Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller is the most decorated Marine in U.S. history with five Navy Crosses. Born in 1898 in Virginia, Puller was inspired by Confederate tales and started his military career at the Virginia Military Institute.
Joining the Marines in 1918, he served fearlessly in Haiti and Nicaragua, earning two Navy Crosses.
In the 1930s, Puller encountered the fallout of the Second Sino-Japanese War in China.
In World War II, he significantly impacted battles like Guadalcanal and Peleliu with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines.
In the Korean War, Puller’s leadership shone in the Inchon assault and Chosin Reservoir campaign, earning him further accolades, including the Army’s Distinguished Service Cross. Retiring in 1955, his legacy persists in Marine traditions.
I have selected the best quotes by Chesty Puller to inspire you.
Chesty Puller Quotes on Life and Marines
Hit hard, hit fast, hit often. ~ Chesty Puller.
I want to go where the guns are. ~ Chesty Puller.
Pain is weakness leaving the body. ~ Chesty Puller.
Where the hell do you put the bayonet. ~ Chesty Puller.
Paperwork will ruin any military force. ~ Chesty Puller.
You don’t hurt ’em if you don’t hit ’em. ~ Chesty Puller.
We’re surrounded. That simplifies the problem. ~ Chesty Puller.
Take me to the brig. I want to see the real Marines. ~ Chesty Puller.
Best Chesty Puller Quotes
Retreat!…we’re just attacking in a different direction. ~ Chesty Puller.
Those days in the woods saved my life many a time in combat. ~ Chesty Puller
Officers should be forward with their men at the point of impact. ~ Chesty Puller.
In the confederate army, an officer was judged by stark courage alone. ~ Chesty Puller.
Son, when the Marine Corps wants you to have a wife, you will be issued one. ~ Chesty Puller.
Don’t forget that you’re First Marines! Not all the communists in hell can overrun you! ~ Chesty Puller.
Old Breed? New Breed? There’s not a damn bit of difference as long as it’s the Marine breed. ~ Chesty Puller.
I assure you, Virginia, that I, never in my life, have ever made a statement that I like to fight. ~ Chesty Puller.
Famous Chesty Puller Quotes
They are a damn site better than the US army, at least we know that they will be there in the morning. ~ Chesty Puller.
I’ll take care of my men first. Frozen troops can’t fight. If we run out of ammunition, we’ll go to the bayonet. ~ Chesty Puller
There are not enough chinamen in the world to stop a fully armed Marine regiment from going wherever they want to go. ~ Chesty Puller.
It wouldn’t be any sense to have a military organization on the backs of American taxpayers with any other definition. ~ Chesty Puller.
We’ve been looking for the enemy for some time now. We’ve finally found him. We’re surrounded. That simplifies things. ~ Chesty Puller.
We make generals today on the basis of their ability to write a damned letter. Those kinds of men can’t get us ready for war. ~ Chesty Puller.
If we are going to win the next war, in my opinion, 50 percent of the time of training should be allotted to night training. ~ Chesty Puller.
The mail service has been excellent out here, and in my opinion, this is all that the Air Force has accompanied during the war. ~ Chesty Puller.
Top Chesty Puller Quotes
All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us…they can’t get away this time. ~ Chesty Puller.
What American people want to do is fight a war without getting hurt. You can’t do that anymore than you get into a barroom fight without getting hurt… ~ Chesty Puller.
My definition, the definition that I’ve always believed in, is the esprit de corps means love for one’s own military legion-in my case, the United Marine corps… ~ Chesty Puller.
Our country won’t go on forever if we stay soft as we are now. There won’t be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race! ~ Chesty Puller.
You were absolutely correct in making him salute you 100 times, lieutenant, but you know that an officer must return every salute he receives. Now return them all, and I will keep count. ~ Chesty Puller.
The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight. The Reds told us they were afraid to tangle with the marines and avoided them when they could be located. ~ Chesty Puller.
I’ve always believed that no officer’s life, regardless of rank, is of such great value to his country that he should seek safety in the rear…officers should be forward with their men at the point of impact. ~ Chesty Puller.
If you want to get the most out of our men, give them a break! Don’t make them work completely in the dark. If you do, they won’t do a bit more than they have to. But if they comprehend, they’ll work like mad. ~ Chesty Puller.
In the Marine corps, your buddy is not only your classmate or fellow officer, but he is also the marine under your command. If you don’t prepare yourself to properly train him, lead him and support him.. then you’re going to let him down. That is unforgivable in the Marine Corps. ~ Chesty Puller.