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Popular U.S. Navy Sayings, Mottos, and Slogans

by Adam Levine

in Slogans & Sayings

Naval Officers Photo for Slogans
As we get closer to Independence Day, we thought we’d share some popular military slogans & sayings as a resource for sailors, vets, and their families. They’re a nice addition to custom Navy t-shirts or military shirts. And if there’s a particular Navy slogan you find meaningful that you think would be great on custom shirts, feel free comment at the end of the post.

U.S. Navy Mottos

*While there is no official Navy motto, here are the unofficial ones:

“Non sibi sed patriae” – “Not for Self but Country”

-Unofficial Motto

“Honor, Courage, Commitment”

-From the U.S. Navy Core Values

U.S. Navy Recruitment Slogans

“Accelerate Your Life”

-Recruiting Slogan (2001-2009)

“It’s Not Just a Job, It’s An Adventure”

-Recruiting Slogan (1976-1986)

“You Are Tomorrow; You Are The Navy”

-Recruiting Slogan (1988-1990)

“Let the Journey Begin”

-Recruiting Slogan (1996-2000)

“America’s Navy – A global force for good.”

-Recruiting Slogan (2009-Today)

Famous Naval Group Mottos

“Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit.”

-U.S. Navy Seals Official Motto

“The only easy day was yesterday!”

-U.S. Navy Seals Motto

“We Dive the World Over”

-U.S. Navy Divers Motto

“So Others May Live”

-U.S. Naval Search & Rescue Motto

“In Peace and War”

-U.S. Merchant Marines Motto

“Construimus, Batuimus” – “We Build, We Fight”

-U.S. Seabees Motto

Ship Slogans – Aircraft Carriers

“Teamwork, a Tradition”

-USS Nimitz (CVN-68)

“I Like Ike”

-USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69)

“We are Legend; Ready on Arrival; The First, the Finest; Eight Reactors, None Faster”

-USS Enterprise (CVN-65) – Deactivated

“Shall not Perish”

-USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)

“Vis Per Mare” – “Strength from the Sea”

-USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70)

“Qui Plantavit Curabit” – “He who has planted will preserve.”

-USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)

“Spirit of Freedom”

-USS George Washington (CVN-73)

“Look Ahead”

-USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74)

“The buck stops here”

-USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)

“Peace Through Strength”

-USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)

“Freedom at Work”

-USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77)

About the Author - Adam Levine

Adam is a Search Marketing Specialist at CustomInk. He has worked at CustomInk for more than 8 years, and helps contribute to the blog with fun content that helps inspire people. And with puns. Lots and lots of puns.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat Girolamo October 18, 2016 at 6:06 pm

From CT the ‘Spooks’;
In God we Trust; all else we monitor.

Rich September 23, 2016 at 9:46 pm

Operations Specialists 1973-1994
In God We Trust, All others we track and destroy

Debra Bevington August 29, 2016 at 12:16 pm

In the 80s motto was, “Police the World” USN 1980 to 1992

Jeffrey pruitt July 23, 2016 at 10:29 pm

I nicknamed myself Bandit in Highscool before I went into navy uknowingly

Jeffrey Mattew Pruitt 9321 July 23, 2016 at 9:59 pm

I want to be an airborne ranger

Pruitt Jeffrey Mattew July 23, 2016 at 9:00 pm

we are the Lords of Discipline

Sebastian Dangerfield June 15, 2016 at 9:24 pm

“Fair winds and following seas”

Derek Emrie May 19, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Yes “You and the Navy, Full Speed Ahead” was a slogan, I believe in the 90’s…mockingly some sailors shouted “You and the Navy, Go Clean the Head”! My T-shirt iron-on from the recruiters office read “The BIg Guns are in the NAVY” (I joined in 1984), and my favorite bumper sticker from the 80’s read “Sailors Have More Fun”. Yep, four WESTPAC’s, a NORTHPAC, a MEDCRUISE on four different carriers, one tour of overseas prefered shore duty, two shipyards, lots of training and twenty years of fun (mostly anyway). Thank God, many admirals, captains, commanders, lieutenants, ( a few good ensigns), Master/Senior, and Chief Petty Officers, and millions of other NCO’s and non-designated personnel, and all the other people around the world…and I made it out alive, AT1 (AW/SW) Retired USN.

