In my opinion, this is the best Marine Corps quote ever. It came from a Marine facing the enemy in what was arguably, as any, as grim and desperate fight of the war. They all knew survival was unlikely but they ran at the enemy anyway. Nothing defines leading from the front any better.
Sergeant Jim “Mush” Burdick, one of 12 of 22 surviving sergeants in his 2nd Joint Assault Signal Company, V Amphibious Corps, 2nd Marine Division, Saipan, June, 1944, orders to his remaining Marines as they prepared to counterattack the largest “banzai” attack of WWII:
“Don’t get in front of me.”
To #46: My father-in-law, still alive, was at Saipan with the 75th JASCO, Tinian, Bikini Atoll, and then Iwo Jima (the only Army assault company in the Marines’ 3rd assault wave).Took casualties up to 75% of the company. Still driving at 92.
My son’s company’s slogan/flag during OIF was/is “First Forward” and they were, on March 21, 2003.
Left out of the quotes, at least from the movie “Patton” was his comments to the Germans at one tank battle: “You bastards. I read the same book.” (or closely paraphrased)
Patton sure had a way with words, didn’t he. I wish we could clone him today. Colin Powell definitely needs a good cloning.
Words only a few soldiers/people ever heard, from Mike Benge (former USMC; AID officer, Central Highlands, S. Vietnam) while he was a prisoner in the Hanoi Hilton during our Christmas bombings in 1972: Yelling in Vietnamese, he told the guards that they were going to die and that they could go to hell, as the bombs fell on them. As relayed by cellmate Larry Stark, civilian POW.
Mike also had a way with words, and still does. I owe him a pizza.