List of United States Armed Forces unit mottoes

Many units of the United States Armed Forces have distinctive mottoes. Such mottoes are used in order to "reflect and reinforce" each unit's values and traditions. Mottoes are used by both military branches and smaller units. While some mottoes are official, others are unofficial.[1] Some mottoes appear on unit patches, such as the U.S. Army's distinctive unit insignia.[2]

The use of mottoes is as old as the U.S. military itself. A general order issued by George Washington on February 20, 1776, when he was commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, directed that "it is necessary that every Regiment should be furnished with Colours" and the "Number of the Regiment is to be mark'd on the Colours, and such a Motto, as the Colonel may choose, in fixing upon which, the General advises a Consultation amongst them."[3]

U.S. Air Force

United States Army

  • 1st Aviation Regiment - Super Primum[13]
  • 2d Aviation Regiment - Excelsus (Lofty)[13]
  • 3d Aviation Regiment - Ex Alis Pugnamus (We Fight on Wings)[13]
  • 4th Aviation Regiment - Vigilantia Aeterna (Eternal Vigilance)[13]
  • 5th Aviation Regiment - Acute and Alert[13]
  • 7th Aviation Battalion - Lucky Seven[13]
  • 8th Aviation Battalion - To the Sound of Guns[13]
  • 9th Aviation - Anytime Anywhere[13]
  • 10th Aviation Battalion - Soldiers of the Sky[13]
  • 110th Aviation Brigade (formerly 10th Aviation Group) - Will Do[13]
  • 11th Aviation Battalion - Exempla Proponere (To Set Forth Examples)[13]
  • 11th Aviation Group - We Make the Difference[13]
  • 12th Aviation Group - Ad Excelsum Conamur (Strive for Excellence)[13]
  • 13th Aviation Battalion - Swift and Deadly (formerly: Shield of the Mekong)[13]
  • 14th Aviation Battalion - Versatility[13]
  • 15th Aviation Group - Flying Mustangs[13]
  • 16th Aviation Battalion - Parati Respondere (Ready to Respond)[13]
  • 16th Aviation Group - Born in Battle[13]
  • 17th Aviation Brigade - Freedom's Eagles[13]
  • 18th Aviation Battalion -Swift Mobility[13]
  • 19th Aviation Battalion - Mobilitas (Mobility)[13]
  • 20th Aviation Battalion - Peak of Performance[13]
  • 21st Aviation Battalion - Peace and War[13]
  • 22d Aviation Battalion - Proud and Professional[13]
  • 24th Aviation - Ever Watchful[13]
  • 25th Aviation - Lele Makou No Ma Pauli (We Fly for the Troops)[13]
  • 28th Aviation - The Eye of an Eagle[13]
  • 29th Division - 29 Let's Go
  • 31st Aviation Group - That We May Serve[13]
  • 32d Aviation Group - Talons of Victory[13]
  • 33d Aviation Brigade - Into Combat We Fly[13]
  • 33d Aviation Group - Pride Courage Valor[13]
  • 140th Aviation - Cura et Perfectio (Accuracy and Perfection) [13]
  • 45th Aviation Battalion - We Try Harder[13]
  • 46th Aviation Battalion - Over and Above[13]
  • 532d Aviation Battalion - Support Everywhere[13]
  • 55th Aviation Battalion - 'Wings of Victory[13]

  • Adjutant General's Corps - Defend and Serve[13]
  • 4th Adjutant General Battalion - High Above the Rest[13]
  • 6th Adjutant General Battalion - Train Defend Serve[13]
  • 14th Adjutant General Battalion - Victory Through Excellence[13]
  • 30th Adjutant General Battalion - Meeting the Challenge[13]
  • 39th Adjutant General Battalion - Excellence Starts Here[13]
  • 42d Adjutant General Battalion - Impolite Militem (Start the Soldier)[13]
  • 43d Adjutant General Battalion - Soldiers for Freedom[13]
  • 46th Adjutant General Battalion - Begin with the Best[13]
  • 67th Adjutant General Battalion - Prepared and Able[13]
  • 95th Adjutant General Battalion - Soldiering Starts Here[13]
  • 120th Adjutant General Battalion - We Set the Example[13]
  • 369th Adjutant General Battalion - Army Pride[13]