Jules April 18, 2016 at 2:38 pm

My dad’s Navy joke slogans:

NAVY: Never Again Volunteer Yourself

Not just a job, you can quit a job, its an adventure!

USMC: Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children

Haze grey and underway

SH-2 Seasprites: We see you, b*tch!

Rick C April 10, 2016 at 10:57 am

Umm, that’s technically Clint Eastwood as “Gunny Highway” in “Heartbreak Ridge”. If you want to attribute it to a branch, it’s got to go to the US Marines.

Tony C April 9, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Minesweeper: Iron Men in Wooden Ships

Tommy Dusang April 3, 2016 at 2:50 pm

U.S. Navy SEALS:

kentcourtney January 29, 2016 at 6:57 pm

Logistics is to War as Bread and Butter are to Daily Work

jay flowers December 21, 2015 at 1:45 am

do anybody remember this slogan CALL ME AN AIRDALE

Roy Nielsen November 30, 2015 at 12:52 am


L H November 12, 2015 at 12:31 pm

For all destroyer men: Haze Grey and underway

J. South October 13, 2015 at 6:58 am

Our unit motto on the USS Tunny (SSN 682) was
“Illegitimate non carborundum” (don’t let the bastards wear you down)

PENNIE LOMBARD October 13, 2015 at 3:38 am

Timely comments ! I loved the information . Does anyone know if I might be able to find a blank US Navy example to type on ?

Bob T June 11, 2015 at 9:57 am

“See if she’s got a sister”

Patrick February 18, 2015 at 1:23 am

Kevin Heath. The Navy needs recruits. Not pom-pom dancers.

jim slater February 11, 2015 at 8:42 am

under the ocean, over the waves or in the sky our aim is true! Go Navy. JMS

Julie musolino February 11, 2015 at 7:35 am

New slogan suggestion:

“Navy” the color(s) look good on you!”

Angie January 21, 2015 at 1:41 am


My stepdad served in the US Navy on the US Mississippi from 1951-1954. He passed away last Friday and I am putting together a memorial for him. Do you know of any navy motto for that time period? I appreciate any info. Thanks.

Joe Yuna (LCDR/USN), Retired October 14, 2014 at 12:22 am

Gheez-these are academic, and not really somethings a career sailor would say.

I grew up on “…we deal in lead…” “…we have not yet begun to fight…” “men of brass and ships of steel…”

“…fused bombs on target, first pass…”

and my favorite…

“Fighter pilots make movies, but Navy attack pilots make history.”

I have a slew more but not for public consumption. but since the Nam thru Gulf War I, the one truth beyond these quotes is that the US Navy arrives first and always ready for a fight, anytime, anyone and anywhere. And that is why the carriers despite being taunted as expensive archaic hulks easily attacked are still out there doing what they are intended to do – kill the enemy.

And that is why the Chinese are rapidly building their carrier fleet with 3-5 new Reagan class sized carriers, and not those Russian training carriers to get their pilots to do what no other nation but the United States can do – fight globally and around the clock.

Sarah October 7, 2014 at 5:14 pm

I didn’t see a slogan for the years 1990-1996. I served during that time, and I always remembered, “Full Speed Ahead”.

ABH Three August 5, 2014 at 10:06 pm

“AB or Wannabe”

Aviation Boatswain’s Mates – Aircraft Handlers V1 Division – (IKE/CVN69)

J Francis Olson April 8, 2014 at 5:43 pm

My favorite: ” The only easy day was yesterday”

Thanks for sharing.


Foxx Stephanie Queen-Pace March 8, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Fair winds and following seas

Kedarrius September 3, 2013 at 11:25 am

We Navy Men…. their damn few

Kevin Heath August 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm

I edit and create music mixes for cheerleaders and dancers all over the world…….I just mixed a cheer mix for the US Naval Academy and used several of the motto’s in their mix…..I so appreciate you work on finding and posting these slogans……The cheer squad at the US Naval Academy just heard the mix and went NUTS…………………….anything I can do for you just ask as I feel that you are a big part of the success of this cheer mix…………………

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