Slogans & Sayings

Popular US Navy Sayings, Mottos, and Slogans

Posted By Adam Levine

naval team

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. You can even customize face masks for your group. 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)

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Adam is a Search Marketing Specialist at Custom Ink. He has worked at Custom Ink 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.

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  • Laurie Blakeway

    My Daddy was once a recruiter…we had mermaid bumper stickers that said sailors have more fun!!!


  • Captain Jack

    Naval Academy Saying:

    “Honor is like an island, rugged and without a beach… Once you have left it, you may never return.”

    Our favorite saying we remind all the girls of… Especially those dating men in other armed forces lol:

    “All the BIG guns are in the Navy!”


  • Jerry Winningham

    How come you never hear about the men on PT boats in World War II. My father was on a PT boat, he was a motor Machinist. He would not talk about what it was like to be on a PT boat? Can somebody that was on a PT boat give me an idea please.??????


  • Joy Clemmons

    Does anyone know the saying that goes with the Navy?? Something like Fair weather and easy sails???? I can’t find out what it is but its very heart felt and beautiful.Thanks


  • Lissa Eckert

    Hey Joy! I did a quick search and is the saying, “fair winds and following seas” what you’re looking for?


  • Gerd

    Fair weather and following seas


  • Mark Bestic

    Joy, the phrase you are looking for is, Fair winds and Following seas. It is meant as a blessing and wishing one good luck.


  • Keena Kinsey

    Thank you! My brother died (natural causes) while serving in Brunswick in 1990. In a base newsletter, news of his death was posted and a Navy or similar saying was included. I have been unable to locate the newsletter, but I remembered it as “Fair winds…” something something. It is such a relief to finally know what the saying is!

    Again, thank you!


  • Janette Ernst

    I like that.


  • spardy

    I think i can speak for the entire Navy when i say that the only real motto or slogan has and always will be IYAOYAS.


  • Steve

    You could try reading “Devil Boats, The PT War Against Japan”. Also, “PT 109” about the famous PT boat commander John F. Kennedy and 35th President.


  • Dick Chabot

    “Keepers of the Sea”


  • Marianne Peri-Sack

    I am writing a story about a 100 year old retired commander and wanted to end it with the saying but could not remember it all. “Fair Winds and Following Seas” Thank you. My husband, his father and oldest brother were all in the Marines. He would not forgive me if I did not mention their slogan “Semper Fi”


  • Dave Dettor

    NAVY: “Non sibi sed patriae”


  • Moe Coderre

    Is there a Navy saying “the smoking lamp is extinguished”?


  • Lissa Eckert

    Hi Moe! I looked into “the smoking lamp is extinguished” and found the saying is, “the smoking light is lighted” or “the smoking lamp is out” thanks to this article by The Lean Submariner.

    The author says, “When particularly hazardous operations or work required that smoking be curtailed, the unlighted lamp relayed the message. “The smoking lamp is lighted” or “the smoking lamp is out’ were the expressions indicating that smoking was permitted or forbidden.”


  • Luigi

    H everyone I am looking for a new slogan to revive a Navy/coast guard unit. I would really appreciate any help and suggestions. I am a service personnel myself and want to revive the unit and lift morale.

    Any help will be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.


  • Danny Rodriguez

    First Star to the right, and straight on till morning.


  • Paul E Burt

    How about:
    “nulli secundus”. (Second to none)


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