  • XVIII Airborne Corps - Sky Dragons[13]
  • 71st Airborne Brigade - Go Texans Go[13]
  • 82nd Airborne Division - "All the way! or Death from Above
  • 82nd Airborne Division Artillery - Mass the Fire[13]
  • 118th Military Police Company (ABN) - Heaven Sent, Hell Bent! The Mighty Mighty
  • 101st Airborne Division - Rendezvous with Destiny[13]
  • 101st Airborne Division Artillery - De Nubibus (From the Clouds)[13]
  • Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne - Wings of Destiny[13]
  • 173th Airborne Brigade - Sky Soldiers[13]
  • 16th Air Traffic Control Battalion - Voice to the Skies[13]
  • 29th Air Traffic Control Battalion - Vector to Victory[13]
  • 58th Air Traffic Control Battalion - Deconflict Lead the Way[13]
  • 59th Air Traffic Control Battalion - Voice of Control[13]
  • 125th Air Traffic Control Battalion - Voice of the Aviation[13]

U.S. Coast Guard

Semper victus (Always Ready) (the Latin motto is also the name of the USCG service song, "Semper victus," composed in 1927).

U.S. Marine Corps

U.S. Navy

National Guard


  1. Mike W. Martin, Of Mottos and Morals: Simple Words for Complex Virtues (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), pp. 68-69.
  2. See generally Barry Jason Stein, U.S. Army Patches: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cloth Unit Insignia (University of South Carolina Press, 1997).
  3. The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, Vol. 4: October 1775-April 1776 (ed. John C. Fitzpatrick: Government Printing Office, 1931), p. 341.
  4. Scott Fontaine, Air Force adopts new motto, Air Force Times (October 7, 2010).
  5. 'Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win' to be Air Force motto (press release), October 7, 2010).
  6. Bill Yenne, The History of the U.S. Air Force (Longmeadow, 1992), p. 120-22.
  7. Bernard C. Nalty, Winged Shield, Winged Sword 1950-1997: A History of the United States Air Force, Vol. 2 (University Press of the Specific: 2003), p. 75.
  8. David Milne, "Strategic Air Command," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Military and Diplomatic History (2013, ed. Timothy J. Lynch), p. 313.
  9. Charles A. Ravenstein, Air Force Combat Wings: Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977, Office of Air Force History, 1984.
  10. Fact Sheet: 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base (January 7, 2013).
  11. 15th Wing Heritage Pamphlet Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine, 15th Wing History Office (2010).
  12. John Okonski, Wing's shield preserves long heritage, U.S. Air Force (July 26, 2007).
  13. Barry Jason Stein, U.S. Army Heraldic Crests: A Complete Illustrated History of Authorized Distinctive Unit Insignia (University of South Carolina Press, 1993).
  14. Robert A. Erlandson, Wrapping up at school Packaging: New graduates of an Aberdeen Proving Ground course now can safely ship everything from computer chips to battle tanks, Baltimore Sun (May 24, 1996).
  15. CID History, United States Army Criminal Investigation Command.
  16. The U.S. Military Academy Coat of Arms and Motto, United States Military Academy (accessed December 19, 2016).
  17. Special Forces Crest, United States Army Special Operations Command (accessed December 19, 2016).
  18. The "New" Army Medical Department (AMEDD) Regimental Insignia, Army Medical Department (accessed December 19, 2016).
  19. U.S. Army Center of Military History
  20. Allan R. Millett, Semper Fidelis: The History of the United States Marine Corps (revised & expanded ed.: Free Press, 1991), p. 112.
  21. Year in Review 2013: Confronting Danger, U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security, p. 13.
  22. Marines Dodging Death: Sixty-Two Accounts of Close Calls in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Iraq and Lebanon (ed. Robert A. Simonsen: 2009), p. 44.
  23. Albert A. Nofi, The Marine Corps Book of Lists (Da Capo Press, 1997), p. 79.
  24. Mike W. Martin, Of Mottos and Morals: Simple Words for Complex Virtues (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), p. 69.
  25. James M. Morris & Patricia M. Kearns, Historical Dictionary of the United States Navy (Scarecrow: 2011), p. 1.
  26. Jacqueline Klimas & Tony Lombardo, Mabus has motto if Navy wants one, Navy Times (April 20, 2013).
  27. Eric M. Bergerud, Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific (Westview, 2000), p. 76.
  28. Grace Palladino, Skilled Hands, Strong Spirits: A Century of Building Trades History (Cornell University Press, 2005), p. 113.
  29. Frank J. Allston, Ready for Sea: The Bicentennial History of the U.S. Navy Supply Corps (Naval Institute Press, 1995).
  30. Command of Navy's Largest Fleet Logistics Center Changes Hands (press release), NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Norfolk Public Affairs (September 10, 2011).
  32. The National Guard turns 375… and is still going strong, Government Book Talk, U.S. Government Printing Office.
  33. National Guard Memorial, National Guard Educational Foundation.
  34. Peter H. Haraty, Put the Vermonters Ahead: A History of the Vermont National Guard, 1764-1978 (Queen City Printers, 1971).
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