February 22, 2013

What Wise Men Say About War and the Military

War and peace may well be the oft-most quoted topic. The history of man is the history of war. How we handle that 88-199-etuniquely-human trait of killing our own, marks our humanity and our culture. As long as man has been able to scribe his thoughts on stone or paper, any form that will talk to his descendants when he’s gone to a greater place, man has shared his wisdom learned from the battles and blood that mark our existence.

As you read these quotes, you’ll see an emphasis on leadership, knowing what’s right, facing war with strength and valor–all traits taught at the Naval Academy.

In peace, sons bury their fathers; in war, fathers bury their sons.


“So the important thing in a military operation is victory, not persistence.”

–Sun Tzu (author of the Art of War)

“Battles are lost or won in 15 minutes”

–Napoleon Bonaparte

“Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.”

–General George Patton

“It is better to have a lion at the head of an army of sheep, than a sheep at the head of an army of lions”

–Daniel Defoe

“You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.”

–Sen. Barry Goldwater

ph-10017“The wise learn many things from their enemies.”


Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy if possible.

–Stonewall Jackson

In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign. Secondly, a just cause. Thirdly, a rightful intention.

–Thomas Aquinas

In the Soviet army it takes more courage to retreat than advance.

–Joseph Stalin

In war there is no substitute for victory.

–Douglas MacArthur

He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.

–Niccolo Machiavelli

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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blogger, and IMS tech expert. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, with questions.