85 Best Douglas MacArthur Quotes from American Military Leader

Douglas MacArthur, born on January 26, 1880, in Little Rock, Arkansas, was a notable American military leader and General of the Army, renowned for his role in the Pacific theatre during World War II.

MacArthur, son of U.S. Army officer Arthur MacArthur Jr., graduated top of his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1903.

Douglas MacArthur

His illustrious career spanned World War I, the 1930s when he served as Chief of Staff of the United States Army and the postwar administration of Japan during the Allied occupation.

MacArthur and his father hold the unique distinction of being the first father-son duo to receive the Medal of Honor; MacArthur’s award came for his exceptional service in the Philippines campaign.

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Military Quotes and Sayings for Soldiers

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His military career came to a controversial end during the Korean War when he was relieved of his command by President Harry S. Truman in 1951.

Post-retirement, MacArthur authored his memoirs before passing away in 1964 at 84.

I have selected some of the topmost quotes from Douglas MacArthur for you.

Best Douglas MacArthur Quotes


Americans never quit. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


Never give an order that can’t be obeyed. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


No plan ever survives its first encounter with the enemy. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


Never ask age of a woman. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


We are not retreating – we are advancing in another direction. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Training distinguishes an army from an armed mob. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

They died hard, those savage men – like wounded wolves at bay. They were filthy, and they were lousy, and they stunk. And I loved them. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

The scale and grandeur of the Russian effort mark it as the greatest military achievement in all history. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


Optimism is denial, so face the facts and move on. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

The history of the failure of war can almost be summed up in two words: too late. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world, and that God will preserve it always. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

A general is just as good or just as bad as the troops under his command make him. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

I stand on this rostrum with a sense of deep humility and great pride – humility in the weight of those great American architects of our history who have stood here before me; pride in the reflection that this home of legislative debate represents human liberty in the purest form yet devised. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Famous Douglas MacArthur Quotes

Life is a lively process of becoming. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Global war has become Frankenstein’s monster, threatening to destroy both sides. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


Old soldiers never die; they just fade away. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

I promise to keep on living as though I expected to live forever. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only be deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It’s the age-old struggle: the roar of the crowd on the one side, and the voice of your conscience on the other. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country is the noblest development of mankind. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


Defensive strategy never has produced ultimate victory. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Top Douglas MacArthur Quotes

The hated system of land tenure, so contributory to general unrest in Asia, has been abolished. Every farmer is now accorded the right and dignity of ownership of the land he long has tilled. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

In no other profession are the penalties for employing untrained personnel so appalling or so irrevocable as in the military. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

I see that the flagpole still stands. Have your troops hoist the colors to its peak, and let no enemy ever haul them down. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

I know that this operation will be sort of helter-skelter. But the First Marine Division is going to win the war by landing at Inchon. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world! ~ Douglas MacArthur.


Only those are fit to live who are not afraid to die. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training – sacrifice. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

To dilute the will to win is to destroy the purpose of the game. There is no substitute for victory. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned there can be no turning back. We must go forward to preserve in peace what we won in war. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

I came out of Bataan and I shall return! ~ Douglas MacArthur.

A good soldier, whether he leads a platoon or an army, is expected to look backward as well as forward; but he must think only forward. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


There are no atheists in the foxholes of Bataan… ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Expect only 5% of an intelligence report to be accurate. The trick of a good commander is to isolate the 5%. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Great Douglas MacArthur Quotes

One cannot wage war under present conditions without the support of public opinion, which is tremendously molded by the press and other forms of propaganda. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other days, on other fields will bear the fruits of victory. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

The nations of the world will have to unite for the next war will be an interplanetary war. The nations of Earth must some day make a common front against attack by people from other planets. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Years wrinkle the skin. Giving up wrinkles the soul. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

In war, indeed, there can be no substitute for victory. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


Have a good plan, execute it violently, and do it today. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Worry, doubt, fear and despair are the enemies which slowly bring us down to the ground and turn us to dust before we die. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear – kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor – with the cry of grave national emergency. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Wise Douglas MacArthur Quotes


War’s very object is victory, not prolonged indecision. In war there is no substitute for victory. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

The enemy is in front of us, the enemy is behind us, the enemy is to the right and to the left of us. They can’t get away this time! ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

I’ll come back as soon as I can with as much as I can. In the meantime, you’ve got to hold! ~ Douglas MacArthur.

We must offer the world leadership designed to advance the goal of universal progress and enduring peace. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


You are remembered for the rules you break. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

I had learned one of the bitter lessons of life: never try to regain the past, the fire will have become ashes. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any treat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Believe me, sir, never a night goes by, be I ever so tired, but I read the Word of God before I go to bed. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


My staff was unanimous in believing that Japan was on the point of collapse and surrender. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

I believe that the entire effort of modern society should be concentrated on the endeavor to outlaw war as a method of the solution of problems between nations. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Powerful Douglas MacArthur Quotes

I address you with neither rancor nor bitterness in the fading twilight of life, with but one purpose in mind: to serve my country. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


I will defend Korea as I would my own country-just as I would California. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

The inescapable price of liberty is an ability to preserve it from destruction. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

The object and practice of liberty lies in the limitation of government power. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Like the old soldier of the ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Goodbye. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Wars are caused by unprotected wealth. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster. ~ Douglas MacArthur.


It is fatal to enter an war without the will to win it. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Give me ten thousand Filipino soldiers and I will conquer the world. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Inspiring Douglas MacArthur Quotes

Even when opportunity knocks, a man still has to get up off his seat and open the door. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

For those to whom much is given, much is required. It is not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up. There is no substitute for victory. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

A better world shall emerge based on faith and understanding. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

From the Far East I send you one single thought, one sole idea – written in red on every beachhead from Australia to Tokyo – There is no substitute for “victory!” ~ Douglas MacArthur.

The chickens are coming home to roost, and you happen to have just moved into the chicken house. ~ Douglas MacArthur.

So these were the 85 top Douglas MacArthur quotes and sayings on leadership and Korean war.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Dietrich Bonhoeffer quotes and Dieter F. Uchtdorf quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar