Quotes - Duty (page 2)

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India ... was a hard country for toughened veterans; it could be hell for a boy soldier. One of them, serving in the 71st Regiment - the Highland Light Infantry - wrote: "This was the first blood I had ever seen shed in battle; the first time the cannon had roared in my hearing charged with death. I was not yet seventeen years of age, and had not been six months from home. My limbs bending under me with fatigue, in a sultry clime, the musket and accoutrements that I was forced to carry were insupportably oppressive. Still, I bore all with invincible patience. During the action, the thought of death never crossed my mind. After the firing commenced, a still sensation stole over my whole frame, a firm determined torpor, bordering on insensibility. I heard an old soldier answer, to a youth like myself, who asked what he should do during the battle, 'Do your duty.'" - John Laffin, Boys in Battle, 1966


Give me to live and love in the old, bold fashion;
A soldier's billet at night and a soldier's ration;
A heart that leaps to the fight with a soldier's passion.
For I hold as a simple faith there's no denying:
The trade of a soldier's the only trade worth plying;
The death of a soldier's the only death worth dying.
... I'll die as a soldier dies on the Field of Glory.
... Death in my boots may-be, but fighting, fighting.
- Rudyard Kipling, The Song of the Soldier-born, Rhymes of a Red Cross Man, 1916


Among us, few were hero's, hust foot-sloggers like the rest,
Of all the men who fought there, no doubt we were the best,
We didn't fight in hatred, weren't dragged to the Line in tears,
We were good old 'Rocky's Army,' just a bunch of volunteers

- Lt. E.R. Knight, 3/PPCLI, quoted in Robert Hepenstall, Find the Dragon, The Canadian Army in Korea 1950 - 1953, 1995


His Majesty the King has done me the honour of conferring upon me a Commission as an Officer. This is the greatest honour that can be conferred upon any man. It places me in a position of authority and responsibility in the service of my King and Country in the most ancient and honourable profession in the world. - "An Officer's Code" (from the Alberta Military Institute Journal, 1925), reprinted in Gunner Bulletin No 17, Summer, 1990


As Wolseley, speaking of the 'uneducated private soldier', said: 'The Regiment is mother, sister and mistress.... It is a high, an admirable phase of patriotism, for, to the soldier, his regiment is his country.' Men died for the honour of their regiment. 'Forward the 53rd!' was a more potent cry than 'Forward for Britain!'- Byron Farwell, Queen Victoria's Little Wars, 1972


"No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of an enemy." - Horatio Nelson, quoted in James F. Dunnigan and Albert A. Nofi, Dirty Little Secrets; Military Information You're Not Supposed to Know, 1990


"La base de la discipline".

It is the first thing a Legionairre must learn by heart, and woe betide him if he does not know it, it goes like this:
La discipline étant la force principale des armées, il importe que tout supérieur obtiènne de ses subordonnés une obeissance entière et une soumission de tout les instants, que les ordres soient executées instantanément, sans hésitation, ni murmure, l'autorité qui le donne en est responsable et la réclamation n'est permise à l'inferieur lorsqu'il a obei.

[Discipline being the principal strength of all armies, it is essential that all superiors receive from their subordinates absolute obedience and submission on all occasions. Orders must be executed instantly without hesitation or complaint. The authorities who give them are responsible for them and an inferior is only permitted to make an objection after he has obeyed.]

A.R. Cooper, March or Bust; Adventures in the Foreign Legion, 1972


22 July, 1917
I received my marching orders to-day and am off tomorrow. ... We know that death is not the worst thing we have to face. ... Don't grieve because I have to go out again. My place is at the Front. That you must recognize. - Johannes Phillipsen (killed in action, 20th Sept., 1917); quoted in Guy Chapman, OBE, MC (Ed), Vain Glory; A miscellany of the Great War 1914-1918, 1937/1968


I wish to address a few words to those of you who upon graduation are proposing to enter Canada's militia:
a. You also have chosen a challenging avocation.
b. You are citizen soldiers who walk hand in hand with your Regular Force colleagues who are the soldier citizens.
c. Your greatest enemies are frustration and public apathy. Remember that all the problems you confront have been experienced before. They happened in the days before 1914 and again in the days before 1939.
You who choose to serve in Canada's Reserve Forces are the present day embodiment of some one and one quarter million Canadians, living and dead, who proudly wore the uniform of the Armed Forces of Canada in World War II. You can serve proudly for you fill a great and fundamental need; though at any point in history this may not be recognized by some.

- Address by Colonel Commandant RCAC; Major General Bruce F. MacDonald, DSO, CD, at Graduating Ceremony, Combat Arms School, August 1976, reprinted in the Armour Newsletter No 7, Jan 1977


Sometimes it is suggested that Canada does not need armed forces in peacetime because if war comes we will be able to find the necessary experts. It is true that we can recruit doctors, engineers and the logisticians from civilian life. However, what is not understood is that we cannot find and we cannot hire from any civilian profession men who are skilled in the art of leading and training men for war. This is the special expertise possessed only by those of you who are trained in the art of military leadership. Men like you cannot be hired, they must be grown and educated in Canada, in peacetime. - Address by Colonel Commandant RCAC; Major General Bruce F. Macdonald, DSO, CD, at Graduating Ceremony, Combat Arms School, August 1976, reprinted in the Armour Newsletter No 7, Jan 1977


"The Safety, Honour and Welfare of Your Country
Come First Always and Every Time
The Honour, Welfare and Comfort of the Men You
Command Come Next
Your Own Ease, Comfort and Safety Come Last,
Always and Every Time"

- Indian Military Academy Motto, Dehra Dun (From a speech by Field Marshal Sir Philip Chetwode, commander-in-chief in India, at the opening of the IMA) - quoted in Roger Beaumont, Sword of the Raj, 1977


Let us be clear about three facts. First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm. The role of the average artilleryman, for instance, is largely routine; the setting of a fuse, the loading of a gun, even the laying of it are processes which, once learnt, are mechanical. The infantryman has to use initiative and intelligence in almost every step he moves, every action he takes on the battlefield. We ought therefore to put our men of best intelligence and endurance into the Infantry. - IN PRAISE OF INFANTRY, Field-Marshal Earl Wavell, "The Times", Thursday, 19th April 1945


"Why did it have to be us, Sargeant?"
"Because you're here; nobody else."

