scottish soldiers, is "No-one fucks wi' me an' gets awa' wi' it."
- The Latin form was appropriated by Edgar Allan Poe for "The Cask of Amontillado."
- The WHO AM I speech by Coach Flowers, it's just... awesome
- Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, America as a whole has adopted a few. The most prominent mottoes are "United We Stand" and "Let's Roll", the latter after Todd Beamer's Dying Moment of Awesome on United Airlines Flight 93.
- The motto of the Olympics has been Citius, Altius, Fortius ("Faster, Higher, Stronger") since 1924. A pretty Badass Creed for a sporting event.
- The creed of the Special Olympics is pretty badass:"Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be courageous in the attempt."
- Many national anthems, but especially those 6 ones. Several of them were originally military songs.
- British pound coins have Badass Creed inscribed:England: Decus et Tutamen ("A shield and an ornament")
Scotland: Nemo Me Impune Lacessit ("Nobody injures me with impunity")
Wales: Pleidol wyf I'm gwylad ("True am I to my country")
- There is also the war-cry of international socialism. Whatever one's opinion of that particular idology, that chant is awesome:"Workers of the World, UNITE!"
- When it was motto of the U.S.S.R, it sounded even better (Russian is like that):"Proletariy vsekh stran, soyedinyaytes!"
- When it was motto of the U.S.S.R, it sounded even better (Russian is like that):
- According to Herodatus, the training practice for Persian nobles: "To ride, to shoot, and to speak the truth."
- The historical motto of the Spanish Empire: Plus Ultra ("Further Beyond"), This is in direct contrast from the supposed inscription on the mythical Pillars of Hercules at the Straights of Gibraltar, marking the end of the Mediterranean and of the ancient world: Non Plus Ultra, No Further, a warning against the dangers of the unknown open sea. Spain went beyond and conquered.
- The first lines of the Polish national anthem: Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła, / Kiedy my żyjemy. (Poland has not yet perished,/ So long as we still live.) Even more impressive when you remember that Poland didn't exist for circa 200 years...
- The Tough Mudder challenge, a series of obstacle courses that emphasize teamwork over personal records, has the Tough Mudder Pledge:As a Tough Mudder I pledge that
- I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge.
- I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time.
- I do not whine kids whine.
- I help my fellow Mudders complete the course.
- I overcome all fears.
- "Never again." Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.
- The Germans have also taken this to heart as Nie wieder.
- The Scottish Clan Sutherland (who lent their name to the Thin Red Line) has the motto "Sans Peur" meaning simply "without fear".
- The Norwegian national anthem, after eight verses of Norwegian history told in brief:Oh, as the struggle of our forefathers has raised the country from need to victory, we too, when it is needed, shall secure the country`s peace.
- Starmen.net's motto is "Do not underestimate us," adapted from a similar phrase spoken by Starman Deluxe in Earthbound. This may seem overly dramatic, but not every fandom is as fiercely dedicated as Earthbound's.
- Lajos Kossuth, a XIXth century Hungarian politician who was a leading figure of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution and has become a Memetic Badass in Hungarian culture, had plenty of these. They are too numerous to list, but some of the most badass are:
- "Mindent a népért, mindent a néppel együtt, semmit a népről a nép feje felett. Ez a demokrácia." (All actions for the people, all actions with the people, no actions about the people over the heads of the people. This is democracy.)
- "Ezredéves történelmünk bizonyságul szolgál, hogy nem vagyunk gyermek nemzet; 1848-i történelmünk bizonyságul szolgál, hogy nem vagyunk elaggott nemzet." (Our millenial history proves we're not a juvenile nation; our 1848 history proves we're not a decrepit nation.)
- "Magyarországot a poklok kapui sem fogják megdönteni." (Hungary will not be toppled by even the Gates of Hell.)
- "Revolúciókat sem rózsavízzel, sem glaszékesztűkben nem lehet csinálni." (We cannot raise revolutions with rosewater or wearing guanti glassati.)
- Whatever your standpoint on the system itself is, Soviet Union propaganda had some pretty kickass mottos. SMOKE OF CHIMNEYS IS THE BREATH OF SOVIET RUSSIA◊
- The British Labour Party's official anthem The Red Flag has this stanza:With heads uncovered swear we all.
To bear it onward till we fall;.
Come dungeons dark or gallows grim.
This song shall be our parting hymn.
- Irish Socialist and Nationalist leader James Connolly wrote We Only Want the Earth to declare the socialist movements principles. It is badasss all the way through, but the last two Stanzas are the most intense:The labour fakir full of guile.
Base doctrine ever preaches.
And whilst he bleeds the rank and file.
Tame moderation teaches.
Yet, in despite, well see the day.
When, with sword in its girth.
Labour shall march in war array.
To realize its own, the earth.
For labour long, with sighs and tears.
To its oppressors knelt..
But never yet, to aught save fears,.
Did the heart of tyrant melt..
We need not kneel, our cause no dearth.
Of loyal soldiers needs.
And our victorious rallying cry.
Shall be we want the earth!
- The UK Anti Fascist Action organization was founded as a militant answer to the perceived timidity of moderate anti fascism. They declared their basic principles as follows: "We aren't in the business of complaining about Nazis, we're in the business of stopping them."
- The second part of the New Zealand national anthem.Peace not war shall be our boast
But should foes assail our coast
Make us then a mighty host.
- You don't usually hear expect one of these from a financier, but this advice from Baron Rothschild, which became an unofficial motto of the Rothschild family and investors everywhere, certainly qualifies:"Buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own."
- The last words of the Emperor Septimius Severus to his sons Caracalla and Geta"Be harmonious with each other, enrich the soldiers, and scorn all other men."note
- The Wild Weasels have an unofficial motto which happens to be "You Gotta Be Shitting Me." when they found out what their mission was to search and destroy enemy radar sites.
- The GIGN, RAID and BRI, the elite units of the French Gendarmerie and French National Police have respectively "'S'engager pour la vie'" (To serve for life), "'Servir sans faillir'" (To serve without failing) and "'Per verbum per gladium'" (By words or by the sword).