100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (2024)

Posted By Stephanie SelfJune 26, 2013

Navy SEALs have created a wealth of quotes, sayings, and slang thanks to their long and rich history. From the salty wisdom of seasoned sailors to the motivational mantras that fuel those who dare to venture out into the deep blue, these words hold an anchor’s worth of meaning. We’re diving into the depths of naval expressions that have weathered the storm. Add these famous Navy quotes and sayings to custom t-shirts, hoodies, backpacks, athletic wear, hats, and more to show your pride and patriotism. So, let’s take the plunge and explore these expressions that have stood the test of the tides!

Famous Navy Quotes

Navy Sayings

Navy SEAL Sayings

Navy Slang

Navy Jokes

Famous Navy Quotes

  1. “I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think, can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction: ‘I served in the United States Navy.'” President John F. Kennedy
  2. “The Navy has both a tradition and a future – and we look with pride and confidence in both directions.” Admiral George Anderson
  3. “The Navy is much more than a job; much more than service to the country. It is a way of life. It gets in your blood.” – Admiral Vern Clark
  4. “A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guarantee of peace.” – President Theodore Roosevelt
  5. “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.” – Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz
  6. “It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.” – George William Curtis
  7. “Sailors, with their built-in sense of order, service, and discipline, should really be running the world.” – Nicholas Monsarrat
  8. “The Navy has a way of doing things. They say, ‘Jump!’ and you jump, no matter how high.” – Robert Duvall
  9. “A powerful Navy we have always regarded as our proper and natural means of defense, and it has always been of defense that we have thought, never of aggression or of conquest. But who shall tell us now what sort of Navy to build? We shall take leave to be strong upon the seas in the future as in the past, and there will be no thought of offense or provocation in that. Our ships are our natural bulwarks.” – President Woodrow Wilson
  10. “Don’t give up the ship!” – James Lawrence
  11. “Damn the torpedoes, Full speed ahead!” – David Glasgow Farragut
  12. “No matter what happens, the U.S. Navy is not going to be caught napping.” – Frank Knox
  13. “And without a respectable Navy—alas, America!” – John Paul Jones
  14. “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm’s way.” – John Paul Jones
  15. “For the first time in a long time, I felt like I had a purpose being in the Navy. It wasn’t about money and rank or prestige. It was about raising the flag. We do what we do because no one else can or will do it. We fight so others can sleep at night. And I had forgotten that.” – Timothy Ciciora
  16. “As a Navy SEAL and sniper, one of the things I learned was that excellence matters.” – Brandon Webb
  17. “The Navy is very old and very wise.” – Rudyard Kipling
  18. “There’s this misconception that the Navy is this cruise ship, and you get to go out and sail around, and every now and then, you have to swab the deck. But, no, it is a very impressive group of young people that live at sea, in this place that’s very uncomfortable. They exude a pride that is well-deserved.” – Tom Hanks
  19. “A captain of the Navy ought to be a man of strong and well-connected sense, with a tolerable good education, a gentleman, as well as a seaman both in theory and practice.” – John Paul Jones
  20. “It is the function of the Navy to carry the war to the enemy so that it is not fought on U.S. soil.” – Chester W. Nimitz

100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (3)

Navy Sayings

  1. “The only easy day was yesterday.” – Reflects the SEALs’ commitment to constant improvement and the challenges they face.
  2. “Embrace the suck.” – Encourages a positive attitude in difficult situations.
  3. “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” – Reminds SEALs to prioritize precision and control in their actions.
  4. “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” – Emphasizes the importance of adapting to discomfort for growth.
  5. “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” – Motivates SEALs to push through physical and mental challenges.
  6. “Adapt, improvise, overcome.” – Encourages creative problem-solving in dynamic situations.
  7. “Earn your Trident every day.” – Remindes SEALs of the constant need to prove their skills and dedication.
  8. “Stay in the fight.” – Encourages perseverance and determination in difficult circ*mstances.
  9. “Discipline equals freedom.” – Highlights the concept that structure and self-control lead to freedom in action.
  10. “Failure is not an option.” – Reinforces the SEALs’ commitment to success and achieving their mission.
  11. “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.” – Underscores the importance of rigorous preparation.
  12. “Train like your life depends on it.” – Recognizes the seriousness of training for real-life situations.
  13. “Mind over matter.” – Encourages mental resilience and strength.
  14. “Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion; you sink to the level of your training.” – Emphasizes the critical role of training in high-stress situations.
  15. “It pays to be a winner.” – Reinforces the value of success and the mindset of striving for victory.
  16. “No plan survives first contact with the enemy.” – Acknowledges the need for flexibility in changing circ*mstances.
  17. “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” – Encourages thoroughness and dedication to tasks.
  18. “Success is not owned. It’s leased, and rent is due every day.” – Reinforces the idea that achievement requires ongoing effort.
  19. “Success begins with self-discipline.” – Stresses the importance of personal accountability and control.
  20. “The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.” – Reinforces the value of always being prepared.