- dialogue from the movie "Zulu"


The Knights Templer motto is:

Non nobis, Domine, Non nobis, sed nomine tuo, da gloriam.

Meaning: Not unto us, Lord, not unto us, but to thy name give glory.


The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.
Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.
Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.
The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage and strictness.
By Method and Discipline are to be understood the marshalling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduation of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure. - Sun Tzu Wu, The Art Of War, Trans by Lionel Giles Introduction and Notes by Brigadier General Thomas R Phillips (The Military Service Publishing Company, Pennsylvania) 1949


"The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only though is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom." - Sun Tzu Wu, The Art Of War, Trans by Lionel Giles Introduction and Notes by Brigadier General Thomas R Phillips ( The Military Service Publishing Company, Pennsylvania) 1949


"In the middle of the 19th century, Prussia already looked back on a long tradition of unusual devotion to profession and duty. The tradition of respect for the subordinate's dignity, which was quite uncommon at that time, was just as long. This was the basis for a natural development of 'Auftragstaktik': command and control procedures that were not created, not conscientiously developed from a philosophy or by necessity. Rather they developed by themselves and were considered normal and natural." - AUFTRAGSTAKTIK (MISSION TYPE ORDERS); Briefing by BGen K. Hoffman (Commandant of the German Pionierschule) as presented to the USAES on 12 Oct 94/ reproduced as an enclosure to 1180-1 (D Mil E) 2 Dec 94 - CME UPDATE - DECEMBER 1994


"The second requirement is a high degree of self-consciousness. Independent action, i.e. "Auftragstaktik", will develop only if soldiers consider themselves experts in their fields, if the commanders are proud to be part of the military, if NCOs and officers prefer their military leader assignment to anything else (and do not secretly long for the next assignment in the headquarters - next to the almighties with the red general's collar patches, if possible)." - AUFTRAGSTAKTIK (MISSION TYPE ORDERS); Briefing by BGen K. Hoffman (Commandant of the German Pionierschule) as presented to the USAES on 12 Oct 94/ reproduced as an enclosure to 1180-1 (D Mil E) 2 Dec 94 - CME UPDATE - DECEMBER 1994


"However, it is suggested that unit cohesion is, to a large extent, a function of the degree to which the combat troops perceive that their officers are willing to fight and die with them. In Vietnam the record is absolutely clear on this point: the officer corps simply did not die in sufficient numbers or in the presence of their men often enough to provide the kind of 'martyrs' that all primary sociological units, especially those under stress, require if cohesion is to be maintained." - Richard A. Gabriel and Paul L. Savage, Crisis in Command: Mismanagement in the Army; 1978


"It appears that a continued sense of 'cause,' at whatever level of saliency, is not very important to military cohesion. Contemporary literature further calls into question any sense of mission on the part of soldiers other than the immediate tactical mission. The Stouffer Study of World War II demonstrated that the main factor in combat cohesion was found in the primary group." - Richard A. Gabriel and Paul L. Savage, Crisis in Command: Mismanagement in the Army; 1978


"Some of the principal internal but generally widespread military conditions linked to disintegration, in association with of other influences discussed earlier, appear below:

"1. Relative to their number and particularly the higher ranks, American Army officers did not share the burden of death that they asked of the men they sent to fight....

"2. The tactical nature of the war and its manner of logistical configuration created a system that, in contrast to other wars, was circular instead of linear. That is to say, large number of officers and men in diverse specialities - mostly noncombat - were placed in base camp areas. Accordingly, combat troops were exposed to large numbers of high-ranking officers with conspicuously greater privileges and greater immunity from harm than in any other war.

"3. High-ranking officers were associated with a career system that was manifestly corrupt..." - Richard A. Gabriel and Paul L. Savage, Crisis in Command: Mismanagement in the Army; 1978


"If the Army is ever to recover from the debacle of Vietnam, it must first undergo a 'moral renaissance,' an essential precondition for further operational rebuilding. Among its first priorities must be to ensure that officers develop the capacity to more reasonably balance moral and career considerations. Such a capacity is required at all ranks, but most certainly at the general officer level, where policy is made. Accordingly, it is imperative that the Army develop a doctrine of moral protest for use by the officer corps." - Richard A. Gabriel and Paul L. Savage, Crisis in Command: Mismanagement in the Army; 1978


"The first duty of any soldier is to master combat skills. More important, the soldier must be exposed to the atmosphere of the combat unit, not only to build and awareness of its social context, but to inculcate the ethos of the legion." - Richard A. Gabriel and Paul L. Savage, Crisis in Command: Mismanagement in the Army; 1978


"...to follow the dictum of the British NCO who, when asked where his officers were, replied, 'When it comes time to die, they'll be with us.'" - Richard A. Gabriel and Paul L. Savage, Crisis in Command: Mismanagement in the Army; 1978

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