Semper Fidelis

TO EACH OTHER, TO OUR COUNTRY, AND TO THE BATTLES AHEAD.

 

Latin for “Always Faithful,” Semper Fidelis is the motto of every Marine—an eternal and collective commitment to the success of our battles, the progress of our Nation, and the steadfast loyalty to the fellow Marines we fight alongside. Established in 1883, this motto distinguishes the bond developed and shared between Marines. It goes beyond words that are spoken, as it is a warriorhood that is lived.

 

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THE MEANING OF SEMPER FIDELIS

It is the fighting spirit of every Marine that can make the promise to win our Nation's battles. This promise is proclaimed in our motto, Semper Fidelis, and it means that we are always faithful to those on our left and right, from the fellow Marines we fight alongside, to those in our communities for which we fight.

SEMPER FIDELIS FROM THE FAITHFUL

 

Semper Fidelis is used as a greeting, a motivation, and an expression that unites past and present Marines. During war or peacetime, Semper Fidelis speaks volumes. It represents tradition and responsibility—beginning the moment a young man or woman commits to earning the title of U.S. Marine. See the stories below to witness Semper Fidelis in action.

CAPTAIN ANNELIESE SATZ

Faithful to her defining purpose and role in our Nation's common cause, Capt Anneliese Satz became the first female Marine selected to fly the F-35B—a 5th generation stealth fighter aircraft. The undeniable determination and outstanding merit of Marines like Capt Satz sets the standard for all who follow.

CAPTAIN ANNELIESE SATZ

Faithful to her defining purpose and role in our Nation's common cause, Capt Anneliese Satz became the first female Marine selected to fly the F-35B—a 5th generation stealth fighter aircraft. The undeniable determination and outstanding merit of Marines like Capt Satz sets the standard for all who follow.

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MARINES AT THE BATTLE OF IWO JIMA

After hard-fought, substantial victories in Pacific battles such as Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, and Peleliu, American Marines set course for Iwo Jima in February of 1945. What the world would soon find out is that the American spirit would show its full force in the fighting spirit of Marines, carrying the resolve of our entire Nation. By remaining faithful to their critical mission, to their country, and to each other during the darkest days, Marines were able to will each other to overcome enormous challenges to fight and win the Battle at Iwo Jima in 1945. "Every square inch of beachhead was under methodical, deadly fire—like a giant sponge, every hole a separate hell."—Historian Bill D. Ross

CORPORAL KYLE CARPENTER

Without hesitation, Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter shielded another Marine from a grenade blast during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2010. On June 19, 2014, he received the Medal of Honor for his courageous acts and is the military’s youngest living Medal of Honor recipient. Before he completed his time in uniform, LCPL Carpenter earned a promotion to Corporal and is today a living embodiment of the true meaning of Semper Fidelis.

CORPORAL KYLE CARPENTER

Without hesitation, Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter shielded another Marine from a grenade blast during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2010. On June 19, 2014, he received the Medal of Honor for his courageous acts and is the military’s youngest living Medal of Honor recipient. Before he completed his time in uniform, LCPL Carpenter earned a promotion to Corporal and is today a living embodiment of the true meaning of Semper Fidelis.

SERGEANT MAJOR JOHN CANLEY

SgtMaj (Ret.) John Canley was awarded the Medal of Honor on 17 October 2018, for his exceptional leadership, his extraordinary heroism to carry his wounded Marines to safety, and his determination to fight and win during the Battle of Hue. By refusing to quit on his fellow Marines, SgtMaj Canley brought undeniable meaning to the idea of “Always Faithful.”

SERGEANT MAJOR JOHN CANLEY

SgtMaj (Ret.) John Canley was awarded the Medal of Honor on 17 October 2018, for his exceptional leadership, his extraordinary heroism to carry his wounded Marines to safety, and his determination to fight and win during the Battle of Hue. By refusing to quit on his fellow Marines, SgtMaj Canley brought undeniable meaning to the idea of “Always Faithful.”

MARINES AT THE BATTLE OF HUE

For 33 days in the winter of 1968, one of the Corps’ most famous urban battles took place—the Battle of Hue. Despite being outnumbered, Marines fought intensely to secure a victory on 2 March. The Battle of Hue proved that no matter the circumstances, Marines are always prepared to fight, equipped to win, and faithful to one other and our Nation.

MARINES AT THE BATTLE OF HUE

For 33 days in the winter of 1968, one of the Corps’ most famous urban battles took place—the Battle of Hue. Despite being outnumbered, Marines fought intensely to secure a victory on 2 March. The Battle of Hue proved that no matter the circumstances, Marines are always prepared to fight, equipped to win, and faithful to one other and our Nation.

JOHN PHILIP SOUSA

Responsible for bringing the United States Marine Band to an elite level of excellence, John Philip Sousa wrote “Semper Fidelis” in 1888—traditionally known as the Marine Corps’ official march. To this day, the embodiment of Semper Fidelis is shown through the music and precision of the Marine Corps band.

JOHN PHILIP SOUSA

Responsible for bringing the United States Marine Band to an elite level of excellence, John Philip Sousa wrote “Semper Fidelis” in 1888—traditionally known as the Marine Corps’ official march. To this day, the embodiment of Semper Fidelis is shown through the music and precision of the Marine Corps band.

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