Navy SEAL Sayings

  1. “High and tight” – Refers to a short haircut, reflecting discipline and professionalism.
  2. “Stay frosty.” – Be alert and vigilant.
  3. “One mind, any weapon.” – Highlights the importance of adaptability and resourcefulness.
  4. “Don’t run from adversity; run towards it.” – Emphasizes facing challenges head-on.
  5. “Leave no man behind.” – Reflects the commitment to teamwork and loyalty.
  6. “Don’t let your mind control you. Control your mind.” – Encourages mental strength and self-mastery.
  7. “Failure is not fatal.” – Recognizes that setbacks are part of the journey.
  8. “Success demands sacrifice.” – Acknowledges the effort required to achieve greatness.
  9. “Every evolution is a mission.” – Treats every task as seriously as a combat mission.
  10. “Mindset, skillset, toolset.” – Recognizes the holistic approach to success.
  11. “Never stop fighting.” – A reminder to persevere in the face of challenges.
  12. “No easy day.” – Reflects the rigorous nature of SEAL training and operations.
  13. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” – Emphasizes determination over physical attributes.
  14. “Hunt, track, close with, destroy the enemy.” – Highlights the core mission of SEALs.
  15. “Do today what others won’t, so tomorrow you can do what others can’t.” – Emphasizes the value of hard work and preparation.
  16. “Ready Up” – Be prepared for immediate action.
  17. “Pain is temporary. Pride is forever.” – Speaks to the pride SEALs will always feel despite their intense training.
  18. “Keep your head on a swivel.” – Emphasizes the necessity of being constantly aware of your surroundings.
  19. “Don’t stop when you’re tired—stop when you’re done.” – Emphasizes the importance of never giving up.
  20. “Be someone special.” – Reminds Navy SEALs to work hard every day.

Navy Slang

  1. Frogman: A term used to refer to a Navy SEAL, often referencing their amphibious capabilities.
  2. BUD/S: Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, the intense selection course for aspiring SEALs.
  3. Hooyah: A motivational cheer or affirmation SEALs use to show enthusiasm and unity.
  4. Hell Week: A grueling five-day period during BUD/S training characterized by intense physical and mental challenges.
  5. Grunt: Refers to infantry soldiers, often used playfully to refer to SEALs’ services.
  6. Goon Squad: A SEAL team on a mission or operation.
  7. Finning: Using swim fins to propel through the water.
  8. Over the Beach: An operation involving both water and land elements.
  9. Fire in the Hole: A warning used before a detonation or explosion.
  10. Wetsuit Delta: A wet wetsuit.
  11. Triple Canopy: A dense jungle environment.
  12. Night Owl: A SEAL who excels in nighttime operations.
  13. Shoot House: A facility for close-quarters combat training.
  14. Four Eyes: SEALs who wear glasses or have corrective eyewear.
  15. Ready Up: Prepare for immediate action.
  16. Shellback: A sailor who has crossed the equator.
  17. Alpha Squad: The first squad in a platoon.
  18. Echo: Enemy or opposing force.
  19. Tango: Target or hostile.
  20. Rambo: A derogatory term for someone overly aggressive or showy.

Navy Jokes

1. How do Navy officers greet each other?

With an “aye, aye” five!

2. Why does the Navy prefer to recruit non-swimmers?

Because they defend the ship with a lot more enthusiasm.

3. What’s a sailor’s favorite type of music?

Sea shanties, of course!

4. Why do submarines hum?

Because they don’t know the words.

5. What’s a sailor’s favorite seafood?

Fish and ships.

6. How do Navy officers keep their uniforms wrinkle-free?

They use ironclads.

7. What’s a sailor’s favorite game?


8. What do you call a sailor who’s good at math?

An algae-bro.

9. How do Navy sailors like their coffee?

Strong to port, weak to starboard!

10. Why was the sailor great at telling stories?

He always had a sea-quel in mind!

11. Why did the sailor get kicked off the baseball team?

He was caught stealing sea-cond base.

12. How do Navy sailors communicate underwater?

They use subtitles.

13. Why did the sailor go to the gym? He wanted to improve his “sea”-level fitness!

14. What’s a sailor’s favorite type of sandwich?

A sub.

15. What grades do you need to join the Navy?

7 C’s.

16. What did the Navy say to the coast guard?

“I’ll SEAL you later.”

17. I became a chef after I left the Navy. Some would say I am a seasoned veteran.

18. I wanted to join the Navy, but that ship has sailed.

19. The US Navy will start to equip all its subs with emotional support dogs. After a lot of study, they decided on dachshunds. They will be subma-weiners.

20. Why is there no Jedi Navy?

Sailing is a path to the dockside.

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Stephanie Self

Stephanie Self loves to tell stories and expose new perspectives through writing. When she's not typing on a laptop or buried in a book, she loves watching horror movies and pro wrestling, playing video games, and snuggling with her cat, CleoCatra. Lest you should think she never sees the light of day, she also spends time practicing hot yoga, hiking, and traveling.

    View Comments

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (13)

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

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (15)

      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!”

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (17)

      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.??????

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (19)

      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

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (21)

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

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (23)

      Fair weather and following seas

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (25)

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

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (27)

      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!

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (29)

      I like that.

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (31)

      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.

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (33)

      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.

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (35)

      “Keepers of the Sea”

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (37)

      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”

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (39)

      NAVY: “Non sibi sed patriae”

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (41)

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

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (43)

      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.”

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (45)

      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.

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (47)

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

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (49)

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

    • 100 Navy Quotes and Sayings (51)

      Navy through Life, Navy till Death

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